Cellulose membrane with a variety of properties

Researchers present a self-cleaning, underwater writable, heat-insulated and photocatalytic cellulose membrane for high-efficient oil/water separation and the removal of hazardous organic pollutants.

A laboratory scene as a symbolic image.
With the decrease of the collagens' size Image source: BillionPhotoscom - stock.adobe.com (symbol image).

This multifunction cellulose membrane was successfully prepared through depositing Fe2O3 particles and subsequent modification of stearic acid (STA). The results showed that this multifunction cellulose membrane had excellent superhydrophobic and self-cleaning properties with a high static water contact angle of 167.2 ± 2°. Moreover, it possessed unusual repellent properties towards acid/alkali solution, abrasion, high temperature and heat-insulated properties.

This membrane could also be used for writing underwater and kept satisfactory superhydrophobic performance for a long time with a water contact angle of 154.2 ± 2°. It also showed a high separation efficiency (>89.0 %) and a high separation flux  for toluene, trichloromethane and n-Hexane. After repeated separation for 6 cycles, the separation flux and separation efficiency of n-Hexane had not changed significantly. It also demonstrated reliable photocatalytic ability, a useful property for resisting organic contaminations.

Multifunction cellulose membrane

Compared with conventional cellulose membrane, the researchres anticipate that this multifunction superhydrophobic cellulose membrane is not only really competitive in complex and harsh environment, but also demonstrates great potentials in the field of effective underwater treatment, fire-proof applications, oil-water separation field and photocatalytic property.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 157, August 2021.

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