Electrospun Differential Wetting Membranes for Efficient Oil–Water Separation

Venkatesan Anand Ganesh, Anupama Sargur Ranganath, Avinash Baji, Him Cheng Wong,
Hemant Kumar Raut, Rahul Sahay, Seeram Ramakrishna
First published: 29 April 2016Full publication history
DOI: 10.1002/mame.201600074


Separation of low viscous oil from water has attracted immense attention in recent times due to the ever-increasing amount of oily industrial wastewater discharge and frequent oil spill accidents. Hence, there is a persistent demand for the fabrication of robust oil–water separation membranes. Herein, robust oil–water separation membranes are successfully fabricated by direct electrospinning of poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) and fluorinated polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane composite mixture. These hybrid membranes exhibit differential wetting (highly hydrophobic/superoleophilic) behavior for water and oil. The contact angle made by water and low viscous oil (hexane) with the membrane are measured to be 145 and 0° respectively. The nanofiber membranes efficiently separate low viscous oil from water in a single-step with separation efficiency of nearly 100%. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that the membranes are robust and durable exhibiting differential wettability even after several oil–water separation cycles. The results reveal the potential of their use for real-time industrial wastewater treatment applications.


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