2D water-stable zinc-benzimidazole framework nanosheets for ultrafast and selective removal of heavy metals

Rongming Xu, Meipeng Jian, Qinghua Ji, Chengzhi Hu, Chaochun Tang, Ruiping Liu, Xiwang Zhang, Jiuhui Qu

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Owning to the unique structure and dimensionality, two-dimensional (2D) layered nanosheets have received increasing research interests. In this study, for the first time, we evaluate the ability of water stable 2D zinc based metal-organic framework (MOF) nanosheets, Zn(Bim)(OAc), to capture heavy metals in the aquatic system. The obtained novel adsorbent exhibits an ultrathin structure with an average thickness of 7.05 nm. Owning to their ultrathin thickness and highly exposed active sites, the as-prepared ultrathin Zn(Bim)(OAc) nanosheets exhibit the maximum adsorption capacity of 253.8 mg/g for Pb(II) and 335.57 mg/g for Cu(II), respectively, which is far superior adsorptive uptake in contrast to their corresponding bulk-type MOF. Meanwhile, the saturation process was rapid, within 30 min for Cu(II) and 90 min for Pb(II). Intriguingly, Zn(Bim)(OAc) nanosheets own a remarkable selectivity for Pb(II) and Cu(II) over other heavy metal ions in the mixed system, which is attributed to the strong affinity of imino and hydroxyl groups for Pb(II) and Cu(II) within Zn(Bim)(OAc) nanosheets. This work highlights new prospects in designing ultrathin 2D nanoadsorbents for the use in environmental remediation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122658
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2020


  • Heavy metals
  • Metal-organic framework
  • Nanoadsorbent
  • Selective adsorption
  • Two-dimensional materials

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