Efficient removal of aqueous pharmaceutical pollutants by a robust anionic zirconium ellagate framework

25 May 2022, Version 1


Emerging organic contaminants (EOCs) in water, such as pharmaceutical compounds, are of growing environmental concern and there is a need to develop new materials and technologies for their efficient removal. A highly porous and exceptionally stable anionic zirconium ellagate metal-organic framework (MOF), denoted SU-102, was developed and utilized to remove EOCs from water, including real municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent. SU-102 adsorbs cationic EOCs with particularly high efficiencies and of the 17 pharmaceutical EOCs detected in WWTP effluent all 9 cationic species were removed with efficiencies of at least 79.0-99.6%, emphasizing the significance of framework charge on selectivity. As a second mechanism of EOC removal, SU-102 photodegraded the antibiotic sulfamethazine under visible light. SU-102 is synthesized from ellagic acid, an edible polyphenol building unit, highlighting the possibility of creating stable high-performance multifunctional materials from sustainably sourced plant-based components.


metal-organic frameworks
electron diffraction
water treatment

Supplementary materials

Supplementary information
Supplemental figures and tables


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