Here we demonstrate aminopropyl and mercatopropyl functionalised and bi-functionalised large pore mesoporous silica spheres to extract various metal ions from aqueous solutions towards providing active sorbents for mitigation of metal ion pollution. Elemental analysis (EA) and FTIR techniques were used to quantify the attachment of the aminopropyl and mercatopropyl functional groups to the mesoporous silica pore wall. Functionalisation was achieved by post-synthesis reflux procedures. For all functionalised silicas the functionalisation refluxing does not alter particle morphology/agglomeration of the particles. It was found that sorptive capacities of the mesoporous silica towards the functional groups were unaffected by co-functionalisation. Powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) and nitrogen adsorption techniques were used to establish the pore diameters, packing of the pores and specific surface areas of the modified mesoporous silica spheres. Atomic absorption (AA) spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) techniques were used to measure the extraction efficiencies of each metal ion species from solution at varying pHs. Maximum sorptive capacities (as metal ions) were determined to be 384micromolg(-1) for Cr, 340micromol g(-1) for Ni, 358micromol g(-1) for Fe, 364micromol g(-1) for Mn and 188micromol g(-1) for Pd.
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