Colloidal crystal templated molecular imprinted polymer for the detection of 2-butoxyethanol in water contaminated by hydraulic fracturing
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The authors describe a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) that enables detection of 2-butoxyethanol (2BE), a pollutant associated with hydraulic fracturing contamination. Detection is based on a combination of a colloidal crystal templating and a molecular imprinting. The MIPs are shown to display higher binding capacity for 2BE compared to non-imprinted films (NIPs), with imprinting efficiencies of ∼ 2. The tests rely on the optical effects that are displayed by the uniformly ordered porous structure of the material. The reflectance spectra of the polymer films have characteristic Bragg peaks whose location varies with the concentration of 2BE. Peaks undergo longwave red shifts up to 50 nm on exposure of the MIP to 2BE in concentrations in the range from 1 ppb to 100 ppm. This allows for quantitative estimates of the 2BE concentrations present in aqueous solutions. The material is intended for use in the early detection of contamination at hydraulic fracturing sites.
KeywordsFracking Inverse opal films Colloidal crystal Optical detection UV reflectance
Compliance with ethical standards
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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