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Bioinspired one-step construction of hierarchical superhydrophobic surfaces for oil/water separation

Wang, Ni, Wang, Yanbing, Shang, Bin, Wen, Peihua, Peng, Bo, Deng, Ziwei
Journal of colloid and interface science 2018 v.531 pp. 300-310
absorbents, coatings, dopamine, hydrophobicity, oil spills, oils, remediation, solvents, wastewater
It is imperative to develop efficient and environmentally friendly oil-spill cleanup materials to solve the problems raised by frequent oil spillages and industrial discharge of organic solvents. Here, we present a bioinspired one-step construction of hierarchical superhydrophobic surfaces on various commercial porous materials by immersing the materials into an alkaline aqueous mixture consisting of dopamine (DA) and dodecyltrimethoxysilane (DTMS). The self-polymerization of DA constructs the bumpy surfaces, while the DTMS coatings enhance the hydrophobicity of the surfaces. The combined use of both results in the hierarchical superhydrophobic surfaces. This surface modification of porous materials allows them as the potential candidates for collecting a wide variety of oils/organic solvents from water in a highly efficient, recyclable, and durable way. This approach proposes a general, yet green path for constructing superhydrophobic surfaces, which can be further adapted to prepare economic oil/organic solvents absorbents applied in the fields of oil/water separation, wastewater remediation, and organics recovery.