Separation of dyes and proteins from water remains a significant challenge. Common absorbents without recyclability might bring secondary pollutions, which may be avoided by developing stimuli-responsive smart absorbents. Here in this work, a CO2-responsive polymer poly(2-(dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate) was grafted from cellulose fibers (Cell-g-PDEA). The chemical structure and surface morphology were confirmed with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction and scanning electron microscope. The CO2-sensitivity was demonstrated by monitoring the pH, surface Zeta potential and dispersed appearance under stimulus of CO2. Furthermore, the modified cellulose fibers were packed into a syringe to construct a smart separation column that reversibly captured and released anionic dyes and proteins from water under gas stimulus. Comparing with traditional pH or temperature responsive materials, the CO2-responsive cellulose fibers take the advantages on energy-saving, good reversibility and moderate running conditions, thus might find applications in smart separations, clinical diagnose and therapies.
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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21805178; 21805177), Chinese Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2019M653734), Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province (Nos. 2018JQ5104, 2019JM-124), Foundation for Selected Oversea Chinese Scholar in Shaanxi Province (No. 2017016), Open Project Program of National Demonstration Center for Experimental Light Chemistry Engineering Education (Grant No. 2018QGSJ02-17) and the advanced research fund of SUST (2016GBJ-14, BJ15-14).
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Liu, H., Yang, X., Wang, J. et al. Gas responsive cellulose fibers for capturing and releasing of dyes and proteins from water by packing a smart separation column. Cellulose (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-020-03277-5