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Employing “PEmPTech” in the Synthesis of Ion-Imprinted Polymer Architectures for Metal Ion Extraction from Wastewaters and Hydro Mining
Project status: Ongoing
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Contracting authority: Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI)

Project code:  PN-III-P4-PCE-2021-0306, Contract number: PCE 62/2022

Acronym: PEmPTech

In this proposal we aim at expanding the application potential of Pickering Emulsion Polymerization Technology (PEmPTech) to produce advanced ion-imprinted polymer (IIP) architectures ranging from colloidosomes, microparticles, monoliths, films for metal ion extraction and recovery from wastewaters and hydro mining. The key elements differentiating PEmPtech from all other ion-imprinting technologies is the use of Pickering emulsions which are stabilized by amphiphilic Janus nanoparticles (JNPs). JNPs with tunable amphiphilic balance can emulsify virtually any liquid monomers, monomer mixtures and ligands to produce ultrastable emulsions suitable for subsequent polymerization. However, pseudoamphiphilic homogeneous nanoparticles can also be used to stabilize Pickering emulsions. Which means that the current project is not restructed to ony JNPs. While the existing synthesis emulsification, precipitation and suspension polymerization technologies to produce IIPs are limited to trial-and-error process of identification of a particular set of monomer and ligand monomers that work in suitable synthetic conditions, we intend to demonstrate at the proof-of-concept level that PEmPTech utilizing amphiphilic JNPs can become a universal platform for facile production of various IIP architectures. The IIPs will be tested in laboratory conditions for metal ion absorption and extraction efficiency and selectivity from simple and complex ion matrices.

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