Imprinted polymers for the removal of heavy metal ions from water

Syed Ashraf, Angela Cluley, Ckarlos Mercado, Anja Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


In wastewater treatment, the removal of heavy metals is difficult due to the limited affinity of heavy metal ions to ion exchange resins. Here imprinting polymerization is used to develop resins with high capacity and selectivity for heavy metal ions for water treatment. A random copolymer of methacrylate and methacrylamide was found to be most effective for the removal of hydrophilic metal complexes, like CdCl2, ZnCl2, and the metalloid NaH2AsO4, particularly when the porosity of these resins is increased. For hydrophobic complexes imprinting emulsion polymerization was developed and data for the effective removal of mercury dithizonate will be described. Complete removal for up to 80 ppm of cadmium and mercury with only 200 mg of imprinted resin was obtained; competition and co-imprinting experiments are described as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1332
Number of pages8
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2011


  • Capacity
  • Emulsion polymerization
  • Heavy metal ions
  • Imprinting polymerization
  • Remediation


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