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Bioinspired design of underwater superoleophobic Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)/ polyacrylonitrile/TiO2 nanofibrous membranes for highly efficient oil/water separation and photocatalysis
- Sun, Fei, Ren, Hai-Tao, Li, Ting-Ting, Huang, Shih-Yu, Zhang, Yue, Lou, Ching-Wen, Lin, Jia-Horng
- Environmental research 2020 v.186 pp. 109494
- chemical composition, contact angle, hydrophilicity, mechanical properties, mechanical stress, methylene chloride, nanofibers, oils, petroleum, photocatalysis, polyacrylonitrile, rhodamines, scales (integument), temperature, thermal properties, titanium dioxide, ultraviolet radiation, wastewater treatment, wettability
- Inspired by fish scales, this study prepares a thermo-responsive underwater oleophobic PNIPAM/PAN/TiO₂ nanofibrous membranes by traditional electrospinning technique using poly-N-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPAM) and polyacrylonitrile (PAN). Thermal properties, mechanical properties, surface chemical composition, wettability, photocatalysis, and oil/water separation of PNIPAM/PAN/TiO₂ membrane are explored compared to pure PNIPAM membrane. Result reveals that PAN/TiO₂ compounds make PNIPAM membrane with a smaller fiber diameter of 141 nm and high tensile stress of 7.4 MPa, and also decompose 98% of rhodamine B after UV light radiation. This bioinspired design structure endows the membrane with superhydrophilicity with a low water contact angle, and underwater superoleophobicity with a high oil contact angle of 157° (petroleum ether) and 151° (dichloromethane). This membrane can efficiency separate oil/water mixture with a high separation efficiency. Moreover, the resultant PNIPAM/PAN/TiO₂ membrane has the bionic fish scale structure, and has wettability respond at lower critical solution temperature making the water flux decreased from 10013 ± 367 L m⁻²·h⁻¹ to 7713 ± 324 L m⁻²·h⁻¹, and thus has a potential to be used in purification of reclaimed water and separation of oil from water.