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A Superhydrophobic Sponge with Excellent Absorbency and Flame Retardancy

Authors

  • Changping Ruan,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, 130022 (P. R. China)
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100039 (P. R. China)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Kelong Ai,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, 130022 (P. R. China)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Xingbo Li,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, 130022 (P. R. China)
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  • Prof. Lehui Lu

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, 130022 (P. R. China)
    • State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, 130022 (P. R. China)===

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  • Financial support by the NSFC (No. 21125521) and the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, No. 2010CB933600) is gratefully acknowledged.

Abstract

Frequent oil spillages and the industrial discharge of organic solvents have not only caused severe environmental and ecological damage, but also create a risk of fire and explosion. Therefore, it is imperative, but also challenging, to find high-performance absorbent materials that are both effective and less flammable. Here we present a superior superhydrophobic sponge that exhibits excellent absorption performance through a combination of its superhydrophobicity, high porosity, and robust stability. More importantly, it inherits the intrinsic flame-retardant nature of the raw melamine sponge, and is thus expected to reduce the risk of fire and explosion when being used as an absorbent for flammable oils and organic compounds. Moreover, the fabrication of this sponge is easy to scale up, since it does not use a complicated process or sophisticated equipment. These characteristics make the sponge a much more competitive product than the commercial absorbent, nonwoven polypropylene fabric.

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