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Issue 26, 2017
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A flexible, robust and antifouling asymmetric membrane based on ultra-long ceramic/polymeric fibers for high-efficiency separation of oil/water emulsions

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Abstract

Polymeric and ceramic asymmetric membranes have dominated commercial membranes for water treatment. However, polymeric membranes are prone to becoming fouled, while ceramic membranes are mechanically fragile. Here, we report a novel concept to develop asymmetric membranes based on ultra-long ceramic/polymeric fibers, with the combined merits of good mechanical stability, excellent fouling resistance and high oil/water selectivity, in order to meet the stringent requirements for practical oil/water separation. The ultra-long dimensions of ceramic nanofibers/polymeric microfibers endow this novel membrane with mechanical flexibility and robustness, due to the integrated and intertwined structure. This membrane is capable of separating oil/water emulsions with high oil-separation efficiency (99.9%), thanks to its nanoporous selective layer made of ceramic nanofibers. Further, this membrane also displays superior antifouling properties due to its underwater superoleophobicity and ultra-low oil adhesion of the ceramic-based selective layer. This membrane exhibits high water permeation flux (6.8 × 104 L m−2 h−1 bar−1) at low operation pressures, which is attributed to its 3-dimensional (3D) interconnected fiber-based structure throughout the membrane. In addition, the facile fabrication process and inexpensive materials required for this membrane suggest its significant potential for industrial applications.

Graphical abstract: A flexible, robust and antifouling asymmetric membrane based on ultra-long ceramic/polymeric fibers for high-efficiency separation of oil/water emulsions

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Apr 2017, accepted on 06 Jun 2017 and first published on 08 Jun 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR02364B
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017,9, 9018-9025
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    A flexible, robust and antifouling asymmetric membrane based on ultra-long ceramic/polymeric fibers for high-efficiency separation of oil/water emulsions

    K. Wang, W. Yiming, J. Saththasivam and Z. Liu, Nanoscale, 2017, 9, 9018
    DOI: 10.1039/C7NR02364B

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