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Removal of formaldehyde from air using functionalized silica supports

Ewlad-Ahmed, Abdunaser and Morris, Michael A. and Patwardhan, Siddharth and Gibson, Lorraine (2012) Removal of formaldehyde from air using functionalized silica supports. Environmental Science and Technology, 46 (24). pp. 13354-13360. ISSN 0013-936X

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Abstract

This paper demonstrates the use of functionalized meso-silica materials (MCM-41 or SBA-15) as adsorbents for formaldehyde (H2CO) vapor from contaminated air. Additionally new green nanosilica (GNs) materials were prepared via a bioinspired synthesis route and were assessed for removal of H2CO from contaminated indoor air. These exciting new materials were prepared via rapid, 5 min, environmentally friendly synthesis routes avoiding any secondary pollution. They provided an excellent platform for functionalization and extraction of H2CO demonstrating similar performance to the conventional meso-silica materials. To the authors’ knowledge this is the first reported practical application of this material type. Prior to trapping, all materials were functionalized with amino-propyl groups which led to chemisorption of H2CO; removing it permanently from air. No retention of H2CO was achieved with nonfunctionalized material and it was observed that best extraction performance required a dynamic adsorption setup when compared to passive application. These results demonstrate the first application of GNs as potential adsorbents and functionalized meso-silica for use in remediation of air pollution in indoor air.