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One-Step Transformation of Metal Meshes to Robust Superhydrophobic and Superoleophilic Meshes for Highly Efficient Oil Spill Cleanup and Oil/Water Separation

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journal contribution
posted on 20.12.2019 by Chao Fu, Lin Gu, Zhixiang Zeng, Qunji Xue
Phytic acid (PA), which is a natural and innoxious plant constituent, can strongly adsorb on the metal surface because of its six phosphate groups. In this work, based on the chelating properties of PA and the reaction between PA and hydrolyzable vinyltriethoxysilane (VTES), we developed a novel and facial strategy to generate hierarchical-layer nanospheres on the metal mesh surface and fabricated robust superhydrophobic and superoleophilic miniature metal mesh ships. Because of their superwetting properties, the modified meshes could easily remove and recycle the oil spills from the water surface (>90% collection efficiency), and have high oil/water separation capacity (>96%). The excellent stability, corrosion resistance, and robust mechanical durability endow the modified mesh ships with more advantages in a marine environment. We envision that these superhydrophobic meshes modified with PA and VTES are sustainable, environmentally friendly, and easy to scale up and hence display great potential in practical application.