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Issue 43, 2018, Issue in Progress
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Biomimetic fabrication of superhydrophobic loofah sponge: robust for highly efficient oil–water separation in harsh environments

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Abstract

Oil/water separation has become an increasingly important field due to frequent industrial oily wastewater emission and crude oil spill accidents. Herein, we fabricate a robust superhydrophobic loofah sponge via a versatile, environmentally friendly, and low-cost dip coating strategy, which involves the modification of commercial loofah sponge with waterborne polyurea and fused SiO2 nanoparticles without the modification of any toxic low-surface-energy compound. The as-prepared loofah sponge showed excellent superhydrophobic/superoleophilic properties and exhibited robustness for effective oil–water separation in extremely harsh environments (such as 1 M HCl, 1 M NaOH, saturated NaCl solution and hot water higher than 95 °C) due to the remarkably high chemical stability. In addition, the as-prepared loofah sponge was capable of excellent anti-fouling, has self-cleaning ability and could act as the absorber for effective separation of surfactant-free oil-in-water emulsions. More importantly, the as-prepared loofah sponge demonstrated remarkable robustness against strong sandpaper abrasion and finger wipes, while retaining its superhydrophobicity and efficient oil/water separation efficiency even after more than 50 abrasion cycles. This facile and green synthesis approach presented here has the advantage of large-scale fabrication of a multifunctional biomass-based adsorbent material as a promising candidate in anti-fouling, self-cleaning, and versatile water–oil separation.

Graphical abstract: Biomimetic fabrication of superhydrophobic loofah sponge: robust for highly efficient oil–water separation in harsh environments

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 May 2018, accepted on 05 Jun 2018 and first published on 05 Jul 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8RA04336A
Citation: RSC Adv., 2018,8, 24297-24304
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Biomimetic fabrication of superhydrophobic loofah sponge: robust for highly efficient oil–water separation in harsh environments

    M. Yu, B. Lin, S. Chen, Q. Deng, G. Liu and Q. Wang, RSC Adv., 2018, 8, 24297
    DOI: 10.1039/C8RA04336A

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

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