Chemical Engineering Journal, Vol.370, 1218-1227, 2019
A durable underwater superoleophobic and underoil superhydrophobic fabric for versatile oil/water separation
Quick and on-demand oil/water separation by superwetting materials has attracted wide attention in recent years. Herein, an underoil superhydrophobic and underwater superoleophobic cotton fabric was used for highly efficient and versatile oil/water separation, such as heavy oil/water separation, light oil/water separation, water-in-oil emulsion separation and oil-in-water emulsion separation, and even immiscible organic solvents separation. The fabric was fabricated via a simple two-step approach, including a vapor-liquid sol-gel process to deposit silica with thiols (SiO2-SH) particles, and a followed thiol-ene click reaction to graft 2-(dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) and shows an underoil water contact angle (UOWCA) of 162 degrees and an underwater oil contact angle (UWOCA) of 162 degrees. Importantly, the fabric is able to maintain its high UOWCA and UWOCA after 120 h UV irradiation, 1000 g sand impact and after separately immersed in acid, base, neutral and NaCl solution for 168 h as well as various organic solvents for 240 h. The fabric with simple fabrication, excellent durability and versatile separation abilities might has potential application in various liquids separation.