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[2021-Vol.18-Issue 4]Dodecyl Mercaptan Functionalized Copper Mesh for Water Repellence and Oil-water Separation
Post: 2021-08-07 12:02  View:315

J Bionic Eng 18 (2021) 887–899 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42235-021-0062-7 

Dodecyl Mercaptan Functionalized Copper Mesh for Water Repellence and Oil-water Separation

Yanling Tian1,2,3, Jiekai Feng1,2, Zexin Cai1,2, Jiaqi Chao1,2, Dawei Zhang1,2, Yuxiao Cui4, Faze Chen1,2* 

1. School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China 

2. Key Laboratory of Mechanism Theory and Equipment Design of Ministry of Education, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China 

3. School of Engineering, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7DL, UK 

4. School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University of Technology and Education, Tianjin 300222, China 

Abstract Reckless discharge of industrial wastewater and domestic sewage as well as frequent leakage of crude oil have caused serious environmental problems and posed severe threat to human survival. Various nature inspired superhy-drophobic surfaces have been successfully applied in oily water remediation. However, further improvements are still urgently needed for practical application in terms of facile synthesis process and long-term durability towards harsh environment. Herein, we propose a simple one-step dodecyl mercaptan functionalization method to fabricate Super-hydrophobic-Superoleophilic Copper Mesh (SSCM). The prepared SSCM possesses excellent water repellence and oil affinity, enabling it to successfully separate various oil-water mixtures with high separation efficiency (e.g., > 99% for hexadecane-water mixture). The SSCM retains high separating ability when hot water and strong corrosive aqueous solutions are used to simulate oil-water mixtures, indicating remarkable chemical durability of the dodecyl mercaptan functionalized copper mesh. Additionally, the efficiency can be well maintained during 50 cycles of separation, and the water repellence is even stable after storage in air for 120 days, demonstrating the reusability and long-term stability of the SSCM. Furthermore, the functionalized mesh also shows good mechanical robustness towards abrasion by sandpaper, and oil-water separation efficiency of > 96% can be obtained after 10 cycles of abrasion. The reported one-step dodecyl mercaptan functionalization could be a simple method for increasing the water repellence of copper mesh, and thereby be a great candidate for treating large-scale oily wastewater in harsh environments. 

Keywords: copper mesh, superhydrophobic, oil-water separation, stability, reusability

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