Adsorption of iodinated trihalomethanes onto thiol functionalized ZIF-8s: Active adsorption sites, adsorptive mechanisms, and dehalogenation by-products

Sci Total Environ. 2021 Feb 1;754:142376. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142376. Epub 2020 Sep 16.


The adsorptive mechanisms operating in, and the effect of two different thiol modification methods on, the removal of five iodinated trihalomethanes (I-THMs) by the zeolite imidazolate framework (ZIF-8) were investigated in single and mixed solutions. The direct postgrafting of dithioglycol to the zinc complex node of ZIF-8 (ZF-SH) can increase the mesopore structures that enhance inner pore accessibility; this increase is a critical property required for excellent adsorption of I-THMs. The synergetic adsorptive interactions consist of Lewis acid-base interactions via the Zn-Zn complex, ion-dipole interactions involving the protonated hydroxyl and thiol groups, and hydrophobic interactions at the imidazole ring. In contrast to ZF-SH, the (3-mercaptopropyl)-trimethoxy functionalized silica coating on ZIF-8 (ZF-Si-SH) causes a lower thiol moiety and a steric effect that is reflected in its lower adsorption capacity. In both single and mixed solutions, the small molecular size and hydrophobic nature of I-THMs can promote better adsorption capacity on all thiol-modified ZIF-8, while the minus dipole charge distribution of the I-THMs structure plays a more critical role in selective adsorption on pristine ZIF-8. Interestingly, the dehalogenation of triiodomethane to diiodomethane due to a nucleophilic substitution (SN2) reaction can be accelerated by the thiol functionalized silica layer on ZIF-8.

Keywords: Adsorption mechanism; Dehalogenation; Iodinated trihalomethanes; Thiol modification; Zeolite imidazolate framework.