Magnetically driven super durable superhydrophobic polyester materials for oil/water separation†
A facile approach for preparing magnetically driven durable superhydrophobic polyester materials is developed by simply dip-coating in a nanocomposite solution. The nanocomposite is prepared by the polymerization of tetraethoxysilane and n-hexadecyltriethoxysilane in the presence of the Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The coated magnetic samples exhibit excellent superhydrophobicity, superoleophilicity, and mechanical and chemical stability, owing to the tight binding of the nanocomposite on the polyester materials and the inherent stability of the polymerized organosilanes. The superhydrophobic materials can quickly absorb petrol, diesel and crude oil, and show very high selectivity in oil/water separation. In addition, the superhydrophobic materials could maintain their superhydrophobicity, oil absorption capacity and oil/water selectivity after a large amount of mechanical damage, 90 days of immersion in oil and ten cycles of absorption–desorption. Moreover, the coated sample can be magnetically driven to the polluted water zone using a magnet. Also, the facile approach can be easily scaled up for producing samples on a large scale, which makes it very promising for practical oil absorption.