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Selective filtration of oil/water mixtures with bioinspired porous membranes
- Zeiger, Claudia, Kumberg, Jana, Vüllers, Felix, Worgull, Matthias, Hölscher, Hendrik, Kavalenka, Maryna N.
- RSC advances 2017 v.7 no.52 pp. 32806-32811
- aquatic plants, argon (noble gases), filtration, hydrophobicity, leaves, membrane permeability, oils, polymers
- Membranes inspired by special wetting properties of aquatic plant leaves enable selective removal of either oil or water from oil/water mixtures by filtration. Here, we introduce polymeric micro- and nanohair-covered porous membranes fabricated using highly scalable fabrication methods: hot pulling and perforation with microneedles. The as-prepared superhydrophobic/superoleophilic oil-removing membranes are converted into underwater superoleophobic water-removing membranes by argon plasma treatment. Membrane permeability and breakthrough pressures are analyzed and compared to theory, and the efficiency of both types of membranes for oil/water separation is demonstrated.