Anti-corrosive hierarchical structured copper mesh film with superhydrophilicity and underwater low adhesive superoleophobicity for highly efficient oil–water separation†
Recently, oil–water separation has become an important subject due to the increasing incidence of oil spill accidents. Separating films with underwater superoleophobicity have aroused much interest due to their special oil-repellent and anti-fouling properties. Good environmental stability, such as anti-corrosive ability, is very important for these films in practical applications, because water is in contact with these films intimately during the separating process. Until now, almost all reported separating films with anti-corrosive abilities are made of polymers, and related inorganic separating materials are still rare. In this work, through a simple electrodeposition process, a novel porous structured copper mesh film was prepared. The film shows superhydrophilicity in air and low-adhesive superoleophobicity in water. Using the film for oil–water separation, the separation efficiency is higher than 99% for various oil–water mixtures. Importantly, after immersion into corrosive solutions such as acidic and basic solutions, the wetting properties and the separating performances of the film showed no apparent variation, indicating that the as-prepared film has a good environmental stability. This paper reports a new separating film for oil–water mixtures; the special anti-corrosive properties allow it to be used in many other practical applications, such as anti-fouling, filtration and sewage treatment.