With the increasingly urgent demand for clean water resources and the growing emission of oily wastewater, high-flux oil/water separation materials with the special wettability are progressively desired. Cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) from renewable biomass has been utilized to fabricate oil/water separation membranes, but it is limited to enhancing mechanical properties. Herein, a wrinkled structure with abundant –OH is constructed on polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers via the CNC hybridization process. And then, a super-hydrophilic nano-TiO2 shell is anchored tightly on the surface of the fiber by wrinkles and –OH. The CNC promotes significantly the in situ growth of TiO2, with the TiO2 loading ratio of up to 5.3%. The nano-TiO2 shell endows the obtained film with super-hydrophilicity and underwater super-oleophobicity, resulting in a visible increase of the permeation flux for the oil/water mixture from 1483 to 11,023 L m−2 h−1. Interestingly, the hierarchical structure facilitates the demulsification for oil-in-water emulsion stabilized by surfactant, allowing the obtained membrane to exhibit eminent antifouling property and high emulsion permeability of about 3,278 L m−2 h−1. This design strategy develops next-generation anchors for targeted modification on the non-reactive substrates and provides a novel pathway for fabricating oil/water separation membranes.
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The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author (Wanli Cheng) upon reasonable request.
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This work was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 2572023AW53) and the Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province, China (Grant No. LH2020C039).
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Lu, J., Bai, T., Wang, D. et al. Electrospun Polyacrylonitrile Membrane In Situ Modified with Cellulose Nanocrystal Anchoring TiO2 for Oily Wastewater Recovery. Adv. Fiber Mater. 5, 2055–2068 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42765-023-00325-0