Tailoring Interactions of Random Copolymer Polyelectrolyte Complexes to Remove Nanoplastic Contaminants from Water

Jeremy Wang, Curt Waltmann, Caroline Harms, Sumeng Hu, John Hegarty, Benjamin Shindel, Qifeng Wang, Vinayak Dravid, Kenneth R. Shull, John M. Torkelson, Monica Olvera De La Cruz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We investigate the usage of polyelectrolyte complex materials for water remediation purposes, specifically their ability to remove nanoplastics from water, on which there is currently little to no prior research. We demonstrate that oppositely charged random copolymers are effective at quantitatively removing nanoplastic contamination from aqueous solution. The mechanisms underlying this remediation ability are explored through computational simulations, with corroborating quartz crystal microbalance adsorption experiments. We find that hydrophobic nanostructures and interactions likely play an important role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7514-7523
Number of pages10
JournalLangmuir
Volume39
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - May 30 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Spectroscopy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Electrochemistry

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