A room temperature method to create large pore size and pore volume ordered mesoporous silica (MCM-41) is demonstrated. Template removal was achieved with a microwave digestion procedure using a solution of nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide. The silica product exhibited an ordered hexagonal mesostructure, large pore volume (up to 0.99 cm(3)/g), and large pore size (up to 6.74 nm) indicating its potential as a high capacity adsorbent. Surface modification, to enhance the ability of the material to extract potentially toxic metals (PTMs) from water was performed using different amino- and mercapto-functional groups. This paper reports on the extraction of lead ions from aqueous solution to demonstrate the material's significant improvement in adsorption capacity (up to 1000 mu mol g(-1) for lead). Moreover, methods have been developed to regenerate the sorbent allowing 100% recovery of Pb and reuse of the sorbent material in subsequent extractions. The performance of the material was also demonstrated for environmental samples containing relatively high concentrations (ppmv) of mixed metal ions reducing them to lower values (<100 ppbv) indicating that the sorbent may have applicability for environmental remediation of polluted water. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- microwave digestion