Highly Defective UiO-66 Materials for the Adsorptive Removal of Perfluorooctanesulfonate

Chelsea A. Clark, Kimberly N. Heck, Camilah D. Powell, Michael S. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) is a persistent organic pollutant that is bioaccumulative and toxic. While its use in most countries has been restricted to certain industrial applications due to environmental and health concerns, chrome plating and semiconductor manufacturing facilities are industrial point sources of PFOS-containing wastewater. Current remediation technologies are ineffective at treating these highly concentrated industrial effluents. In this work, UiO-66 metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) of several defect concentrations were studied as sorbents for the removal of PFOS from concentrated aqueous solutions. PFOS sorption isotherms indicated that defective UiO-66, prepared with HCl as a modulator, had a maximum Langmuir sorption capacity of 1.24 mmol/g, which was ∼2× greater than powdered activated carbon (PAC), but ∼2× less than that of a commercial ion-exchange resin. Defective UiO-66 adsorbed PFOS 2 orders of magnitude faster than the ion-exchange resin. Large pore defects (∼16 and ∼20 Å) within the framework were critical to the increased adsorption capacity due to higher internal surface area and an increased number of coordinatively unsaturated Zr sites to bind the PFOS head groups. Of the common co-contaminants in chrome plating wastewaters, chloride ions have a negligible effect on PFOS sorption, while sulfate and hexavalent chromium anions compete for cationically charged adsorption sites. These materials were also effective adsorbents for the shorter-chain homologue, perfluorobutanesulfonate (PFBS). The enhanced PFOS and PFBS adsorptive properties of UiO-66 highlight the advantage of structurally defective MOFs as a water treatment approach toward environmental sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6619-6628
Number of pages10
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption
  • Defect
  • Metal-organic frameworks
  • Perfluoroalkyl substance
  • Perfluorobutanesulfonate
  • Perfluorooctanesulfonate
  • UiO-66

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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