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Molecular imprinting of caffeine on cellulose/silica composite and its characterization

Rajinder Singh Gill, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This dissertation presents a study to prepare molecularly imprinted inorganic/organic hybrid composite which not only confirm the higher binding capabilities for the target molecule (template) but also discriminate its structural analogs. Molecularly imprinted Cellulose/Silica composite (MIP) was prepared by using caffeine as the template. Silica derived from TEOS by using sol-gel techniques was deposited on cheap, abundant organic matrix such as cellulose, which can provide a filtering medium while coffee brewing. Removal of the template from the precursor was verified by Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (DRIFTS). Remarkably reduced intensity of -NH2 scissor like mode of caffeine and the presence of traces of "N" by elemental analysis, confirmed the complete removal of caffeine on washing with ethanol. Cellulose to TEOS mass ratio of 2:1 was found to be close to optimal during our analysis. Energy dispersive spectroscopy results leads to an important fact that the deposition of silica was stable even at 373 K. Focus was on the adsorption affinities of caffeine by MIP and was tested by performing relative adsorption of caffeine by MIP and blank (standard) using demountable path length cell in IR. It was observed that MIP showed almost 3-folds higher adsorption capabilities as compared to blank. The initial rate of adsorption of caffeine by MIP is much higher than blank which is one of the desirable feature according the its intended use. The higher adsorption of caffeine by MIP not only depends on the amount of silica deposited but also the available binding sites present on its surface. Selectivity of MIP was also verified by the competitive adsorption of caffeine and its structure analogs such as theophylline. Clearly, MIP showed greater and more rapid binding capabilities for caffeine than theophylline. At short contact times, the binding capability for caffeine is almost 1.8 times greater than the binding capabilities for theophylline.

Subject Area

Chemical engineering|Food science|Materials science

Recommended Citation

Gill, Rajinder Singh, "Molecular imprinting of caffeine on cellulose/silica composite and its characterization" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3201768.