Synthesis of thiol-functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles for adsorption of Hg2+ from aqueous solution

  • Xinlong YanEmail author
  • Jinfeng Meng
  • Xiaoyan Hu
  • Rui Feng
  • Min Zhou
Brief Communication: Sol-gel and hybrid materials with surface modification for applications


Development of new adsorbents for efficient capturing of mercury (Hg(II)) ions from aqueous solution is of significant importance in environmental area. In this work, mesoporous silica nanoparticles with different morphologies (flower-like nanospheres with wrinkles, nanoparticles with concavities and sunken nanovesicles) were prepared and functionalized with 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane (MPTS). The as-prepared materials were characterized by different technics and applied for Hg2+ removal from aqueous solution. The sample with flower-like nanospheres morphology exhibited highest surface area and pore volume among the three silica samples, and the corresponding S-H groups functionalized nanospheres showed the highest adsorption capacity of 479 mg/g and fast adsorption rate for Hg2+. The isotherm and kinetics data fitted well with the Langmuir isotherm and the pseudo-second-order kinetics model, respectively. Furthermore, the above adsorbent could be easily regenerated and the regeneration efficiency could remain 94% up to three cycles of the regeneration.


  • Thiol-functionalized silica nanoparticles with different morphology were prepared.

  • The functionalized nanoparticles exhibited high Hg2+ adsorption capacity of 479 mg/g.

  • The thiol-functionalized silica can adsorb Hg2+ quickly and be regenerated easily.


Thiol functionalization Mesoporous silica Mercury Adsorption 



This work was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (no. 2018XKQYMS18) and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10971_2019_4923_MOESM1_ESM.docx (536 kb)
Supplementary Information


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xinlong Yan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jinfeng Meng
    • 1
  • Xiaoyan Hu
    • 1
  • Rui Feng
    • 1
  • Min Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Coal Processing and Efficient Utilization (Ministry of Education), School of Chemical Engineering & TechnologyChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuZhouChina

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