Supported Ionic Liquids for the Efficient Removal of Acetylsalicylic Acid from Aqueous Solutions


Acetylsalicylic acid, commercially available as aspirin, is one of the most used drugs in the world, being detected in several environmental compartments, including drinking water supplies. Given its environmental impact, the development of a cost-effective technology capable of removing this pharmaceutical from water samples is of high relevance, for which materials based on silica chemically modified with ionic liquids (SILs) can be foreseen as a promising alternative. In this work, four SILs (with the chloride anion and imidazolium or tetraalkylammonium cations of different alkyl side chain length) were synthesized and characterized, and their potential for the adsorption of acetylsalicylic acid appraised by adsorption kinetics and isotherms. Envisioning their use to treat drinking water, the toxicity of all SILs towards the liver cell line Hep2G was determined. The best identified SIL, comprising the dimethylbutylammonium cation, displays a maximum adsorption capacity of 0.08 mmol/g, being 1 g of this material sufficient to treat ca. 14,500 L of water containing 1 mu g/L of acetylsalicylic acid (under ideal conditions). Furthermore, this material has a negligible toxicity towards the liver cell line Hep2G. The results obtained reinforce the potential of SILs as alternative adsorbents to effectively remove acetylsalicylic acid from aqueous solutions, and may be envisioned as a promising strategy for the treatment of wastewater and drinking water.



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Bernardo, SC; Araujo, BR; Sousa, ACA; Barros, RA; Cristovao, AC; Neves, MC; Freire, MG

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This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020 & UIDP/50011/2020, financed by national funds through the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology/MCTES. The NMR spectrometers used in this work are part of the National NMR Network (PTNMR) and are partially supported by Infrastructure Project N degrees 022161 (co-financed by FEDER through COMPETE 2020, POCI and PORL and FCT through PIDDAC. This work was financially supported by the project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031106 (IonCytDevice) funded by FEDER, through COMPETE2020-Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalizacao (POCI), and by national funds (OE), through FCT/MCTES, and developed in the scope of the Smart Green Homes Project [POCI-01-0247-FEDER-007678], a co-promotion between Bosch Termotecnologia S. A. and the University of Aveiro. It is financed by Portugal 2020 under the Competitiveness an Internationalization Operational Program, and by the European Regional Development Fund. Marcia C. Neves acknowledges FCT, I. P. for the research contract CEECIND/00383/2017 under the CEEC Individual 2017; Sandra C. Bernardo acknowledges FCT for the research contract under the project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029496; and Ana C. A. Sousa acknowledges Universidade de Aveiro for funding in the scope of the framework contract foreseen in the numbers 4, 5, and 6 of the article 23, of the Decree-Law 57/2016, of August 29, changed by Law 57/2017, of July 19.

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