This new innovation could help clean polluted bodies of water. A material that can separate oil from water could be the key to renewed and refurbished lakes, rivers and seas!
A group of Taiwanese researchers has developed a superhydrophilic and underwater superoleophobic PVP-modified cotton that is highly efficient in separating oil/water mixtures, oil/water emulsions, and oil/corrosive solutions.
A simple and eco-friendly dipping method results to a super material for a cleaner world (c) azocleantech.com
The researchers employed a simple and eco-friendly dipping method to fabricate the material. Cotton was chosen due to its being common, in abundance and biodegradable; PVP is thermally stable and non-toxic.
The experts developed a superhydrophilic and underwater-superoleophobic PVP-coated cotton mesh. Then, employed a simple and eco-friendly dipping method to fabricate the material. Cotton was chosen due to its being common, in abundance and biodegradable; PVP is thermally stable and non-toxic.
The novel material exhibits a high separation capacity with continuous separation of oil and water mixtures for up to 20 hours, without any increase of oil in filtrate. The PVP-cotton material can also effectively separate surfactant-free and stabilized o/w emulsions, with high efficiencies and fluxes up to 23,900 Lm-2 h-1 bar-1.
This is one to two orders of magnitudes greater than ultrafiltration membranes with similar rejection properties. The material, unlike any of its predecessors, also possess anti-biofouling properties.
The material can separate oil contents in filtrated water to as low as 7 ppm, even for emulsions. Thus, it has the potential to eradicate oil-based samples and emulsions produced by industrial processes and everyday life.
The material can also be used to separate a wide range of oil-based molecules including, but not limited to, n-hexane, n-hexadecane, isooctane, and diesel.
The PVP-cotton separation material has been shown to exhibit a great performance in oil/water separations through an eco-friendly process. There is a great potential for this material, where its principles and approach could be used to further academic research.
The material's cost-effectiveness, low toxicity, green approach and scalability make it ideal for industrial and commercial purposes. All in all, it is a simple but effective material.