Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 22, pp 18421–18433 | Cite as

Removal of the emerging contaminant bisphenol A by an ureasil–PEO hybrid membrane: experimental study and molecular dynamic simulation

  • Lilian K. de OliveiraEmail author
  • André L. A. Moura
  • Valdir Barbosa
  • Renato L. T. Parreira
  • Rodrigo S. Banegas
  • Giovanni F. Caramori
  • Katia J. Ciuffi
  • Eduardo F. Molina
Research Article


This work reports the use of a cross-linked ureasil–PEO hybrid matrix (designated PEO800) as an efficient adsorbent to retain the emerging contaminant bisphenol A (BPA) from an aqueous medium. The in-deep experimental and theoretical results provide information about the interactions between PEO800 and BPA. The in situ UV-vis spectroscopy data and the pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order, Elovich, and Morris–Webber intraparticle diffusion models allowed us to propose a three-step mechanism for the adsorption of BPA onto PEO800. The results indicate that the pseudo-first-order kinetic model effectively describes the adsorption of BPA onto PEO800. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy confirmed the interaction of PEO800 with BPA, showing an alteration in the chemical environment of the polymer ether oxygen atoms present in the hybrid matrix. The molecular dynamic simulation provides further evidence that the BPA molecules interact preferentially with PEO. The amount of desorbed BPA depended on the pH and solvent used in the assays. This work provides new opportunities for using the hydrophilic ureasil–PEO matrix which has demonstrated its abilities in being a fast and easy alternative to successfully removing organic contaminants from aqueous mediums and therefore having potential applications in water remediation.

Graphical abstract


Organic–inorganic hybrid Bisphenol A Adsorption 



We acknowledge the financial support received from the Brazilian agencies CAPES, CNPq, and FAPESP (Project 2013/20455-2 and 2016/01501-1). We would like to thank Huntsman Performed Products for donating Jeffamines. We thank Dr. Fábio L. Pissetti (Departamento de Ciências Exatas Universidade Federal de Alfenas—Unifal-MG) for helping in DSC data collection efforts.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2017_9434_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1028 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lilian K. de Oliveira
    • 1
    Email author
  • André L. A. Moura
    • 1
  • Valdir Barbosa
    • 1
  • Renato L. T. Parreira
    • 1
  • Rodrigo S. Banegas
    • 2
  • Giovanni F. Caramori
    • 2
  • Katia J. Ciuffi
    • 1
  • Eduardo F. Molina
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade de FrancaFrancaBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de QuímicaUniversidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Campus Universitário TrindadeFlorianópolisBrazil

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