Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 223, Issue 4, pp 1713–1722 | Cite as

Comparative Study of the Adsorption Selectivity of Cr(VI) onto Cationic Hydrogels with Different Functional Groups

  • Samuel C. N. Tang
  • Irene M. C. LoEmail author
  • Mark S. H. Mak


Two types of hydrogels with different functional groups, trimethylamine on quaternary ammonium and dimethylethoxyamine on quaternary ammonium, were synthesized. Type 1 and type 2 hydrogels were characterized with Fourier transform infrared, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and zeta potential analysis. The anion selectivity of these two hydrogels was investigated. The surface charges of the type 2 hydrogel were lower than those of type 1, probably because of the presence of the hydroxyl group in the ethoxy group. The Cr(VI) removal capacity of type 2 hydrogel was, therefore, less than that of type 1 hydrogel, although their adsorption rates were similar. The anion selectivity of the hydrogels was found to have a similar order: Cr(VI) > sulphate > bromide > As(V). Under the co-presence of Cr(VI) and sulphate conditions, type 2 hydrogel shows a higher selectivity towards Cr(VI). The higher hydrophobicity was caused by the presence of the ethoxy group on the quaternary ammonium in type 2 hydrogel and thus increased in selectivity towards monovalent ions (i.e. HCrO 4 ). In addition, the hydrogels have a high reusability. Compared with type 1 hydrogel, type 2 hydrogel has an advantage for applications in Cr(VI) removal and recovery processes.


Cationic hydrogel Chromium Ion exchange Selectivity 



The authors wish to thank the Research Grants Council of the HKSAR Government for providing financial support for this research study under General Research Fund 617309.

Supplementary material

11270_2011_977_MOESM1_ESM.doc (2.7 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 2724 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel C. N. Tang
    • 1
  • Irene M. C. Lo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark S. H. Mak
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringThe Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong KongChina

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