A facile strategy toward hydrophobic–oleophilic 3D Fe foam for efficient oil–water separation

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In this work, we present a hydrophobic–oleophilic Fe foam for oil–water separation. Hydrophobic–oleophilic Fe foam was fabricated simply through dip-coating with n-dodecyl mercaptan. The morphology, chemical composition and water contact angle of the Fe foam were characterized. The Fe foam could absorb a variety of oils, such as diesel, toluene, xylene, cyclohexane, dodecyl methacrylate, crude oil, 1,2-dichloroethane, hexane and chloroform, these oils could be underwater or on water surface, and it exhibited excellent durability, verified by the high separation efficiency (more than 98.8% for a cyclohexane–water mixture) after reusing for 48 times. Furthermore, oil collection with the Fe foam could be controlled remotely using external magnetic field, and the Fe foam displayed high flux, good anti-corrosion and wear resistance. The simple and low-cost fabrication method enabled the Fe foam to be a promising candidate for large-scale oil–water separation and for remotely controllable water purification.

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This work was financially supported by Open Project Program of State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Pollution Control (PPC2017008), Open Funds of State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation (PLN1201, SWPU), Foundation of Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Province (2018GZYZF0073), Fok Ying Tung Education Foundation (161103), International Science and Technology Cooperation Project of Chengdu (2017-GH02-00005-HZ), Natural Science Foundation of Nanchong City (NC17SY4015) and Innovative Research Team of Southwest Petroleum University (2017CXTD01).

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Correspondence to Yuanpeng Wu or Tao Zhang.

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Electronic supplementary material

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An impacting water column ejected from a pipette and bouncing off the sample. (MP4 5496 kb)

The continuous separation of oil from oil–water mixtures with Fe-NDM. (MP4 5006 kb)

Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 67 kb)

Video S1

An impacting water column ejected from a pipette and bouncing off the sample. (MP4 5496 kb)

Video S2

Adsorption process of hexane controlled by magnet. (MP4 4234 kb)

Video S3

The continuous separation of oil from oil–water mixtures with Fe-NDM. (MP4 5006 kb)

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Zhang, R., Wu, Y., Zhang, H. et al. A facile strategy toward hydrophobic–oleophilic 3D Fe foam for efficient oil–water separation. J Mater Sci 54, 13358–13367 (2019).

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