In situ silica growth for superhydrophilic-underwater superoleophobic Silica/PVA nanofibrous membrane for gravity-driven oil-in-water emulsion separation

Weihua Qing, Xianhui Li, Yifan Wu, Senlin Shao, Hao Guo, Zhikan Yao, Yiliang Chen, Wen Zhang, Chuyang Y. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Superhydrophilic-underwater superoleophobic (SUS) membranes have been demonstrated to be promising materials for oily wastewater treatment. However, development of facile, low cost and robust SUS membrane with high flux and less membrane fouling is still challenging. In this study, we reported a simple electrospinning/in-situ growth strategy to prepare SUS SiO2@PVA nanofibrous membrane for gravity-driven separation of oil/water mixture. In specific, a highly porous PVA nanofibrous membrane was first fabricated by electrospinning technique, followed by an in-situ growth of silica nanoparticles on the pristine PVA nanofibers through a modified Stöber reaction. The abundant hydroxyl groups on PVA nanofibers enabled uniform and stable deposition of silica nanoparticles, thus simultaneously realizing high surface energy surface (hydrophilic nature of PVA and silica) and multi-scale roughness. As expected, the resultant membrane exhibited excellent in-air “water-loving” (instantaneous in-air water wetting) and underwater “oil-hating” properties (underwater oil contact angle of 161.8° and sliding angle of 6.2°). The SUS SiO2@PVA membranes exhibited efficient separation of both free oil/water mixture and a variety of surfactant-stabilized oil-in-water emulsions in a gravity-driven filtration process. In addition, oil density played an important role during the separation process, due to superior separation performance was achieved for lighter-than-water oil when compared to heavier-than-water oils. Moreover, the membrane showed robust reusability that it maintained stable oil rejection and permeate flux in cyclic experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118476
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Volume612
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation

Keywords

  • Emulsion separation
  • Oil/water separation
  • Silica nanoparticle
  • Superhydrophilic membrane
  • Under-water superoleophobic membrane

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