New filter material quickly removes oily substances from water

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Scientists have developed an inexpensive membrane that can filter oil from water and oil mixtures very quickly without getting dirty..

When  mixing water with oily substances can be very difficult to completely separate them from each other. However, research teams from Tufts University have created a water-repellent super-oleophilic filter polymer material that can effectively and quickly solve this problem. The team was inspired by natural examples such as lotus leaves, which never get wet, but work well with oils..

The membrane is created from an electrically charged liquid stream of polymer exiting from a very narrow needle. After flowing out, the substance dries in the form of a thin thread and is randomly deposited on the target surface, forming a non-woven, porous fibrous web.

The polymer used is a chemical chain covered with fluorine atoms, which give it water repellency, and the random interweaving of the threads creates tiny pockets that trap air, which prevents water from penetrating due to it strong surface tension. At the same time, oily and organic substances flow well through polyvinylidene fluoride and the membrane itself.

Properties filter can be adjusted by changing the functional polymer.

New filter material quickly removes oily substances from water

The developed oil-removing membrane works 70 times faster than other existing analogues and remains clean, which increases its efficiency and allows it to be used for industrial needs for a long time. At the same time, various additive polymers provide the ability to change the functional characteristics. The researchers hope that, among other things, their invention will help to effectively deal with oil spills in the oceans..

We also previously reported on the development of a self-healing liquid membrane that is the complete opposite of a conventional filter: skips large objects and delays small.

text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Nelaka Govinna

New filter material quickly removes oily substances from water

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