Fabrication of hydrophobic NiFe2O4@poly(DVB–LMA) sponge via a Pickering emulsion template method for oil/water separation†
Super-hydrophobic porous absorbents are convenient, low-cost, efficient and environment-friendly materials in the treatment of oil spills. In this work, a simple Pickering emulsion template method was employed to fabricate an interconnected porous poly(DVB–LMA) sponge. A new co-Pickering stabilization system of Span 80 and NiFe2O4 nanoparticles was used to prepare ultra-concentrated internal phase water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions. After further polymerization, the resulting sponges were generated, which exhibited excellent adsorption selectivity due to the super-hydrophobicity and super-lipophilicity. Furthermore, the characterization results indicated that the composites had superior thermal stability, low density, high porosity and a flexible three-dimensional porous structure. Besides, the addition of nickel ferrite nanoparticles provided the materials with extra magnetic operability. High oil adsorption capacity (up to 36.9–84.2 g g−1), high oil retention, fast adsorption rate and superior reusability allowed the materials to be applied in the treatment of oily water.