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3D Printing of an Oil/Water Mixture Separator with In Situ Demulsification and Separation

1
State Key Laboratory of Solid Lubrication, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
Center of Materials Science and Optoelectronics Engineering, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China
3
Yiwu R&D Centre for Functional Materials, LICP, CAS, Yiwu 322000, China
4
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832003, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050774
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing of Polymeric Materials)
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Abstract

Currently, many meshes, membranes, and fabrics with extreme wettability of superhydrophobicity/superoleophilicity, or superhydrophilicity and underwater superoleophobicity are promising candidates for oil/water mixture separation. Nevertheless, a facile yet effective way to design and fabricate porous mesh still remains challenging. In this work, fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing of Fe/polylactic acid (PLA) composites was employed to fabricate superhydrophilic and underwater superoleophobic mesh (S-USM) with hydrogel coatings via the surface polymerization of Fe(II)-mediated redox reaction. In addition, salt of aluminum chloride was incorporated within the hydrogel coating, which was attributed to strengthening the demulsification of oil-in-water emulsions, resulting in efficient separation of oil-in-water mixtures. The S-USM was efficient for a wide range of oil-in-water mixtures, such as dodecane, diesel, vegetable oil, and even crude oil, with a separation efficiency of up to 85%. In this study, the flexible design and fabrication of 3D printing were used for the facile creation of spherical oil skimmers with hydrogel coatings that were capable of removing the floating oil. Most importantly, this work is expected to promote post-treatment processes using 3D printing as a new manufacturing technology and, in this way, a series of devices of specific shape and function will be expanded to satisfy desired requirements and bring great convenience to personal life. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D printing; superhydrophilic; underwater superoleophobic; oil/water separation; in situ demulsification and separation; oil skimmer 3D printing; superhydrophilic; underwater superoleophobic; oil/water separation; in situ demulsification and separation; oil skimmer
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Yan, C.; Ma, S.; Ji, Z.; Guo, Y.; Liu, Z.; Zhang, X.; Wang, X. 3D Printing of an Oil/Water Mixture Separator with In Situ Demulsification and Separation. Polymers 2019, 11, 774.

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