Rapid oil-water separation using modified nonwoven viscose fabrics

R. Sakthivel, Thirumoorthy Kulandaivel,Kirankumar Venkatesan Savunthari,K. Mohanraj,Hans-Uwe Dahms,Aswin kumar Anbalagan, Manjunath Rangasamy,Kien-Voon Kong


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Two saturated fatty acids, namely palmitic acid (PA) and lauric acid (LA) were incorporated with glycidoxypropyl methoxy silane (GPTMS) into the nonwoven viscose fabric (NWVF) via chemical refluxation methodology. FE-SEM, EDS, and XPS analysis portray the existence of siloxane polymeric functionality on the fabric's surface. The 29Si solid-state NMR results reveal that the comprehensive peak position at -60.9 ppm attributed to the silicone atom of T-3 structural unit [C-Si(OSi)(3)] and -54.9 ppm ascribed to the T-2 unit [C-Si(OR)(OSi)(2)] which enrich the properties of fabrics towards the depletion of oil/organic solvents contamination from water. The modified viscose fabric surface showed outstanding superhydrophobic behavior with the respective WCA of 173 +/- 2(degrees) for PA-GPTMS coated NWVF and 167 +/- 2(degrees) for LA-GPTMS coated NWVF. Further, the constructed fabrics displayed high superoleofilicity to the oil and solvents with a contact angle of 0 distinctly. Thus, the chemically modified fabrics were inherently applied for the separation of the oil-water mixture and organic solvents. Surprisingly, it showed excellent separation efficiency for oil about 99 %, and organic solvents around 97 % respectively. The oil absorption capacity studies also demonstrated a high absorption volume of 14 g/g (18 ml/g) for PA-GPTMS-coated NWVF, and 13 g/g (17 ml/g) for LA-GPTMS-coated NWVF materials. The surfacemodified materials were investigated for sustainability and lifespan. Remarkably, the PA-GPTMS-coated NWVF material showed admirable results of superhydrophobic/superoleophilic behavior retained (WCA >150(degrees)) in a harsh environment (70 h at 120 C-degrees) and oil-water separation over 30 recycles. The above results suggested that the chemically modified nonwoven viscus fabrics would be a suitable potential candidate for the industrial-scale separation of immiscible oils/organic solvent contamination in water.
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Key words
Super hydrophobicity,Nonwoven viscose fabric (NWVF),Oil-water separation,Oil-water remediation,and Superhydrophobic/superoleophilic
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