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Superoleophilic and Flexible Thermoplastic Polymer Nanofiber Aerogels for Removal of Oils and Organic Solvents

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posted on 30.06.2017, 00:00 by Jianwei Lu, Dandan Xu, Junkan Wei, Shan Yan, Ru Xiao
Chemical cross-linked poly­(vinyl alcohol-co-ethylene) (EVOH) nanofiber aerogels (NFAs) were fabricated employing an economical and facile freeze-drying process. The manufactured chemical cross-linking nanofiber aerogel was successfully confirmed by scanning electron microscopy, attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, and X-ray diffraction. The resulting aerogels showed high porosity (>99%), superior elasticity, elastic durability, high hydrophobicity, and superoleophilicity without any other hydrophobic modification. The cross-linked EVOH NFAs exhibited excellent absorption capacity (ranging from 45 to 102 times their own weight) when exposed to various oils and organic solvents, which was observed to be higher than that for most sorbents reported in the literature. Consequently, it is envisaged that the cross-linked EVOH NFA would play an important role in many fields of pollution removal.

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