The phenoxy-amino ligands 2-(((2-(diethylamino)ethyl)amino)methyl)phenol (L1) and 2-(((2-mercaptoethyl)amino)methyl)-phenol (L2) were studied as model chelating agents for liquid-liquid extraction of copper(II), zinc(II), cadmium(II) and lead(II) cations from water using dichloromethane-water biphasic system. The relative affinities of these chelating ligands for copper(II), zinc(II), cadmium(II) and lead(II) by liquid-liquid extraction were found to be in the order copper(II)> zinc(II) > cadmium(II) > lead(II). The ligands L1 and L2 showed binding efficiencies ranging from 78%–97% for copper(II), 75%–91% for zinc(II), 76%–92% for cadmium(II) and 59%–67% for lead(II). The extraction protocol was successfully applied to sewage effluent.

  • Phenoxy-amino ligands (L1) and (L2) showed good potential as chelating agents for the removal of the heavy metals Cu(II), Zn(II), Pb(II), and Cd(II) from water.

  • Ligands L1 and L2 demonstrated their potential application in the extraction of Cu(II) and Zn(II) from sewage effluent.

  • The nature of the metal ion and ligand architecture influenced the extraction ability of the ligands.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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