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Keywords:

  • hydrophobic materials;
  • oil spills;
  • oleophilic materials;
  • porous materials;
  • sorbents

Abstract

Recently, porous hydrophobic/oleophilic materials (PHOMs) have been shown to be the most promising candidates for cleaning up oil spills; however, due to their limited absorption capacity, a large quantity of PHOMs would be consumed in oil spill remediation, causing serious economic problems. In addition, the complicated and time-consuming process of oil recovery from these sorbents is also an obstacle to their practical application. To solve the above problems, we apply external pumping on PHOMs to realize the continuous collection of oil spills in situ from the water surface with high speed and efficiency. Based on this novel design, oil/water separation and oil collection can be simultaneously achieved in the remediation of oil spills, and the oil sorption capacity is no longer limited to the volume and weight of the sorption material. This novel external pumping technique may bring PHOMs a step closer to practical application in oil spill remediation.