Rapid Mercury(II) Removal by Electrospun Sulfur Copolymers

Michael Thielke, Lindsey Bultema, Daniel Brauer, Bernadette Richter, Markus Fischer, Patrick Theato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)
153 Downloads (Pure)


Electrospinning was performed with a blend of commercially available poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and a sulfur-rich copolymer based on poly(sulfur-statistical-diisopropenylbenzene), which was synthesized via inverse vulcanization. The polysulfide backbone of sulfur-containing polymers is known to bind mercury from aqueous solutions and can be utilized for recycling water. Increasing the surface area by electrospinning can maximize the effect of binding mercury regarding the rate and maximum uptake. These fibers showed a mercury decrease of more than 98% after a few seconds and a maximum uptake of 440 mg of mercury per gram of electrospun fibers. These polymeric fibers represent a new class of efficient water filtering systems that show one of the highest and fastest mercury uptakes for electrospun fibers reported.
Original languageEnglish
Article number266
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2016


  • polysulfide
  • mercury removal
  • sulfur
  • inverse vulcanization
  • electrospinning


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