One-step nanocellulose coating converts tissue paper into an efficient separation membrane

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This article reports robust technology for converting tissue paper (TP) into an efficient separation membrane by coating with a novel superhydrophobic material that was synthesized by a rapid, one step approach without using any hazardous chemicals viz fluorinated materials or organic/inorganic nanoparticles. The coating was prepared using modified cellulose nanofibers which can readily transform a TP into an excellent oil/water separation membrane as well as a highly efficient dye absorbent upon spray coating. While the as-synthesized superhydrophobic cellulose surface shows water contact angle 161° (±3°), the coated TP displays 144° (±3°). Nevertheless, the coated TP shows outstanding separation performances towards various oil/water mixtures. Besides that, the coated TP also shows excellent dye absorption capacity from aqueous solution within 10 min. To further explore the multifunctional roles of the coating material, when spray it on a dishwasher sponge, the sponge became a super oil absorbent material and able to separate various oils from water at unbelievably faster rate. Hence, we believe that our ecofriendly versatile superhydrophobic coating material can be a new promising choice for many advanced applications to create more sustainable earth.

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This work was funded by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2015R1A3A2066301).

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Correspondence to Sunanda Roy or Jaehwan Kim.

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Roy, S., Zhai, L., Van Hai, L. et al. One-step nanocellulose coating converts tissue paper into an efficient separation membrane. Cellulose 25, 4871–4886 (2018) doi:10.1007/s10570-018-1945-6

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  • Nanocellulose
  • Superhydrophobic
  • Coating
  • Tissue paper
  • Oil separation
  • Dye absorption
  • Ecofriendliness