A Biopolymer Based 3D Printable Hydrogel for Toxic Metal Adsorption from Water
Herein, we describe a 3D
printable hydrogel that is capable of
removing toxic metal pollutants from water
solutions. To achieve this, shear-thinning
hydrogels were prepared by blending
chitosan with diacrylated Pluronic F-127 (F127-DA) which allows for UV curing after printing. Several hydrogel compositions were tested for their ability to absorb common metal pollutants such as lead, copper, cadmium and mercury, as well as for their printability. These hydrogels displayed excellent metal adsorption with some examples capable of up to 95% metal removal within 30 min. We show that 3D printed hydrogel structures that would be difficult to fabricate by conventional manufacturing methods, can adsorb metal ions significantly faster than solid objects, owing to their higher accessible surface areas.