Chelating Ion Exchangers: Theory and Applications

  • Dhiraj Sud


The lack of selectivity, sensitivity, and capacity of the conventional ion exchange resins particularly for trace heavy metal ions had led to the development of metal-ion-specific exchange resins known as chelating ion exchangers or chelating ion exchange resins. The chelating ion exchangers are the polymers covalently bonded to ligands forming complexes with metal ions through functional groups. The chelating ion exchangers consist essentially of two components – polymeric matrix and chelating ligands. A variety of polymeric matrices, namely, inorganic (silica) and organic – both natural and synthetic [polystyrene divinyl benzene (PS-DVB), polymethacrylate (PMA)] – have been employed for the synthesis of chelating exchangers. Most of the commercially available chelating exchangers are silica- or PS-DVB-based and have diverse applications. A large number of diversified chelating ligands may be employed for the synthesis of chelating exchangers, such as the carbamates, β-diketones, diamine, iminodiacetic acid and amino acids, aldoxime, aminophosphonic acids, various azo-triphenylmethane dyes, and 8-hydroxyl quinolinol. These chelating ligands are incorporated into a polymeric matrix by different methods. The chelation exchange mechanisms are found to be slower than ion exchange, and efficient separations are possible only by the choice of the correct chelating functional group. Furthermore, the chelating ligand should have a broad spectrum of chelating action and have no special selectivity for one or two metal ions. The structure, coordination chemistry, and applications of most commonly employed chelating ion exchangers have been discussed. Chelating ion exchangers containing iminodiacetic acid (IDA) chelating group have been the most studied for metal separations. The efficiency and versatility of another chelating exchanger containing the chelating ligand aminophosphonate have been addressed. The development of new chelating ion exchange materials with special chelating properties can provide better kinetics of interaction between metal ion and chelating groups, and better understanding of their coordination chemistry for surfaces can revolutionized the domain of chromatographic separations and analysis of trace metal ions particularly from complex matrices.


Acid Functional Group Chelate Ligand Iminodiacetic Acid Macroporous Resin Methyl Phosphonic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistrySant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, (Deemed to be University)LongowalIndia

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