Research Topic

Functional Nanoporous Adsorbent Materials for Efficient Water and Wastewater Cleaning

About this Research Topic

The introduction of various harmful materials, such as heavy metals and organic chemicals from anthropogenic and industrial activities, has been the leading cause of water quality deterioration around the world. Thus, the elimination of these contaminants from water bodies in an effective and inexpensive manner is of utmost importance for providing sustainable access to clean and safe drinkable water. Among the available techniques to clean polluted water bodies, adsorption processes remain the preferred option for such a purpose, with the advantages of low cost and simple operation, high efficiency, and ready adaptability for industrial wastewater treatment. To date, the applications of the adsorption process for the removal of heavy metal ions and organic chemicals (e.g., dyes, aromatic hydrocarbons, etc.) are mainly conducted using activated carbons and agricultural biomass. In practical terms, the adsorption performance of these conventional adsorbents in water/wastewater treatment is still limited due to the high cost of the former and the low adsorption capacity of the latter. Therefore, affordable alternative adsorbent materials with enhanced adsorption capacity are still in urgent need.


Nanoporous adsorbents with both a large surface area and tunable porosity and functionality have been demonstrated to possess both high uptake capacity and fast removal rate, which offer great potential to sequester pollutants to levels below the drinking water standards. Some archetypal examples of these adsorbents are metal-organic frameworks, hierarchical porous carbons, and nanoclays. In recent years, significant progress has been made in the surface functionalization and pore engineering of these adsorbent materials to achieve rapid, efficient, and selective removal of pollutants not only in the model wastewater systems but also in real environmental water samples. Many exciting new developments and material innovation strategies for improving the removal performance are expected to proceed in the near future that may bring a revolutionary impact in the field of water pollutant remediation.


This Research Topic will feature a collection of comprehensive and high quality studies dealing with the preparation, characterization, and application of advanced nanoporous adsorbent materials (e.g., hierarchical nanostructured carbons, metal-organic and covalent organic frameworks, nanoclays, etc.) in the adsorptive removal of heavy metal ions and organic pollutants including dyes, aromatic hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, etc. from water and wastewater. Studies on the porous organic-inorganic nanocomposites with exceptional adsorption and other useful properties are also considered. Other appropriate topics include the surface functionalization and pore engineering strategies of aforementioned adsorbent materials toward enhancement of adsorption performance. Original and novel contributions in the forms of Original Research articles and Reviews are welcomed.


Keywords: Adsorption, Metal-organic frameworks, Hierarchical porous carbons, Surface functionalization, Porous structure


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The introduction of various harmful materials, such as heavy metals and organic chemicals from anthropogenic and industrial activities, has been the leading cause of water quality deterioration around the world. Thus, the elimination of these contaminants from water bodies in an effective and inexpensive manner is of utmost importance for providing sustainable access to clean and safe drinkable water. Among the available techniques to clean polluted water bodies, adsorption processes remain the preferred option for such a purpose, with the advantages of low cost and simple operation, high efficiency, and ready adaptability for industrial wastewater treatment. To date, the applications of the adsorption process for the removal of heavy metal ions and organic chemicals (e.g., dyes, aromatic hydrocarbons, etc.) are mainly conducted using activated carbons and agricultural biomass. In practical terms, the adsorption performance of these conventional adsorbents in water/wastewater treatment is still limited due to the high cost of the former and the low adsorption capacity of the latter. Therefore, affordable alternative adsorbent materials with enhanced adsorption capacity are still in urgent need.


Nanoporous adsorbents with both a large surface area and tunable porosity and functionality have been demonstrated to possess both high uptake capacity and fast removal rate, which offer great potential to sequester pollutants to levels below the drinking water standards. Some archetypal examples of these adsorbents are metal-organic frameworks, hierarchical porous carbons, and nanoclays. In recent years, significant progress has been made in the surface functionalization and pore engineering of these adsorbent materials to achieve rapid, efficient, and selective removal of pollutants not only in the model wastewater systems but also in real environmental water samples. Many exciting new developments and material innovation strategies for improving the removal performance are expected to proceed in the near future that may bring a revolutionary impact in the field of water pollutant remediation.


This Research Topic will feature a collection of comprehensive and high quality studies dealing with the preparation, characterization, and application of advanced nanoporous adsorbent materials (e.g., hierarchical nanostructured carbons, metal-organic and covalent organic frameworks, nanoclays, etc.) in the adsorptive removal of heavy metal ions and organic pollutants including dyes, aromatic hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, etc. from water and wastewater. Studies on the porous organic-inorganic nanocomposites with exceptional adsorption and other useful properties are also considered. Other appropriate topics include the surface functionalization and pore engineering strategies of aforementioned adsorbent materials toward enhancement of adsorption performance. Original and novel contributions in the forms of Original Research articles and Reviews are welcomed.


Keywords: Adsorption, Metal-organic frameworks, Hierarchical porous carbons, Surface functionalization, Porous structure


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2021 Abstract
01 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2021 Abstract
01 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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