Cellulose-derived multifunctional nano-CuO/carbon aerogel composites as a highly efficient oil absorbent

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As the most abundant green and renewable resource in nature, cellulose has received the researchers’ attention because of its excellent properties. In this paper, novel renewable cellulose-derived nano-CuO@carbon aerogel composites (CNCAs) were successfully prepared by freeze-drying, carbonization and dipping, which can be used for efficient oil–water separation. The relevant results disclosed that CNCAs exhibited superhydrophobicity with a water contact angle of 158° ± 2° and outstanding water–oil separation property with separation efficiency of 92.3%. More interestingly, the CNCAs can effectively separate oil from water in surfactant stabilized water-in-oil emulsions with high flux and filtrate purity. The as-prepared CNCAs have durable superhydrophobic and excellent adsorption capacity even after storing in various harsh environments for a long time, such as strong acid and strong alkali etc. Therefore, CNCAs have a good application prospect in the oil–water separation field, providing an effective and feasible solution for the treatment of oily wastewater.

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We thank the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20160500, BK20161362 and BK20161264) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (21706100 and 21878132) for financial support. This study was also financially supported by the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2018T110452 and 2016M601747), Key Research and Development Program of Jiangxi Province (20171BBH80008), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (1701073C and 1701067C), State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse Foundation, (PCRRF18003), Society Development Fund of Zhenjiang City (SH2018009), and the 333 High-Level Personnel Training Project of Jiangsu Province (BRA2016142).

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Correspondence to Tao Zhang.

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Liu, Y., Shi, T., Zhang, T. et al. Cellulose-derived multifunctional nano-CuO/carbon aerogel composites as a highly efficient oil absorbent. Cellulose 26, 5381–5394 (2019) doi:10.1007/s10570-019-02484-z

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  • Cellulose
  • Carbon aerogel
  • Oil–water separation
  • Water-in-oil emulsions