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Crude-Oil-Repellent Membranes by Atomic Layer Deposition: Oxide Interface Engineering

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Version 2 2018-08-28, 12:38
Version 1 2018-08-17, 16:21
journal contribution
posted on 2018-08-28, 00:00 authored by Hao-Cheng Yang, Yunsong Xie, Henry Chan, Badri Narayanan, Lin Chen, Ruben Z. Waldman, Subramanian K. R. S. Sankaranarayanan, Jeffrey W. Elam, Seth B. Darling
Crude oil fouling on membrane surfaces is a persistent, crippling challenge in oil spill remediation and oilfield wastewater treatment. In this research, we present how a nanosized oxide coating can profoundly affect the anti-crude-oil property of membrane materials. Select oxide coatings with a thickness of ∼10 nm are deposited conformally on common polymer membrane surfaces by atomic layer deposition to significantly mitigate fouling during filtration processes. TiO2- and SnO2-coated membranes exhibited far greater anti-crude-oil performance than ZnO- and Al2O3-coated ones. Tightly bound hydration layers play a crucial role in protecting the surface from crude oil adhesion, as revealed by molecular dynamics simulations. This work provides a facile strategy to fabricate crude-oil-resistant membranes with negligible impact on membrane structure, and also demonstrates that, contrary to common belief, excellent crude oil resistance can be achieved easily without implementation of sophisticated, hierarchical structures.

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