Graphene-based Janus Micromotors for Dynamic Removal of Pollutants

Jahir Orozco, Luiza Mercante, Roberto Pol and Arben Merkoçi . J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016,4, 3371-3378

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are ubiquitous in the environment as a result of modern industrial processes. We present an effective POPs decontamination strategy based on its dynamic adsorption at the surface of reduced graphene oxide (rGO)-coated silica (SiO2)-Pt Janus magnetic micromotors for their proper final disposition. While the motors rapidly move in a contaminated solution, the adsorption of POPs is efficiently taking place in a very short time. Characterization of the micromotors both from the materials and from the motion point of view was performed. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy) phenol (triclosan) were chosen as model POPs and the removal of the contaminants efficiently achieved. rGO-coated micromotors demonstrated to have superior adsorbent properties respect to the concomitant GO-coated micromotors, static rGO-coated particles and dynamic silica micromotors counterparts. The extent of decontamination was studied upon number of micromotors, whose magnetic properties were used for their collection from environmental samples. The adsorption properties were kept for 4 cycles of micromotors reuse. The new rGO-coated SiO2 functional material-based micromotors showed outstanding capabilities for removal of POPs and their further disposition, opening up new possibilities for the efficient environmental remediation of these hazardous compounds.

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