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Superswelling Hybrid Sponge from Water Glass for Selective Absorption of Crude Oil and Organic Solvents

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posted on 14.10.2019, 16:33 by Nadukkandy Minju, Solaiappan Ananthakumar, Sivaraman Savithri
A lightweight super hydrophilic hybrid sponge is designed and demonstrated out of water glass and an organic polymer, which has a macroporous flaky nature and is superflexible with an apparent density of 0.069 g cc–1, ∼97% porosity, and 3000% water uptake. The octadecyltrimethoxy silane-modified hybrid sponge exhibits selective absorption of oil and organic solvents in open water. An absorption capacity in the range 12–23 g g–1 for the test liquids light crude oil, engine oil, paraffin oil, chloroform, kerosene, and hexane is revealed. Absorption capacity by a weight basis was directly proportional to the density and inversely proportional to the viscosity of test liquids. Trials under both stagnant and turbulent conditions verify selective uptake of oil from sea water. Complete regeneration of the absorbent was possible for ten cycles for the test liquids. The work provides design of an affordable water clean-up material alternative to commonly used polyurethane sponges.