Molecular imprint polymers (MIPs) have applications in wastewater treatment. The current focus of this research project is synthesizing MIPs that bind small molecule, organic contaminants with an emphasis on caffeine. The imprint polymer for caffeine is synthesized from a solution of acetonitrile, acrylamide, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA), caffeine, and Azo(bis)isobutyronitrile (AIBN) that is purged with nitrogen and polymerized and cross-linked in a variable-temperature oven for a period of time1. The caffeine template is extracted from the polymer by Soxhlet extraction and then the imprinted polymer is then placed in various standard solutions of caffeine (10-30 ppm) for approximately 48 hours. The samples are analyzed by UVVisible spectroscopy to determine the amount of caffeine the imprint polymer has absorbed. Both the control and caffeine MIP managed to absorb approximately 20 nanomoles of caffeine per mg of polymer.
Poster, Final Report Form, Research Report