Electrospun polystyrene shell/polyurethane core fibres made by scientists in China have absorption capacities 2-3 times higher than reported for non-woven polypropylene fibres (widely used to clean up oil spills).
Electrospun fibres are an ideal candidate for soaking up oil, as their structure means the oil can fit into the voids between fibres, not just be adsorbed on a surface. The materials are also recyclable, showing comparable oil sorption capacity to polypropylene fibres even after five sorption cycles.
Applications could be in oil spill remediation and in removing discarded edible oils from the wastewater system.
Find out more about this exciting research. Read this HOT Nanoscale article today:
Co-axial electrospun polystyrene/polyurethane fibres for oil collection from water surface
Jinyou Lin, Feng Tian, Yanwei Shang, Fujun Wang, Bin Ding, Jianyong Yu and Zhi Guo