New way for oil-water separation

A new work proposes a novel strategy for designing a a coating on a copper mesh to produce a highly stable underwater oleophobic mesh for oil-water separation with high water flux and separation efficiency.

Scientists have developed a smart underwater smart glue.  Image source: Pexels - Pixabay (symbol image).

Specially wettable mesh can effectively separate oil-water mixtures. However, the pore blocking and poor stability limit the application. In a new work, a tetraethylenepentamine-silica@polydopamine (TEPA-SiO2@PDA) coating is developed on the copper mesh for oil-water separation. By exploiting the rough structure and hydrophilic molecule, an underwater oleophobic surface is obtained, in which the aforementioned challenges can be addressed. As a result, the TEPA-SiO2@PDA modified mesh presents a high underwater oil contact angle and stability at various pH and temperature.

High stability

Oil-water separation test confirmed the high efficiency (>99 %) and high water flux. After 15 cycles of separation testing, it still exhibited a high efficiency of 98.21 % and water flux of 23,315.2 L m−2 h−1. High intrusion pressure and special rough structure contribute to the good oil-water separation ability and high stability.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 177, April 2023.

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