Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological Science and Technology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, 73441-81746, Iran; UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052, Australia. Electronic address: [Email]
The development of stable and effective iodine removal systems would be highly desirable in addressing environmental issues relevant to water contamination. In the present research, a novel iodine adsorbent was synthesized by self-polymerization of dopamine (PDA) onto inert polypropylene (PP) membrane. This PP/PDA membrane was thoroughly characterized and its susrface propeties was analyzed by various analytical techniques indcluding field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) and Barrett-Joyner-Halenda (BJH), contact angle, and surface free energy measurement. The PP/PDA membranes were subsequently used for batchwise removal of iodine at different temperatures (25-70 °C), pH (2-7), and surface areas (1-10 cm2) to understand the underlying adsorption phenomena and to estimate the membrane capacity for iodine uptake. The increase in temperature and pH both led to higher adsorption of iodine. The present approach showed a removal efficiency of over 75% for iodine using 10 cm2 PP/PDA membrane (18.87 m2 g-1) within 2 h at moderate temperatures (∼50 °C) and pH > 4, about 15 fold compared to the PP control membrane. The adsorption kinetics and isotherms were well fitted to the pseudo-second-order kinetic and Langmuir isotherm models (R2 > 0.99). This adsorbent can be recycled and reused at least six times with stable iodine adsorption. These findings were attributed to the homogenous monolayer adsorption of the iodide on the surface due to the presence of catechol and amine groups in the PP/PDA membrane. This study proposes an efficient adsorbent for iodine removal.