Sand, an abundant resource from the nature, is a promising candidate for oil/water separation. Herein, raw sand was designed with switchable surface wettability to enable recyclability and versatility in practical oil/water separation. The “smart” sand was fabricated by grafting pH-responsive poly(4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP) and oleophilic/hydrophobic octadecyltrimethoxysilane (OTS) onto its surface. The decorated sand can be used as the oil sorbent for controllable oil sorption and desorption in response to different pHs, as well as a filter to selectively separate either oil or water on demand. This novel design offers an intelligent, low-cost, large-scale, and highly efficient route to potentially settle the issues of industrial oily wastewater and oil spill.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering