Conventional ion exchange resins are widely utilized to remove metals from aqueous solutions, but their limited selectivity precludes dilute ion extraction. This research investigated the adsorption performance of ligand-functionalized resins towards rare earth elements (REE). Functionalized resin particles were synthesized by grafting different ligands (diethylenetriaminepentaacetic dianhydride (DTPADA), phosphonoacetic acid (PAA), or N,N-bis(phosphonomethyl)glycine (BPG)) onto pre-aminated polymeric adsorbents (diameter ∼ 0.6 mm). Lanthanide uptake trends were evaluated for the functionalized resins using batch adsorption experiments with a mixture of three REEs (Nd, Gd, and Ho at 0.1–1000 mg/L each). Resin physical-chemical properties were determined by measuring their surface area, ligand concentrations, and acidity constants. The aminated supports contained 4.0 mmol/g primary amines, and ligand densities for the functionalized resins were 0.33 mmol/g (PAA), 0.22 mmol/g (BPG), and 0.42 mmol/g (DTPADA). Kinetic studies revealed that the functionalized resins followed pseudo-second order binding kinetics with rates limited by intraparticle diffusion. Capacity estimates for total REE adsorption based on Langmuir qMax were 0.12 mg/g (amine; ≈ 0.77 µmol/g), 5.0 mg/g (PAA; ≈ 32.16 µmol/g), 3.0 mg/g (BPG; ≈ 19.30 µmol/g), and 2.9 mg/g (DTPADA; ≈ 18.65 µmol/g). Attaching ligands to the aminated resins greatly improved their REE binding strength and adsorption efficiency.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry