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Robust Bifunctional Compressed Carbon Foam for Highly Effective Oil/Water Emulsion Separation

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posted on 25.09.2020, 08:34 by Sudong Yang, Lin Chen, Shuai Liu, Wenjie Hou, Jie Zhu, Qian Zhang, Peng Zhao
In this study, we report the pure compressed carbon foam (CCF) that offers a brand-new solution for separating emulsified oil/water mixtures. The CCF was fabricated by low-temperature carbonization of three-dimensional commercial melamine foam, which was then compressed without any further chemical modification. The CCF has amphiphilicity in air, underwater superoleophobicity, and underoil superhydrophobicity; therefore, it has been proved to be successfully utilized in highly emulsified oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions with excellent separation efficiencies, and it merely relies on gravity in the absence of external force. The CCF can also maintain its superwetting property under different harsh conditions, including strong acid, alkali, and salt solution conditions; this property offers great opportunities for widespread applications. Importantly, the CCF exhibits excellent permeability, separation efficiency, antifouling, and reusability performance. This novel CCF material has great potential application in handling oily wastewater owing to its low-cost raw materials, easily scaled-up preparation process, excellent antifouling property, and high separation capacity of materials.