Jiemin Wang1 Jian Hao1 2 Dan Liu1 Cheng Chen1 Weiwei Lei1

1, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
2, School of Physics and Electronic Engineering, Xuzhou, , China

Nowadays, the commercial organic dyes in the industrial waste water are posing serious issue to the environment. To address this problem, nanomaterials with high surface areas and large pore volumes are preferred as effective dye absorbents for waste water remediation. In the previous study, porous boron nitride (BN) nanosheets or foams have exhibited impressive dye adsorption ability.1,2,3 Analogous to BN but semi-conductive,4,5 it is expected that porous boron carbon nitride (BCN) nanomaterials could also serve as efficient dye absorbents. In addition, the rational structure design of nanomaterials for dye removal is also essential. Recently, one dimensional (1D) porous BCN nanoscrolls are reported to be highly efficient in dye adsorption.6 The hierarchical porosity is tailored by adding pore-forming agent: poly (ethylene oxide-co-propylene oxide) (P123). Meanwhile, P123 facilitates the pre-forming nanosheets to be curly during the reaction. Consequently, the as-prepared BCN nanomaterials show stamen-like nanoscrolls morphology with both micro and meso pores inside. Excellent adsorption capacity of Congo red (620 mg g−1) and of methylene blue (250 mg g−1) could be achieved from the BCN nanoscrolls. Remarkably, mimicking the water uptake of rootstock, the rolled scroll structure is beneficial to trap the impurities and impede the dye release after the initial adsorption process. Meanwhile, the dye molecules could be easily filled into the hollow cone through the hierarchical pores. After water treatment, the flower stamen-like architecture still remains unchanged, demonstrating the high stability. Interestingly, different from insulated BN, the conductive BCN nanoscrolls place the potential to be electronic-detector. To construct it, a bulk BCN nanoscrolls column is firstly fabricated by pressing the nanomaterials powders in the mould. And the conductivity or resistance of the BCN column could be dynamically monitored through sensors. When the adsorption of dyes reaches saturation, the conductivity would become minimum and steady, thus realizing the practical real-time dye removal and water purification.
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2 D. Liu, W. Lei, S. Qin, Y. Chen, Sci. rep. 2014, 4, 4453.
3 W. Lei, D. Liu, Y. Chen, Adv. Mater. Interfaces 2015, 2, 1400529.
4 J. Wang, J. Hao, D. Liu, S. Qin, D. Portehault, Y. Lin, Y. Chen, W. Lei, ACS Energy Lett. 2017, 2, 306.
5 J. Wang, C. Chen, C. Yang, Y. Fan, D. Liu, W. Lei, Curr.Graph.Sci. 2017, 1, 1.
6 J. Wang, J. Hao, D. Liu, S. Qin, C. Chen, C. Yang, Y. Liu, T. Yang, Y. Fan, Y. Chen, W. Lei
Nanoscale 2017, 9, 9787.