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Salt-Induced Fabrication of Superhydrophilic and Underwater Superoleophobic PAA-g-PVDF Membranes for Effective Separation of Oil-in-Water Emulsions

Authors

  • Wenbin Zhang,

    1. i-LABand Nano-Bionics Division, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215123 (China)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Yuzhang Zhu,

    1. i-LABand Nano-Bionics Division, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215123 (China)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Xia Liu,

    1. i-LABand Nano-Bionics Division, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215123 (China)
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  • Dr. Dong Wang,

    1. i-LABand Nano-Bionics Division, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215123 (China)
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  • Prof. Jingye Li,

    1. Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 201800 (China)
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  • Prof. Lei Jiang,

    1. Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences (BNLMS), Key Laboratory of Organic Solids, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190 (China)
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  • Prof. Jian Jin

    Corresponding author
    1. i-LABand Nano-Bionics Division, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215123 (China)
    • i-LABand Nano-Bionics Division, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215123 (China)

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  • This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (2013CB933000), the Key Development Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences (KJZD-EW-M01-3), and the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20130007).

Abstract

Conventional polymer membranes suffer from low flux and serious fouling when used for treating emulsified oil/water mixtures. Reported herein is the fabrication of a novel superhydrophilic and underwater superoleophobic poly(acrylic acid)-grafted PVDF filtration membrane using a salt-induced phase-inversion approach. A hierarchical micro/nanoscale structure is constructed on the membrane surface and endows it with a superhydrophilic/underwater superoleophobic property. The membrane separates both surfactant-free and surfactant-stabilized oil-in-water emulsions under either a small applied pressure (<0.3 bar) or gravity, with high separation efficiency and high flux, which is one to two orders of magnitude higher than those of commercial filtration membranes having a similar permeation property. The membrane exhibits an excellent antifouling property and is easily recycled for long-term use. The outstanding performance of the membrane and the efficient, energy and cost-effective preparation process highlight its potential for practical applications.

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