Fabrication of meshes with inverse wettability based on the TiO2 nanowires for continuous oil/water separation★

Haozhen DouBin JiangMi XuJunhan ZhouYongli SunLuhong Zhang*

School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, People’s Republic of China

Received 14 May 2019, Revised 14 July 2019, Accepted 15 August 2019, Available online 16 August 2019.


With the purpose of avoiding the limitation of oil/water density relationship, as well as achieving the continuous separation, two types of filtering materials with inverse wettability have attracted extensive attention. In our work, a superhydrophilic mesh was fabricated via a series of procedures, including the deposition of TiO2 seed layer on the surface, the growth of TiO2 nanowires by a hydrothermal method and calcination process. As expected, the as-prepared superhydrophilic mesh turned to be superhydrophobic after the decoration by low surface energy reagent. The formation mechanism of grass-like TiO2 nanowires was proposed and surface morphological optimization conditions were studied. As for the oil/water application, the T-shaped bidirectional device combining the meshes with inverse wettability was adopted for achieving continuous oil/water separation. Meanwhile, the separation test showed that the separation efficiency of greater than 99% and high flux were obtained for various oil/water mixtures. Furthermore, according to the results simulating the realistic industrial application, the as-prepared meshes exhibited excellent reuse durability and stability in corrosive environment. The extension of TiO2 nanowires on mesh, cooperating the multiple wettability behaviors could be regarded as a prospective candidate for large-scale oil/water separation..

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