Water purification technologies possibly based on eco-sustainable, low cost, and multifunctional materials are being intensively pursued to resolve the current water scarcity and pollution. In this scenario, polysulfone hollow porous granules (PS-HPGs) prepared from scraps of the industrial production of polysulfone hollow fiber membranes were recently introduced as adsorbents and filtration materials for water and air treatment. Here, we report the functionalization of PS-HPGs with polydopamine (PD) nanoparticles for the preparation of a new versatile and efficient adsorbent material, namely, PSPD-HPGs. The in situ growth of PD under mild alkaline oxidative polymerization allowed us to stably graft PD on polysulfone granules. Enhanced removal efficiency of ofloxacin, an antibiotic drug, with an improvement up to 70% with respect to the pristine PS-HPGs, and removal of Zn(II) and Ni(II) were also observed after PD modification. Remarkably, removal of Cu(II) ions with an efficiency up to 80% was observed for PSPD-HPGs, whereas no adsorption was found for the PD-free precursor. Collectively, these data show that modification with a biocompatible polymer such as PD provides a simple and valuable tool to enlarge the field of application of polysulfone hollow granules for water remediation from both organic and metal cation contaminants.
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