Remarkable Acid Stability of Polypyrrole-MoS4: A Highly Selective and Efficient Scavenger of Heavy Metals Over a Wide pH Range

Linxia Xie, Zihuan Yu, Saiful M. Islam, Keren Shi, Yahan Cheng, Mengwei Yuan, Jing Zhao, Genban Sun, Huifeng Li, Shulan Ma, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

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37 Citations (Scopus)


The new material polypyrrole/MoS4 2−(MoS4-Ppy), prepared by ion-exchange of NO3- of NO3-Ppy with MoS4 2−, displays high acid stability and excellent uptake for heavy metal ions such as Hg2+, Ag+, Cu2+, and Pb2+. The different maximum adsorption capacities (qm) for Cu2+, Pb2+, Hg2+, and Ag+ depend on the various binding modes arising from the different thiophilicity of these metal ions. The removals of Ag+ and Pb2+ reach >99.6% within 5 min, and for highly toxic Hg2+, >98% removal achieves at 1 min. At strong acid limit, the exceptional qm(Ag+) of 725 mg g−1 places the MoS4-Ppy at the top of materials for such removal. Uptake kinetics of Ag+, Hg2+, and Pb2+ is extremely fast: >99.9% removal rates at wide pH range (0.5–6) within 1–5 min. Also, at strongly acidic conditions (pH ≈ 1), for highly toxic Hg2+, <2 ppb concentration can be achieved, accepted as safe limit. The MoS4-Ppy demonstrates an outstanding ability to separate low-concentrated Ag+ from high concentrated Cu2+ especially under strong acidic conditions (pH ≈ 1), showing a large separation factor SFAg/Cu (Kd Ag/Kd Cu) of 105 (>100). MoS4-Ppy is a superior and novel sorbent material for water remediation applications as well as precious metals recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800502
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - May 16 2018


  • acid stability
  • heavy metal removal
  • polypyrrole-MoS materials
  • scavengers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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