Macromolecular Research

, Volume 19, Issue 7, pp 739–748 | Cite as

A pH-sensitive composite hydrogel based on sodium alginate and medical stone: Synthesis, swelling, and heavy metal ions adsorption properties

  • Tianpeng Gao
  • Wenbo Wang
  • Aiqin Wang


New pH-sensitive composite hydrogels were synthesized by free-radical graft copolymerization among sodium alginate (NaAlg), sodium acrylate (NaA), and medical stone (MS). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), tronsmission electron microscopy (TEM), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) analyses confirmed that NaA was grafted onto the NaAlg chains and MS participate in polymerization by its active silanol groups, and the surface morphologies and thermal stability was clearly improved after incorporating MS. The swelling capacity and rate of the hydrogel were clearly enhanced by introducing MS, and the intriguing deswelling in gelatin solution and “overflowing” behaviors in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and glycerin solutions were observed. In addition, the composite hydrogels exhibited excellent adsorption capacity on heavy metal ions, which enhanced the adsorption of Ni2+, Cu2+, Zn2+ and Cd2+ ions by 10.4, 8.0, 23.0, and 14.3 fold compared to active carbon (AC), and by 17.3, 16.0, 38.3 and 23.8 fold compared to MS, respectively. The biopolymer-based composite hydrogel can be used as a potential water-saving material and candidate of AC for heavy metal removal.


composite hydrogel sodium alginate medical stone swelling adsorption pH-sensitivity 


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Copyright information

© The Polymer Society of Korea and Springer Netherlands 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Eco-material and Green Chemistry, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouP.R. China
  2. 2.Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP.R. China
  3. 3.School of Chemistry and Environmental ScienceLanzhou City UniversityLanzhouP.R. China

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