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Continuous, High-Speed, and Efficient Oil/Water Separation using Meshes with Antagonistic Wetting Properties

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posted on 2015-09-02, 00:00 authored by Gary J. Dunderdale, Chihiro Urata, Tomoya Sato, Matt W. England, Atsushi Hozumi
We report a novel oil/water separation device, allowing continuous, high-speed, and highly efficient purification of large volumes of oily water. This device uses a pair of hydrophilic/hydrophobic polymer-brush-functionalized stainless steel meshes, which have antagonistic wetting properties, i.e., superoleophobic and superhydrophobic properties, when submerged in the opposite liquid phase. This device can purify large volumes of n-hexadecane/water mixture (∼1000 L) in a continuous process rather than in batches, to high purities (∼99.9% mol/mol) at high flow rates (∼5 mL s–1 cm–2), unlike the oil/water separation meshes reported so far.