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Chemosphere. 2013 Apr;91(2):157-64. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.12.021. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Adsorption of TCDD with 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide ionic liquid: a combined molecular dynamics simulation and quantum chemistry study.

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Key Laboratory of Colloid and Interface Chemistry, Ministry of Education, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, PR China.


The effective abatement of flue gas emissions, especially polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), is one of the challenging issues in the field of environmental science currently. Imidazolium-based dicyanamide ionic liquids (ILs) were proposed to have potential in controlling the emissions of PCDD/Fs. However, the relevant mechanism at the molecular level still remains unclear. To address this subject, we here present a combined molecular dynamics (MD) simulation and quantum chemical (QM) study on the adsorption of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), the most toxic congener among PCDD/F family, by 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide IL, a representative imidazolium dicyanoamide ILs, which were demonstrated to possess high capture capability for PCDD/Fs. The MD simulation results show that TCDD molecules can be effectively adsorbed on the IL surface to form a dense layer, but cannot enter the interior of the IL. The results of QM calculations show that the adsorption of TCDDs on the IL surface occurs via intra-molecular hydrogen bond interactions. The calculated interaction energy of the anion with TCDD molecule is two times more than that of the cation, implying that the IL anion dominates the interaction with TCDD molecules, while the cation plays a secondary role. Based on the calculated results, we propose that imidazolium dicyanamide IL films/membranes may be better materials than the corresponding bulk for capturing TCDD. The present theoretical results may be helpful to designing the functional ILs which effectively capture and concentrate PCDD/F compounds.

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