Membrane-Based Sorbent for Heavy Metal Sequestration

Abstract

A process is provided for making membrane-based sorbents with enhanced binding activity that are particularly useful for heavy metal sequestration. The process includes the step of selectively hydrolyzing a polyacetylated membrane in order to deacetylate a surface layer of said membrane and expose free hydroxyl groups. This is followed by the oxidizing of the hydroxyl groups to aldehyde groups. This is then followed by the attaching of a polycarboxylic acid such as a polyamino acid, polyalkenoic acid or polypeptide to the membrane through the aldehyde groups. Preferably, the hydrolyzing step is completed under alkaline conditions and the oxidizing step is completed using an aqueous solution of sodium periodate

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