Study on the synthesis of a macroporous ethylacrylate-divinylbenzene copolymer, its conversion into a bi-functional cation exchange resin and applications for extraction of toxic heavy metals from wastewater



Macroporus ethylacrylate-divinylbenzene copolymers were synthesized by suspension polymerization using diethyl phthalate and n-heptane as diluent. A hydrolysis study revealed that conversion of esters into carboxylic acid groups was dependent on three factors: (1) crosslinkage: increases with a decrease in crosslinkage, (2) reagent: sulfuric acid>aqueous NaOH>NaOH in a 1 : 1 water to ethylene glycol, and (3) pore volume (PV): highest when PV was ∼ 0.7 mL g−1. Sulfuric acid hydrolyzed ester to [BOND]COOH and introduced [BOND]SO3H on phenyl rings, thus producing a bi-functional resin. The functional groups were verified by IR spectroscopy and quantified by acid–base titration. The bi-functional resin's capacity for toxic heavy metals in water samples was 12.51, 10.43, 9.43, 13.21, and 11.12 mg g−1 for Cu, Cd, Ni, Pb, and Zn, respectively and the recoveries exceeded >95% in range of pH 2–8, showing that it is suitable for water purification. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013