Through this proof-of-concept study, it is demonstrated that robust, water-soluble MOPs can be harnessed for removal of organic pollutants from water, in a pH-triggered fashion
Water pollution threatens human and environmental health worldwide. Thus, there is a pressing need for new approaches to water purification. Herein we report a novel supramolecular strategy based on the use of a metal organic polyhedron (MOP) as a capture agent to remove nitrogenous organic micropollutants from water, even at very low concentrations (ppm), based exclusively on coordination chemistry at the external surface of the MOP. Specifically, we exploit the exohedral coordination positions of Rh(II)-MOP to coordinatively sequester pollutants bearing N-donor atoms in aqueous solution, and then harness their exposed surface carboxyl groups to control their aqueous solubility via acid/base reactions. We validated this approach for removal of benzotriazole, benzothiazole, isoquinoline, and 1-napthylamine from water.