Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), and ammonium perfluoro-2-propoxypropionate (GenX), contaminate ground and surface waters throughout the world. The cost and performance limitations of current PFAS removal technologies motivate efforts to develop selective and high-affinity adsorbents. Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are unexplored yet promising adsorbents because of their high surface area and tunable pore sizes. Here we show that imine-linked two-dimensional (2D) COFs bearing primary amines adsorb GenX rapidly at environmentally relevant concentrations. COFs with partial amine incorporation showed the highest capacity and fastest removal, suggesting that the synergistic combination of the polar group and hydrophobic surfaces are responsible for GenX binding. A COF with 28% amine loading also removed more than 90% of 12 out of 13 PFAS. These results demonstrate the promise of COFs for PFAS removal and suggest design criteria for maximizing adsorbent performance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry