Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 53, Issue 24, pp 16357–16370 | Cite as

A novel hydrophobic adsorbent of electrospun SiO2@MUF/PAN nanofibrous membrane and its adsorption behaviour for oil and organic solvents

  • Jing Yuan
  • Ran Gao
  • Yingying Wang
  • Wei Cao
  • Ying Yun
  • Bo Dong
  • Junfeng DouEmail author


With increasing oil spill accidents, the development of effective and low-cost adsorbents with good hydrophobicity is highly desirable. To cope with the clean-up of oil spill, a hydrophobic adsorbent was synthesized by electrospinning using inexpensive raw materials. By ingeniously combining melamine with polyacrylonitrile (PAN) as well as SiO2 nanoparticles, a novel composite nanoadsorbent named SiO2@MUF/PAN nanofibrous membrane was prepared and characterized. The adsorbents were conducted based on uniform nanofibre networks and were abundant with narrow slit-like pores, which are significant for the retention of oil and organic solvents. The hydrophobicity of the as-prepared membranes was enhanced with an increasing amount of SiO2, and the highest water contact angle was 128.3°. Furthermore, the combination of SiO2 and melamine increased the thermal stability of the membranes. With the unique pore structures and hydrophobicity, the membranes were able to selectively remove not only oil but also organic solvents from water surface. The adsorption capacities of the membranes with SiO2 nanoparticles (0.9 wt%) were the highest and that for peanut oil, diesel, pump oil and engine oil were 19.09, 13.12, 18.48 and 22.67 g g−1, respectively, while that for organic solvents ranged from 12.92 to 22.16 g g−1. After 10 adsorption–regeneration cycles, the adsorption capacity was still around 35% of the initial value. Due to its high oil adsorption capacity, excellent reusability and the cost-effective hydrophobic, SiO2@MUF/PAN have a great potential for oil spill clean-up.



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51579010) and Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2017ZX07401003).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of the interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10853_2018_2795_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2070 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (WMV 6429 kb)


  1. 1.
    Atlas RM, Hazen TC (2011) Oil biodegradation and bioremediation: a tale of the two worst spills in U.S. history. Environ Sci Technol 45:6709–6715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    McDonald TL, Schroeder BA, Stacy BA et al (2017) Density and exposure of surface-pelagic juvenile sea turtles to Deepwater Horizon oil. Endanger Species Res 33:69–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dias LA, Litz J, Garrison L, Martinez A, Barry K, Speakman T (2017) Exposure of cetaceans to petroleum products following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Endanger Species Res 33:119–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kleindienst S, Paul JH, Joye SB (2015) Using dispersants after oil spills: impacts on the composition and activity of microbial communities. Nat Rev Microbiol 13:388–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    van Gelderen LL, Malmquist MV, Jomaas G (2017) Vaporization order and burning efficiency of crude oils during in situ burning on water. Fuel 191:528–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Liu C, Wu Y, Yu A, Li F (2014) Cooperative fabrication of ternary nanofibers with remarkable solvent and temperature resistance by electrospinning. RSC Adv 4:31400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gupta S, Tai N (2016) Carbon materials as oil sorbents: a review on the synthesis and performance. J Mater Chem A 4:1550–1565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ray PZ, Shipley HJ (2015) Inorganic nano-adsorbents for the removal of heavy metals and arsenic: a review. RSC Adv 5:29885–29907CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Liu H, Geng B, Chen Y, Wang H (2016) Review on the aerogel-type oil sorbents derived from nanocellulose. ACS Sustain Chem Eng 5:49–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wang H, Huang X, Li B, Gao J (2018) Facile preparation of super-hydrophobic nanofibrous membrane for oil/water separation in a harsh environment. J Mater Sci 53:10111–10121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wang E, Wang H, Hu Y, Liu Z, Zhu Y (2017) Corrosion-resistant engineering superhydrophobic and superoleophilic bulk materials with oil–water separation property. J Mater Sci 52:7130–7139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gao Y, Wang J, Mou X, Cai Z (2018) Textile-inspired methodology toward asymmetric fabric based on weft-backed weave for oil/water separation. J Mater Sci 53:4683–4692CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ma W, Zhang Q, Hua D et al (2016) Electrospun fibers for oil–water separation. RSC Adv 6:12868–12884CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sarbatly R, Krishnaiah D, Kamin Z (2016) A review of polymer nanofibres by electrospinning and their application in oil–water separation for cleaning up marine oil spills. Mar Pollut Bull 106:8–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wu J, An AK, Guo J, Lee E, Farid MU, Jeong S (2017) CNTs reinforced super-hydrophobic-oleophilic electrospun polystyrene oil sorbent for enhanced sorption capacity and reusability. Chem Eng J 314:526–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Liang Q, Li Z, Yu X, Huang Z, Kang F, Yang Q (2015) Macroscopic 3D porous graphitic carbon nitride monolith for enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen evolution. Adv Mater 27:4634–4639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lei Z, Deng Y, Wang C (2016) Ambient-temperature fabrication of melamine-based sponges coated with hydrophobic lignin shells by surface dip adsorbing for oil/water separation. RSC Adv 6:106928–106934CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ghani M, Maya F, Cerda V (2016) Automated solid-phase extraction of organic pollutants using melamine-formaldehyde polymer-derived carbon foams. RSC Adv 6:48558–48565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zhou Y, Wang Y, Liu T et al (2017) Superhydrophobic hBN-regulated sponges with excellent absorbency fabricated using a green and facile method. Sci Rep 7:45065CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Yang Y, Deng Y, Tong Z, Wang C (2014) Multifunctional foams derived from poly(melamine formaldehyde) as recyclable oil absorbents. J Mater Chem A 2:9994–9999CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gao T, Le T, Yang Y, Yu Z, Huang Z, Kang F (2017) Effects of electrospun carbon nanofibers’ interlayers on high-performance lithium-sulfur batteries. Materials. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Stöber W, Fink A, Bohn E (1968) Controlled growth of monodisperse silica spheres in the micron size range. J Colloid Interface Sci 26:62–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lai F, Huang Y, Zuo L, Gu H, Miao Y, Liu T (2016) Electrospun nanofiber-supported carbon aerogel as a versatile platform toward asymmetric supercapacitors. J Mater Chem A 4:15861–15869CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wang Q, Yu Y, Ma J, Zhang N, Zhang J, Liu Z, Cui G (2016) Electrospun melamine resin-based multifunctional nonwoven membrane for lithium ion batteries at the elevated temperatures. J Power Sources 327:196–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wang J, Long Y, Sun Y, Zhang X, Yang H, Lin B (2017) Enhanced energy density and thermostability in polyimide nanocomposites containing core–shell structured BaTiO3@SiO2 nanofibers. Appl Surf Sci 426:437–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Arshad MA, Maaroufi A, Benavente R, Pinto G (2017) Kinetics of the thermal degradation mechanisms in urea–formaldehyde cellulose composites filled with zinc particles. J Mater Sci Mater Electron 28:11832–11845CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sorour MH, Hani HA, Al-Bazedi GA, EL-Rafei AM (2016) Hydrophobic silica aerogels for oil spills clean-up, synthesis, characterization and preliminary performance evaluation. J Porous Mat 23:1401–1409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Li J, Yan L, Tang X, Feng H, Hu D, Zha F (2016) Robust superhydrophobic fabric bag filled with polyurethane sponges used for vacuum-assisted continuous and ultrafast absorption and collection of oils from water. Adv Mater Interfaces. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wang H, Wang E, Liu Z, Gao D, Yuan R, Sun L, Zhu Y (2015) A novel carbon nanotubes reinforced superhydrophobic and superoleophilic polyurethane sponge for selective oil–water separation through a chemical fabrication. J Mater Chem A 3:266–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Salehabadi S, Seyfi J, Hejazi I, Davachi SM, Naeini AH, Khakbaz M (2017) Nanosilica-decorated sponges for efficient oil/water separation: role of nanoparticle’s type and concentration. J Mater Sci 52:7017–7027CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Li S, Huang J, Chen Z, Chen G, Lai Y (2017) A review on special wettability textiles: theoretical models, fabrication technologies and multifunctional applications. J Mater Chem A 5:31–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Xiong C, Li X, Hou T, Yang B (2018) Stability and spinnability of modified melamine-formaldehyde resin solution for centrifugal spinning. J Appl Polym Sci 135:46072CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tai MH, Gao P, Tan BYL, Sun DD, Leckie JO (2014) Highly efficient and flexible electrospun carbon–silica nanofibrous membrane for ultrafast gravity-driven oil–water separation. ACS Appl Mater Interface 6:9393–9401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Zang L, Bu Z, Sun L, Zhang Y (2016) Hollow carbon fiber sponges from crude catkins: an ultralow cost absorbent for oils and organic solvents. RSC Adv 6:48715–48719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Carmody O, Frost R, Xi YF, Kokot S (2007) Surface characterisation of selected sorbent materials for common hydrocarbon fuels. Surf Sci 601:2066–2076CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Liu Q, Zhong L, Zhao Q, Frear C, Zheng Y (2015) Synthesis of Fe3O4/polyacrylonitrile composite electrospun nanofiber mat for effective adsorption of tetracycline. ACS Appl Mater Interface 7:14573–14583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Makaremi M, De Silva RT, Pasbakhsh P (2015) Electrospun nanofibrous membranes of polyacrylonitrile/halloysite with superior water filtration ability. J Phys Chem C 119:7949–7958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Liu H, Cao C, Wei F, Huang P, Sun Y, Jiang L, Song W (2014) Flexible macroporous carbon nanofiber film with high oil adsorption capacity. J Mater Chem A 2:3557–3562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Zheng H, Shan H, Bai Y, Wang X, Liu L, Yu J, Ding B (2015) Assembly of silica aerogels within silica nanofibers: towards a super-insulating flexible hybrid aerogel membrane. RSC Adv 5:91813–91820CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Water SciencesBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Key Laboratory of Urban Hydrological Cycle and Sponge City TechnologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations