Bioinspired membranes and foams for oil/water separation

Bioinspired membranes and foams for oil/water separation

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  • November 10, 2020
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Treatment: Capture and degradation: Bioinspired membranes and foams for oil/water purification, contaminant (caffeine, HEPES, organic molecules, dye, heavy metal), and toxin


  • Design and construct tunable metal-organic-frameworks (MOFs) with desired functionalities (e.g., treatment, catalytic capacity, and controlled drug delivery)

  • Design bio-originated separation system with smart switchability targeting water-in-oil and oil-in-water emulsions

  • Design nano-biodegradable adsorbents to uptake the emerging water pollutant (e.g., salicylic acid, phosphate)

  • Design and fabricate the high-performance photocatalysts to remove the organic pollutants

  • Design and construction of a photo-electrochemical system for in situ generation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and de-emulsification of fine stable bilge water emulsions

  • Synthesize the heterogeneous nano-biodendrimer as an environmentally friendly, reusable, and inexpensive adsorbent to the elimination of mercury, palladium, copper, lead, cobalt, cadmium, manganese, and zinc from contaminated water sources

Schematic diagram of our strategy to design a spiderweb-like ZIF-8 monolithic foam. (A) TEMPO-exfoliation of CNFs from grape seed with a further APTES modification. (B) Fabrication of shell-cross-linked microspheres by ultrasonication using CNFs and BSA as the shell materials. Then, the precursor solutions, including zinc nitrate and 2-MeIM, were sequentially added to initiate the in situ growth of ZIF-8 at the microsphere surfaces. (C) Following the centrifugation of the ZIF-8-immobilized microspheres at 2000 g for 5 min, a gel-like HIPE layer was collected. (D) Freeze-drying to form the hierarchical porous ZIF-8 foam.

(A) Schematic diagrams and (B) series of optical microscope images illustrating the sequential steps of shape-controlled formation of a single TiO2 hollow shell from an emulsion droplet containing ETPTA and TBT in aqueous phase (Scale bar represents 30 μm).

Schematic illustrations of proposed mechanisms for photo-electrochemical generation of H2O2 and %OH radicals with schematic illustration of transient behavior of oil droplets during photo-electrochemical treatment.

Schematic illustrations of proposed mechanisms for phosphate treatment

Peer-reviewed Publications

  1. A supported dendrimer with terminal symmetric primary amine sites for adsorption of salicylic acid (
  2. A robust, sustainable and multifunctional nanofiber with smart switch ability for water-in-oil and oil-in-water emulsions separation and liquid marble preparation (10.1039/C9TA10320A )
  3. A biocompatible nanodendrimer for efficient adsorption and reduction of Hg (II) (
  4. Synthesis of highly monodispersed, stable, and spherical NZVI of 20–30 nm on filter paper for the removal of phosphate from wastewater: batch and column study (
  5. Shape-controlled fabrication of TiO2 hollow shells toward photocatalytic application (
  6. In situ H2O2 generation for de-emulsification of fine stable bilge water emulsions (
  7. Adsorption of mercury ions from wastewater by a hyperbranched and multi-functionalized dendrimer modified mixed-oxides nanoparticles (
  8. Preparation of iron nanoparticles-loaded Spondias purpurea seed waste as an excellent adsorbent for removal of phosphate from synthetic and natural waters (10.1016/j.jcis.2015.04.019)
  9. A Spiderweb‐Like Metal–Organic Framework Multifunctional Foam (