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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bio-oils Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #287712

Title: Thioether-functionalized vegetable oils: Metal-absorbing biobased ligands

item Murray, Rex
item Bantchev, Grigor
item Dunn, Robert
item Ascherl, Kim
item Doll, Kenneth - Ken

Submitted to: ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2013
Publication Date: 6/3/2013
Citation: Murray, R.E., Bantchev, G.B., Dunn, R.O., Ascherl, K.L., Doll, K.M. 2013. Thioether-functionalized vegetable oils: Metal-absorbing biobased ligands. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. 1:562-565.

Interpretive Summary: Water availability and purity is an extremely important topic in the world today, and is anticipated to be of even greater future importance due to population growth. Unfortunately, modern society has produced sources of water contamination containing toxic elements such as arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and selenium which stem from the mining of metals and coal and other sources such as manufacturing. Our lab has developed a new agriculturally-based method to help deal with this problem. Vegetable oils can be chemically modified to include groups which will remove heavy metals from water and trap them in an oil layer which can be disposed of safely. For example, just a drop of thioether-functionalized corn oil will remove all of the metal from a small sample of simulated waste water in less than two hours. This process is an inexpensive and convenient way to utilize an agriculturally-based approach to solve a serious problem relating to heavy metal pollution and water purification.

Technical Abstract: Vegetable oils containing thioether groups have been synthesized and used to effectively remove a heavy metal ion from an aqueous solution. The use of thioether-functionalized corn oil (TF-corn oil) and thioether-functionalized canola oil (TF-canola oil) were both effective in the extraction of Ag+ from a 600 ppm aqueous silver nitrate solution. The TF-corn oil reduced the observed silver in solution to a level below the detection limit, whereas the TF-canola oil was only able to remove slightly over one-half of the concentration. A study of the absorption rate is also reported, where both the TF-corn oil and the TF-canola oil removed the Ag+ rapidly at nearly the same rate. Preliminary results suggests that the efficacy and capacity of silver removal relates directly to the fatty acid composition of the oil precursor.