Porous Polycalix[ n]arenes as Environmental Pollutant Removers

Salma Abubakar, Tina Skorjanc, Dinesh Shetty, Ali Trabolsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new and innovative class of calixarene-based polymers emerged as adsorbents for a variety of compounds and ions in solution and vapor media. These materials take advantage of the modifiable rims and hydrophobic cavities of the calixarene monomers, in addition to the porous nature of the polymeric matrix. With main-chain calixarenes' function as supramolecular hosts and the polymers' high surface areas, polycalixarenes can effectively encapsulate target analytes. This feature is particularly useful for environmental remediation as dangerous and toxic molecules reversibly bind to the macrocyclic cavity, which facilitates their removal and enables repeated use of the polymeric sorbent. This Spotlight touches on the unique characteristics of the calixarene monomers and discusses the synthetic methods of our reported calixarene-based porous polymers, including Sonogashira-Hagihara coupling, and diazo and imine bond formation. It then discusses the promising applications of these materials in adsorbing dyes, micropollutants, iodine, mercury, paraquat, and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) from water. In most cases, these reports cover materials that outperform others in terms of recyclability, rates of adsorption, or uptake capacities of specific pollutants. Finally, this Spotlight addresses the current challenges and future aspects of utilizing porous polymers in pollution treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14802-14815
Number of pages14
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 7 2021


  • calixarene
  • pollutant removal
  • polycalixarenes
  • porous polymers
  • water purification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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