Porous Polymers Containing Metallocalix[4]arene for the Extraction of Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines


We designed porous polymers with a tungsten-calix[4]arene imido complex as the nitrosamine receptor for the efficient extraction of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) from water. The interaction between the metallocalix[4]arene and the TSNA, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone, NNK) was investigated. We found that the incorporation of the nitrosamine receptor into porous polymers increased their selectivity toward NNK over nicotine. The polymer with an optimal ratio of calixarene-containing and porosity-inducing building blocks showed a high maximum adsorption capacity of up to 203 mg/g toward NNK under sonication, which was among the highest values reported. The adsorbed NNK could be removed from the polymer by soaking it in acetonitrile, enabling the adsorbent to be reused. A similar extraction efficiency to that under sonication could be achieved using the polymer-coated magnetic particles under stirring. We also proved that the material could efficiently extract TSNAs from real tobacco extract. This work not only provides an efficient material for the extraction of TSNAs but also offers a design strategy for efficient adsorbents

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