Amination of Non-Functional Polyvinyl Chloride Polymer Using Polyethyleneimine for Removal of Phosphorus from Aqueous Solution

Sok Kim, Yun Hwan Park, Yoon E. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The eutrophication of freshwater environments caused by an excess inflow of phosphorus has become a serious environmental issue because it is a crucial factor for the occurrence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in essential water resources. The adsorptive removal of phosphorus from discharged phosphorus containing effluents has been recognized as one of the most promising solutions in the prevention of eutrophication. In the present study, a polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-polyethyleneimine (PEI) composite fiber (PEI-PVC) was suggested as a stable and recoverable adsorbent for the removal of phosphorus from aqueous phases. The newly introduced amine groups of the PEI-PVC were confirmed by a comparison between the FT-IR and XPS results of the PVC and PEI-PVC. The phosphorus sorption on the PEI-PVC was pH dependent. At the optimum pH for phosphorus adsorption (pH 5), the maximum adsorption capacity of the PEI-PVC fiber was estimated to be 11.2 times higher (19.66 ± 0.82 mg/g) than that of conventional activated carbon (1.75 ± 0.4 mg/g) using the Langmuir isotherm model. The phosphorus adsorption equilibrium of the PEI-PVC was reached within 30 min at pH 5. From the phosphorus-loaded PEI-PVC, 97.4% of the adsorbed amount of phosphorus on the PEI-PVC could be recovered by employing a desorption process using 1M HCl solution without sorbent destruction. The regenerated PEI-PVC through the desorption process maintained a phosphorus sorption capacity almost equal to that of the first use. In addition, consistently with the PVC fiber, the PEI-PVC fiber did not elute any toxic chlorines into the solution during light irradiation. Based on these results, the PEI-PVC fiber can be suggested as a feasible and stable adsorbent for phosphorus removal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1645
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 1


  • adsorbent
  • adsorption
  • phosphorus
  • polyethyleneimine (PEI)
  • polyvinyl chloride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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