L-lysine and EDTA polymer mimics as resins for the quantitative and reversible removal of heavy metal ion water pollutants



Traditional precipitation methods for inorganic micropollutant removal from waters are increasingly being replaced by sorption methods based on both natural and synthetic materials. In this context, two novel effective heavy metal ions absorbers are presented. These resins, LYMA and LMT85, were crosslinked poly(amidoamine)s carrying amine and carboxyl groups in their repeating units. In particular, the LYMA-repeating unit contains one carboxyl and two amine groups and is a mimic of L-lysine, whereas LMT85 contains two amine and five carboxyl groups and is a mimic of EDTA. Both resins were prepared at moderate cost by simple eco-friendly procedures. The heavy metal ion set adopted as benchmark was Cu2+, Cd2+, Pb2+, Zn2+, Ni2+, and Co2+. LYMA proved selective for Cu2+ and Ni2+, the other ions tested being negligibly absorbed, whereas LMT85 proved capable of rapidly and quantitatively absorbing all the ions tested either singly or in mixed solution. The absorption process was reversible, and the resins were easily regenerated by acidification. The absorption of several metal ions imparted intense coloring to the resins, a feature possibly exploitable for analytical purposes. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2012