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Metal–Organic Framework (MOF) Derived Recyclable, Superhydrophobic Composite of Cotton Fabrics for the Facile Removal of Oil Spills

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journal contribution
posted on 12.02.2021, 18:08 by Rana Dalapati, Soutick Nandi, Chiranjib Gogoi, Arpita Shome, Shyam Biswas
Marine oil spill cleanup is one of the major challenges in recent years due to its detrimental effect on our ecosystem. Hence, the development of new superhydrophobic oil absorbent materials is in high demand. The third-generation porous materials, namely metal–organic frameworks (MOFs), have drawn great attention due to their fascinating properties. In this work, a superhydrophobic MOF with UiO-66 (SH-UiO-66) topology was synthesized strategically with a new fluorinated dicarboxylate linker to absorb oil selectively from water. The fully characterized superhydrophobic MOF showed extreme water repellency with an advancing water contact angle (WCA) of 160° with a contact angle hysteresis (CAH) of 8°. The newly synthesized porous MOF (SBET = 873 m2 g–1) material with high WCA found its promising application in oil/water separation. The superhydrophobic SH-UiO-66 MOF was further used for the in-situ coating on naturally abundant cotton fiber to make a superhydrophobic MOF@cotton composite material. The MOF-coated cotton fiber composite (SH-UiO-66@CFs) showed water repellency with a WCA of 163° and a low CAH of 4°. The flexible superhydrophobic SH-UiO-66@CFs showed an oil absorption capacity more than 2500 wt % for both heavy and light oils at room temperature. The superoleophilicity of SH-UiO-66@CFs was further exploited to separate light floating oil as well as sedimentary heavy oil from water. SH-UiO-66@CFs material can also separate oil from the oil/water mixture by gravity-directed active filtration. Hence, the newly developed MOF-based composite material has high potential as an oil absorbent material for marine oil spill cleanup.