Inorganic mercury sequestration by a poly(ethylene imine) dendrimer in aqueous solution

Molecules. 2015 Feb 26;20(3):3783-90. doi: 10.3390/molecules20033783.


The interaction of the G-2 poly(ethylene imine) dendrimer L, derived from ammonia as initiating core, with Hg(II) and HgCl42- was studied in aqueous solution by means of potentiometric (pH-metric) measurements. Speciation of these complex systems showed that L is able to form a wide variety of complexes including 1:1, 2:1, 3:1 and 3:2 metal-to-ligand species, of different protonation states, as well as the anion complexes [(H7L)HgCl4]5+ and [(H8L)HgCl4]6+. The stability of the metal complexes is very high, making L an excellent sequestering agent for Hg(II), over a large pH range, and a promising ligand for the preparation of functionalized activated carbons to be employed in the remediation and the prevention of environmental problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dendrimers / chemistry*
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Environmental Pollutants / isolation & purification*
  • Imines / chemistry*
  • Mercury / analysis*
  • Mercury / isolation & purification*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Polyethylenes / chemistry*
  • Potentiometry


  • Dendrimers
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Imines
  • Polyethylenes
  • poly(ethylene imine)
  • Mercury