Ultra-light nanocomposite aerogels of bacterial cellulose and reduced graphene oxide for specific absorption and separation of organic liquids†
Novel materials based on sustainable materials with high absorption capacity are still rare for the separation of organic liquids or oil spills and water. In this report, ultra-light nanocomposite aerogels consisting of sustainable bacterial cellulose (BC) and graphene oxide (GO) were constructed after an eco-friendly freeze-drying process for the first time. Due to the hydrophilic properties of both materials and the highly porous structure, BC/GO aerogels could highly absorb not only organic liquids, such as cyclohexane and DMF, but also water. Specific absorption for organic liquids was achieved after the reduction of GO using H2 gas, which led to nanocomposite aerogels of BC and reduced GO. They could specifically absorb 135–150 g organic liquids per g of their own weight, even with a high content of 80% BC in the nanocomposite aerogel.