Oil loving membranes for oil spill clean-ups: Nanoscale article in Chemistry World

Researchers in China have made a new type of membrane that can separate oil from water and could potentially be used in oil spills, such as the one in the Gulf of Mexico. The membrane works by interacting differently with the substances as it is both superhydrophobic and superoleophilic, so that it repels water but attracts oil. This means that the oil is absorbed through the membrane, but the water can’t penetrate.

Oil and water separation using the membrane. The water and oil were dyed by methyl blue and oil red, respectively

The membrane is made from a polymerised fluorinated polybenzoxazine (F-PBZ) layer on top of cellulose acetate nanofibres. The scientists used an electrospinning technique (in which a viscous liquid is passed through a conducting needle to form a thread) to create a porous structure that makes the membrane even better at absorbing the oil.

Interested to know more? Read the full article in Chemistry World here…

Read the article from Nanoscale:

In situ polymerization approach to the synthesis of superhydrophobic and superoleophilic nanofibrous membranes for oil/water separation
Yanwei Shang ,  Yang Si ,  Aikifa Raza ,  Liping Yang ,  Xue Mao ,  Bin Ding and Jianyong Yu
Nanoscale, 2012, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C2NR33063F

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