Facile Fabrication of Superhydrophobic/Superoleophilic Cotton for Highly Efficient Oil/Water Separation

Qing Wang, Mingguang Yu, Guangxue Chen, Qifeng Chen, Jinglei Tai


This paper presents a facile and versatile strategy to fabricate robust and superhydrophobic/superoleophilic cotton for the removal of oils and organic solvents from polluted water. The superwettability cotton was prepared via in-situ hydrolysis of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) on the cotton fiber surface using polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as a coupling agent and subsequent hexadecyltrimethoxysilane modification. By simply adjusting the molecular weight of PVP and the concentration of NH3•H2O, the surface roughness of SiO2-modified cotton fibers could be well controlled to generate cotton fibers with excellent superhydrophobicity. The prepared cotton fibers were used as superabsorbents for oil/water separation. It absorbed up to 35 times and 50 times its own weight of n-hexane and chloroform, respectively, while repelling water completely. After collecting the absorbed oils via a simple squeezing method, the cotton could be reused for at least 5 cycles. Moreover, the whole procedure was carried out in a mild environment, with no intricate instruments or toxic reagents.


Cotton fiber; Silica nanoparticles; Polyvinylpyrrolidone; Oil/water separation

Full Text: PDF

Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126