An in situ polymerization approach for the synthesis of superhydrophobic and superoleophilic nanofibrous membranes for oil-water separation.

PMID 23149675


Superhydrophobic and superoleophilic nanofibrous membranes exhibiting robust oil-water separation performance were prepared by a facile combination of electrospun cellulose acetate (CA) nanofibers and a novel in situ polymerized fluorinated polybenzoxazine (F-PBZ) functional layer that incorporated silica nanoparticles (SiO(2) NPs). By employing the F-PBZ/SiO(2) NPs modification, the pristine hydrophilic CA nanofibrous membranes were endowed with a superhydrophobicity with the water contact angle of 161° and a superoleophilicity with the oil contact angle of 3°. Surface morphological studies have indicated that the wettability of resultant membranes could be manipulated by tuning the surface composition as well as the hierarchical structures. The quantitative hierarchical roughness analysis using the N(2) adsorption method has confirmed the major contribution of SiO(2) NPs on enhancing the porous structure, and a detailed correlation between roughness and solid-liquid interface pinning is proposed. Furthermore, the as-prepared membranes exhibited fast and efficient separation for oil-water mixtures and excellent stability over a wide range of pH conditions, which would make them a good candidate in industrial oil-polluted water treatments and oil spill cleanup, and also provided a new insight into the design and development of functional nanofibrous membranes through F-PBZ modification.