Through sol-gel and dip-coating processes, commercial polyurethane sponge modified by polysiloxane was fabricated under low temperature (60 °C) and atmosphere. The contact angle of the obtained polysiloxane/polyurethane sponge is 145 ± 5°. Hence, the polysiloxane/polyurethane sponge could float on water and selectively absorb organics from the surface of the water, indicating simultaneous properties of hydrophobicity and oleophilicity. The absorbent maximum value is 50–150 times of its own weight. The polysiloxane/polyurethane sponge exhibited excellent recyclability, which could be reused by squeezing the sponge due to its high mechanical stability and flexibility. Thermogravimetry-differential thermal analysis test indicated that the polysiloxane/polyurethane sponge exhibited good thermal stability and the stable contact angle of samples tested under increasing temperature indicated its good weather resistance. Due to the commercial property of polyurethane sponge and easy-handling of polysiloxane, the polysiloxane/polyurethane sponge can be easily scaled up to recover a large-area oil spill in water and further work based on the designed equipment has been under consideration.
Fabrication of polysiloxane-modified polyurethane sponge as low-cost organics/water separation and selective absorption material
Zhengshan Cui, Wanxia He, Jun Liu, Wei Wei, Liang Jiang, Jun Huang, Xiaomeng Lv; Fabrication of polysiloxane-modified polyurethane sponge as low-cost organics/water separation and selective absorption material. Water Sci Technol 28 October 2016; 74 (8): 1936–1945. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2016.348
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