Tuning adsorption capacities of hybrid mesoporous silica nanospheres and adsorption mechanism study for sulfamethoxazole and diclofenac removal from water


The functionalization of mesoporous silica nanospheres and mesoporous hybrid core–shell magnetic silica nanospheres has been carried out through post-synthetic procedures, and these materials have been tested as adsorbents for the removal of sulfamethoxazole (SMX) and diclofenac (DF) from water. The effects of the silica material and the types of functionalities anchored on the silica surface have been investigated. Additionally, the unreacted silanol groups on the silica surface have been capped with hydrophobic trimethylsilyl groups to modify the hydrophilic-hydrophobic properties of the materials. The materials have been characterized by textural, spectroscopic, and microscopic techniques. The maximum adsorption capacity and kinetics of adsorption were determined using adsorption and kinetic theoretical models. The experimental results indicate that both the surface area and the presence of specific functionalities on the silica surface, including zwitterionic groups like hydroxide choline and methyl p-toluene sulfonate choline, have a significant impact on the material's adsorption capacity. The adsorption studies revealed that the highest adsorption capacity (qt) for DF (80.7 mg L-1) and SMX (27.2 mg L-1) was achieved with PTS-Chol-MSN, which consists of mesoporous silica nanospheres possessing a larger surface area, unprotected silanol groups and the methyl p-toluene sulfonate choline functionality on its surface. The mechanism of drug adsorption involves physical and chemical adsorptions with the presence of H-bonding and π-π stacking interactions.


Josefa Ortiz-Bustos; Sofia F. Soares; Helena Pérez del Pulgar; Yolanda Pérez; Santiago Gómez-Ruiz; Ana Luísa Daniel-da-Silva;Isabel del Hierro

our authors


We would like to thank funding from the research project PID2022-136417NB-I00 financed by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033/ and “ERDF A way of making Europe”. and Salvador de Madariaga Program (scholarship PRX18/00290 for Dr. I del Hierro) (Spain), and the projects CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020, UIDP/50011/2020 and LA/P/0006/2020, financed by national funds through the FCT/MCTES (PIDDAC) (Portugal).

Share this project:

Related Publications

We use cookies for marketing activities and to offer you a better experience. By clicking “Accept Cookies” you agree with our cookie policy. Read about how we use cookies by clicking "Privacy and Cookie Policy".