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Bioinspired polydopamine particles-assisted construction of superhydrophobic surfaces for oil/water separation
- Shang, Bin, Wang, Yanbing, Peng, Bo, Deng, Ziwei
- Journal of colloid and interface science 2016 v.482 pp. 240-251
- absorption, ammonia, catalysts, catechol, coatings, cotton, dopamine, energy, ethanol, hydrophobicity, melamine, mussels, netting, nylon, oil spills, oils, pollution, remediation, roughness, solvents, stainless steel
- Frequent oil spillages and industrial discharge of oils/organic solvents have induced severe environmental pollution and ecological damage, and a great cost in energy and finance has been consumed to solve the problems raised. Therefore, it is urgent to develop a surface hydrophobic modification that can be applied to materials with desired properties of high separation efficiency, excellent selectivity and stable performance in extreme conditions during the oil/water separation. Herein, with combined bioinspirations from mussel adhesive protein (polydopamine) and superhydrophobic lotus leaf (hierarchical structures), we develop a general way to superhydrophobically modify various commercial materials, aiming for the selective removal of oils/organic solvents from water. In this procedure, immersing commercial materials (e.g. melamine sponge, stainless steel mesh, nylon netting and cotton cloth) into water/ethanol/ammonia mixtures at a low concentration of dopamine (DA, 2mg/mL) allows a polydopamine (PDA) coating with a tunable roughness appearing on the substrate in one step. This is because DA can self-polymerize and form PDA particles with a catalyst of ammonia, attaching to any surfaces due to abundant catechol and amine groups in PDA, and ultimately, resulting in hierarchical structures. The subsequent decoration with 1H, 1H, 2H, 2H-perfluorodecanethiol features the surface superhydrophobic and superoleophilic. This approach is straightforward and economic, and carried out under a mild, environmental-benign circumstance, with nonspecific substrate demands. In addition, the as-prepared superhydrophobic materials exhibit excellent separation performances including high absorption/separation capacity, excellent selectivity, and extraordinary recyclability for collecting various oils/organic solvents from water. These superhydrophobic materials have also verified to be highly chemical resistant, environment stable and mechanically durable. Therefore, this simplicity and versatility of the direct mussel-inspired approach may facilitate the fast development of oil/water separation materials for applications in the field of water remediation, clean-up of oil spills and oil recovery.