Porous Polycalix[4]arenes for Fast and Efficient Removal of Organic Micropollutants from Water

Dinesh Shetty, Ilma Jahovic, Jesus Raya, Zouhair Asfari, John Carl Olsen, Ali Trabolsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Organic micropollutants are hazards to the environment and human health. Conventional technologies are often inefficient at removing them from wastewater. For example, commercial activated carbon (AC) exhibits slow uptake rates, limited capacities, and is costly to regenerate. Here, we report the utility of porous calix[4]arene-based materials, CalPn (n = 2-4), for water purification. Calixarenes are a common motif in supramolecular chemistry but have rarely been incorporated into extended, porous networks such as organic polymers. CalPn exhibit pollutant uptake rates (kobs) and adsorption capacities (qmax) that are among the highest reported. For example, the kobs of CalP4 for bisphenol A (BPA) is 2.12 mg/g·min, which is significantly higher (16 to 240 times) than kobs for ACs and 1.4 times higher than that of the most efficient material previously reported; the qmax of CalP4 for BPA is 403 mg/g. The CalPn polymers can be regenerated several times, with performance levels left undiminished, by a simple wash procedure that is less energy intensive than that required for ACs. These findings demonstrate the potential of calixarene-based materials for organic micropollutant removal.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)2976-2981
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number3
StatePublished - 24 Jan 2018


  • adsorption
  • bisphenol A
  • calix[n]arenes
  • micropollutants
  • porous organic polymers
  • propranolol
  • water purification


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