Extraction of Ibuprofen from Natural Waters Using a Covalent Organic Framework

SPS Fernandes and A Mellah and P Kovar and MP Sarria and M Psenicka and H Djamila and LM Salonen and B Espina, MOLECULES, 25, 3132 (2020).

DOI: 10.3390/molecules25143132

Ibuprofen is one of the most widely used pharmaceuticals, and due to its inefficient removal by conventional wastewater treatment, it can be found in natural surface waters at high concentrations. Recently, we demonstrated that the TpBD-(CF3)(2)covalent organic framework (COF) can adsorb ibuprofen from ultrapure water with high efficiency. Here, we investigate the performance of the COF for the extraction of ibuprofen from natural water samples from a lake, river, and estuary. In general, the complexity of the natural water matrix induced a reduction in the adsorption efficiency of ibuprofen as compared to ultrapure water. The best performance, with over 70% adsorption efficiency, was found in lake water, the sample which featured the lowest pH. According to the theoretical calculations, ibuprofen more favorably interacts with the COF pores in the protonated form, which could partially account for the enhanced adsorption efficiency found in lake water. In addition, we explored the effect of the presence of competing pharmaceuticals, namely, acetaminophen and phenobarbital, on the ibuprofen adsorption as binary mixtures. Acetaminophen and phenobarbital were adsorbed by TpBD-(CF3)(2)with low efficiency and their presence led to an increase in ibuprofen adsorption in the binary mixtures. Overall, this study demonstrates that TpBD-(CF3)(2)is an efficient adsorbent for the extraction of ibuprofen from natural waters as well.

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