• suspended emulsion polymerization;
  • kapok fiber;
  • polybutylmethacrylate;
  • oil sorption composite;
  • swelling


In this work, a series of polybutylmethacrylate/kapok fiber (PBMA/KF) composites were synthesized by suspended emulsion polymerization and well characterized by means of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The effects of reaction parameters, such as amount of initiator, crosslinker, emulsifier, KF content on oil absorbency, were investigated in detail. The optimum polymerization conditions were obtained as initiator of 0.4 wt %, crosslinker of 1.0 wt %, emulsifier of 2.0 wt %, and KF content of 8.0 wt %. Compared with PBMA, the as-prepared PBMA/KF (8 wt % KF) showed better oil sorption capacity, with the increase percentage of 58.7% in toluene and 66.7% in chloroform. Swelling behavior indicated that the sorption equilibrium was established basically within 15 min, and the incorporation of KF can promote the oil sorption rate. Furthermore, the composite exhibited better reusability and oil retention capabilities, and can be recognized as a kind of low-cost oil sorption materials for oil pollution treatment. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013