Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 30, pp 23694–23703 | Cite as

Highly selective capture of phosphate ions from water by a water stable metal-organic framework modified with polyethyleneimine

  • Hui Qiu
  • Luyang Yang
  • Fengling Liu
  • Yunxia Zhao
  • LeLe Liu
  • Jinhong Zhu
  • Mingxia Song
Research Article


In this work, a series of polyethyleneimine (PEI) impregnated metal-organic framework (UiO-66) with varying PEI loadings were prepared and applied as sorbents to capture phosphate ions from water. As indicated by SEM and XRD analysis, PEI was dispersed on the outer surface and the inner pores of UiO-66. At 9.45% PEI loadings (UiO-66-3), the saturated adsorption capacity of phosphate reached 73.15 mg P/g at 298 K, which is superior to most sorbents ever reported. UiO-66-3 could sequestrate phosphate over a wide pH range from 2.0 to 7.0 with high efficiency. The sorption toward phosphate reached equilibrium in 50 min. Unlike commercial anion exchanger IRA-900, UiO-66-3 still exhibited high removal toward phosphate even large amount of coexisted anions were present. Successive sorption assay demonstrated that the removal efficiency of UiO-66-3 toward phosphate remained constant after six cyclic runs. All the above results indicated the great potential of UiO-66-3 as a promising sorbent for the decontamination of water from phosphate.


Adsorption Phosphate MOFs PEI 



This work was financially supported by NSFC (21607080, 51608277, 11305091), Jiangsu NSF (BK20160946, BK20150892), and Jiangsu Higher Education Institution NSF (16KJB610011, 15KJB610012). Meanwhile, this research was supported by A Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD), Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, Jiangsu Engineering Technology Research Center of Environmental Cleaning Materials, The Open Project of Jiangsu Engineering Technology Research Center of Environmental Cleaning Materials (No. KFK1506), and the Startup Foundation for Introducing Talent of Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (No. 2014r021).

Supplementary material

11356_2017_9946_MOESM1_ESM.docx (374 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 374 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hui Qiu
    • 1
  • Luyang Yang
    • 1
  • Fengling Liu
    • 1
  • Yunxia Zhao
    • 1
  • LeLe Liu
    • 1
  • Jinhong Zhu
    • 1
  • Mingxia Song
    • 1
  1. 1.Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology (CICAEET), School of Environmental Science and EngineeringNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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