A novel fiber-coated strong base-type anion exchanger with superfast kinetics. Removal and recovery of silver thiosulfate from aqueous solutions



A commercial acrylic fiber with 92% (w/w) acrylonitrile content was partially hydrolyzed converting a fraction of the nitrile ([BOND]CN) groups to carboxylic acid ([BOND]COOH) groups, to coat the fiber with polyethylenimine (PEI) resin, which was then crosslinked with glutaraldehyde and further quaternized with ethyl chloroacetate to produce a novel strong-base anionic exchanger in the form of fiber. Designated as PAN(QPEI.XG)(Cl), the fibrous sorbent was compared with a commercial bead-form resin Amberlite IRA-458(Cl) in respect of sorption capacity, selectivity, and kinetics for removal of silver thiosulfate complexes from aqueous solutions. Though the saturation level of [Ag(S2O3)2]3− on PAN(QPEI.XG)(Cl) is considerably less than that on IRA-458(Cl), the gel-coated fibrous sorbent exhibits, as compared to the bead-form sorbent, a significantly higher sorption selectivity for the silver thiosulfate complex in the presence of excess of other anions such as S2O32−, SO42−, and Cl, and a remarkably faster rate of both sorption and stripping. The initial uptake of the sorbate by the fibrous sorbent is nearly instantaneous, reaching up to ∼80% of the saturation capacity within 10 s, as compared to only ∼12% on the bead-form sorbent. The high initial rate of uptake fits a shell-core kinetic model for sorption on fiber of cylindrical geometry. With 4M HCl, the stripping of the sorbed silver complex from the fibrous sorbent is clean and nearly instantaneous, while, in contrast, a much slower rate of stripping on the bead-form sorbent leads to its fouling due to a slow decomposition of the silver thiosulfate complex in the acidic medium. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 100: 2604–2613, 2006