Polypyrrole-Mo3S13: An Efficient Sorbent for the Capture of Hg2+ and Highly Selective Extraction of Ag+ over Cu2+

Mengwei Yuan, Huiqin Yao, Linxia Xie, Xiaowen Liu, Hui Wang, Saiful M. Islam, Keren Shi, Zihuan Yu, Genban Sun, Huifeng Li, Shulan Ma*, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The new material Polypyrrole-Mo3S13 (abbr. Mo3S13-Ppy) is a new material prepared by ion-exchange between Ppy-NO3 and (NH4)2Mo3S13. The Mo3S13-Ppy was designed to exhibit strong selectivity for Ag+ and highly toxic Hg2+ in mixtures with other ions. It displays an apparent selectivity ranking of Hg2+ > Ag+ ≥ Co2+, Ni2+, Cu2+, Zn2+, Cd2+, and Pb2+. The strong affinity of Mo3S13-Ppy for Ag+ and Hg2+ was confirmed with extremely high distribution coefficients (Kd) (∼107 mL/g) and remarkable removal efficiencies (>99.99%), resulting in <1 ppb concentrations of these ions. Furthermore, Mo3S13-Ppy achieved excellent separation selectivity for Ag+ from Cu2+ (even at a high Cu2+/Ag+ ratio, the molar ratio of 867 and mass ratio of 500) because of the special structure of Mo3S13 2- and its component Mo4+ and (S2)2-. This is promising for the direct extraction of low-grade silver from copper-rich minerals. The maximum Ag uptake capacity of 408 mg/g is redox-based and surprisingly involves the deposition of large, millimeter sized, metallic silver (Ag0) crystals on the surface of Mo3S13-Ppy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1574-1583
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 22 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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