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Paraffin Oil Based Soft-Template Approach to Fabricate Reusable Porous PDMS Sponge for Effective Oil/Water Separation

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posted on 15.08.2019 by Leicheng Zhang, Yifang Zhang, Peng Chen, Wei Du, Xiaojun Feng, Bi-Feng Liu
Three-dimensional porous material holds enormous potential in the field of life science and environmental protection. In this work, we proposed a facile route for the large-scale synthesis of porous poly­(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) sponge via paraffin oil based emulsion technique. A stable emulsion could be formed by emulsifying water in the PDMS solution with the aid of paraffin oil. Moreover, the amount of emulsified water in 5 g of PDMS solution is as high as 35 g, and the skeleton of the prepared PDMS sponge is still in intact. This method is cost-effective, rapid, and easily scaled up. The water contact angle of the obtained PDMS sponge is 141.9 ± 1°, and the absorption capacities of the sponges are 13.5–33.3 g g–1 for various organic solvents. The PDMS sponge only needed 0.069 MPa force to realize the compression ratio of 90%, which it still maintained after over 50 cycles of compression. In addition, the porous PDMS sponge exhibited an excellent oil absorption and an outstanding reusability, which were potentially useful in water purification.