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Phenothiazine-Chitosan Based Materials for Mercury Removal and Fast Naked Eye Detection
* 1 , 1 , 2 , 1
1  Petru Poni Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Iasi, Romania
2  School of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan, 430073, China


This study reveals the ability of an eco-friendly luminescent xerogel prepared by chitosan crosslinking with a phenothiazine chromophore to detect and remove heavy metals. Its ability to give a different morphological and optical response towards fifteen environmental relevant metals was investigated by naked eye and UV lamp, fluorescence spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. A particular response was observed for mercury, consisting in the transformation of the xerogel into a rubber-like material accompanied by the red shifting of the color of emitted light from yellow-green to greenish-yellow domain. The peculiarities of the metals anchoring into the xerogel were analyzed by FTIR spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. The morphological changes and the metal uptake were analyzed by SEM-EDAX, swelling and gravimetric methods. It was concluded that mercury has a bigger affinity towards this heteroatoms rich system, leading to a secondary crosslinking, generating a great absorption capacity of 1673 mg/g and a specific morphological response for mercury ion concentrations up to 0.001 ppm.

Keywords: phenothiazine; chitosan; mercury sensing; eco-adsorbents; solid state materials