HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Paris, France or Virtually from your home or work.
Kumuthini Chandrasekaram, Speaker at Green Engineering Events
University of Malaya, Malaysia
Title : Sporopollenin-Methylimidazolium Biosorbent based Mixed Matrix Membrane for Dispersive Membrane Microextraction


Biosorbents are biological materials used in the biosorption process for the removal of pollutants from aqueous mediums. Sporopollenin is a natural biopolymer that occurs in the outer membranes of moss, fern spores, and most pollen grains. Sporopollenin exines essentially serve as simple micro-particles that are resilient, uniform, and have a multifunctional and highly decorated surface with an accessible chamber that can be filled with a variety of polar and non-polar actives. The exine thus promotes the possibility of surface modifications aimed towards targeted selectivity. Ionic liquids are distinctively famous for their physicochemical features, which empower them with high potential to work in tandem with various compounds of different polarity, hydrophobicity, and viscosity. Sporopollenin supported ionic liquid is a new venture to obtain liquid containing solid materials that do not evaporate, made through surface modification of the porous biopolymer. The focal point of this study is on the development of sporopollenin-methylimidazolium ionic liquids (Sp-MIM) based mixed matrix membrane (Sp-MIM-MMM) for simultaneous dispersive membrane microextraction (DMME) of nitro- and chloro-substituted phenols from various matrixes followed by determination using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The Sp-MIM particle phase was incorporated through dispersion onto CTA polymer matrix to form Sp-MIM-MMM. Targeted selectivity and sensitivity of the Sp-MIM-MMM towards the mono and disubstituted nitro and chlorophenol analytes were evident in the various sample matrix tested with quantified detection calculated at 14.4-154.7 ng/mL for liquid based-real samples and 17.4-34.4 μg/kg for solid based-real samples. The durability of the Sp-MIM-MMM is evident as it can be reused up to 10 cycles with constant extractive prowess. Whilst Sp-MIM being highly resilient and stable was regenerated from used MMM and recycled into new MMM with the simple approach of dissolution in dichloromethane. The proposed MMM hence eliminates the concern arising on secondary waste generation while promoting enhanced sustainability.

Audience take away:

  • Surface modification of naturally occurring biopolymer for targeted selectivity.
  • Covalent immobilization of ionic liquids onto solid support inhibiting leaching concerns without compromise to the role of ionic liquids in the adsorption.
  • Simple and efficient methodology of targeted substituted phenol analyte adsorption from various matrices.
  • Encouraging reusability potential with strong prospective biodegradability.


Ms. Kumuthini is a Research Officer affiliated with University Malaya Centre for Ionic Liquids (UMCiL), Universiti Malaya (UM), Malaysia. She completed her BSc Chem. (Hon) from UM and subsequently procured a scholarship with Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to complete her MSc Chem. (Palm Phytonutrients Analysis). She rejoined UM in 2009 as a Research Officer, prior to which she served as a Lecturer for Foundations and A-Levels Chemistry in a private institution. She has just recently submitted her thesis for her PhD in Analytical Chemistry and is waiting for her viva voce.