ABSTRACT Radiation induced graft polymerization on polymeric matrix followed by functionalization is widely accepted for the preparation of metal adsorbents. In this paper, a pre-irradiation method was used for emulsion graft polymerization of 4-hydroxybutyl acrylate glycidylether (4-HB) onto polyethylene/polypropylene (PE/PP) nonwoven fabric. The degree of grafting (Dg) which can be calculated by weight increment was determined as a function of reaction time, irradiation dose, and monomer concentration. After 30 kGy irradiation, with 4-HB concentration of 5%, surfactant Span 20 of 0.5% at 40°C for 2 h, the trunk polymer was made grafted at a Dg of 135%. 4-HB-grafted PE/PP nonwoven fabric was modified by ethylenediamine (EDA) in isopropyl alcohol (IPA) as a solvent at 60°C. With a Dg of 135%, the amine group density of the adsorbent is 2.8 mmol/g. The adsorption test was carried out by batch experiment in several metal ion solutions, and the removal ratio from the EDA modified adsorbent of the metal ions is in the order of Cu2+ > Pb2+ > Zn2+ > Ni2+ > Li+. Compared with glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) which is a typical functional monomer for graft polymerization, 4-HB-grafted adsorbent exhibited not only better mechanical property but also higher adsorption capacity of Cu2+ and Pb2+.
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