Development of a facile and bi-functional superhydrophobic suspension

Researchers report on a superhydrophobic suspension and its application in superhydrophobic coatings and aerogels in high-efficiency oil–water separation.

A laboratory as symbol.

A superhydrophobic suspension (SH suspension) is an important precursor for the production of superhydrophobic coatings (SH coatings) and sorbents for water-proofing and oil–water separation. However, serious ecological impacts, tedious preparation methods, and low mechanical stability of downstream products significantly hinder the applications of the SH suspension. Now, a green, facile, and bi-functional waterborne SH suspension fabrication strategy is proposed.

Low-cost bi-functional SH suspension

By incorporating hydrophobic nano cellulose fiber (NCF), a low-cost bi-functional SH suspension was obtained as a precursor for the development of both SH coatings and superhydrophobic nano cellulose fiber (SHNCF) aerogels. These results suggest that the process has high economic viability for high-efficiency oil–water separation.

The researchers regard the study to be the first to demonstrate that the use of a waterborne SH suspension incorporated with NCF (as the frame-structure substrate) and SiO2 (as the modifier to increase roughness, hydrophobicity, BET surface area and pore volume) can largely enhance the mechanical stability of both SH coatings and SHNCF aerogels and lead to low production cost and limited environmental impact.

These results can be useful to address the bottlenecks of forming a cost-effective, eco-friendly, and bi-functional SH suspension to meet the real demand.

The study has been published in Green Chemistry, Issue 21, 2020.

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