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Issue 24, 2016
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Ultrasoft gelatin aerogels for oil contaminant removal

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We demonstrated the preparation of a novel aerogel simply by cross-linking a gelatin physical gel with formaldehyde (cGel) and using a subsequent freeze-drying procedure. A hydrophobic absorbent material (MTCS-cGel aerogel) was further obtained by thermal chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of methyltrichlorosilane (MTCS). Rheological tests were carried out to investigate the cross-linking between gelatin and formaldehyde. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and wettability of oil and water results proved that successful silanization occurred on/in the aerogels. These results also indicated that the MTCS-cGels had low densities (5–8 kg m−3), high porosities (>95%) with uniform pore sizes, and unique laminar/fibrous 3D networks. The oleophilic aerogels possessed high oil absorption capacities of 70–123 times that of their dry weights. Furthermore, the absorbents exhibited excellent elasticity and ultrasoftness with a stress of only 2.0 kPa at 60% strain. This property endowed the aerogels with super-recyclability where 83–85% of their full absorption capacity was maintained after 5000 times of compression. The high oil absorption performance, super-recyclability, sustainability, biodegradability and cost-efficiency make this novel absorbent a promising candidate for large-scale oceanic oil contaminant removal.

Graphical abstract: Ultrasoft gelatin aerogels for oil contaminant removal

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The article was received on 16 Apr 2016, accepted on 20 May 2016 and first published on 23 May 2016

Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C6TA03146C
J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016,4, 9381-9389

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    Ultrasoft gelatin aerogels for oil contaminant removal

    J. Wang, D. Zhao, K. Shang, Y. Wang, D. Ye, A.-Hui Kang, W. Liao and Y. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016, 4, 9381
    DOI: 10.1039/C6TA03146C

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