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Mussel-Inspired and In Situ Polymerization-Modified Commercial Sponge for Efficient Crude Oil and Organic Solvent Adsorption

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posted on 2022-01-05, 13:34 authored by Lunqiang Jin, Yusha Gao, Yanping Huang, Minghui Ou, Zhen Liu, Xiang Zhang, Chao He, Baihai Su, Weifeng Zhao, Changsheng Zhao
Oil spills and pollution of oily wastewater from the industrial field have not only caused serious economic losses but also imposed a huge threat to human beings. To solve these issues, the development of advanced materials and technologies for the purification of oily wastewater has garnered great concern and become a central topic. Hence, a superhydrophobic polyurethane (PU) sponge adsorbent is designed via mussel-inspired coatings by double bonds to PU sponge, followed by in situ polymerization with 1-hexadecene. The prepared PU sponge adsorbent (PU@DB@16ene sponge) showed outstanding mechanical properties including low density, high porosity, and compression recovery ability. Moreover, the prepared PU@DB@16ene sponge showed excellent adsorption of oils and organic solvents (up to 187 g g–1) and exhibited superior recyclability. Particularly, when the PU@DB@16ene sponge was applied in the continuous and rapid separation of oils and organic solvents, it still showed desired properties at a rapid velocity of 8.3 L m–3 s–1. Additionally, the PU@DB@16ene sponge could not only adsorb organic solvents in laboratories but also adsorb crude oil and industrial waxy oil in practice. Therefore, we proposed a simple and convenient method to construct PU sponge absorbents with great application prospects, which would be highly valuable for crude oil and organic solvents cleanup.