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PLoS One. 2014 Feb 20;9(2):e88802. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088802. eCollection 2014.

Functional elastic hydrogel as recyclable membrane for the adsorption and degradation of methylene blue.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.
  • 2Department of Chemistry, Tongji University, Shanghai, China ; Advanced Research Institute, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.


Developing the application of high-strength hydrogels has gained much attention in the fields of medical, pharmacy, and pollutant removal due to their versatility and stimulus-responsive properties. In this presentation, a high-strength freestanding elastic hydrogel membrane was constructed by clay nanosheets, N, N-dimethylacrylamide and 2-acrylamide-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid for adsorption of methylene blue and heavy metal ions. The maximum values of elongation and Young's modulus for 0.5% AMPSNa hydrogel were 1901% and 949.4 kPa, respectively, much higher than those of traditional hydrogels. The adsorptions were confirmed to follow pseudo-second kinetic equation and Langmuir isotherm model fits the data well. The maximum adsorption capacity of hydrogel towards methylene blue was 434.8 mg g(-1). The hydrogel also exhibited higher separation selectivity to Pb(2+) than Cu(2+). The methylene blue adsorbed onto the hydrogel membrane can be photocatalytically degraded by Fenton agent and the hydrogel membrane could be recycled at least five times without obvious loss in mechanical properties. In conclusion, this presentation demonstrates a convenient strategy to prepare tough and elastic clay nanocomposite hydrogel, which can not only be applied as recyclable membrane for the photocatalytic degradation of organic dye, but also for the recovery of valuables.

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