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Hydrophobic polyurethane polyHIPEs templated from mannitol within nonaqueous high internal phase emulsions for oil spill recovery

Zhang, Tao, Gui, Haoguan, Xu, Zhiguang, Zhao, Yan
Journal of polymer science 2019 v.57 no.12 pp. 1315-1321
composite polymers, contact angle, emulsions, hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, mannitol, oil spills, polyurethanes, porous media, solvents, stabilizers, surfactants, water solubility
Although amphiphilicity is an integral component for the applications of polyHIPEs (PHs), it is challenging to produce hydrophobic PHs from hydrophilic monomers. Herein, hydrophobic polyurethane (PU) PHs have been fabricated from a water‐soluble mannitol within block copolymer surfactant‐stabilized, nonaqueous high internal phase emulsions (HIPEs). These highly porous, interconnected, macroporous PU PHs were hydrophobic with water contact angles between 102° and 140°, demonstrating that water‐soluble monomers could be used for fabrication of hydrophobic PHs. The block copolymer surfactant acted not only as the HIPE stabilizer, but also as a monomer, enhancing hydrophobicity and overcoming some drawbacks imposed by conventional inert stabilizers. The solvents used for PU PH synthesis and purification were easily recovered and reused, showing that nonaqueous HIPE templating for PU PH preparation is an efficient and facile route. The PU PHs were investigated for oil spill reclamation and they were demonstrated to be an ideal candidate for such an application. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2019, 57, 1315–1321