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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2018, Vol. 12 Issue (3) : 15
Hydrophilic/underwater superoleophobic graphene oxide membrane intercalated by TiO2 nanotubes for oil/water separation
Zhichao Wu, Chang Zhang, Kaiming Peng, Qiaoying Wang(), Zhiwei Wang
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Shanghai Institute of Pollution Control and Ecological Security, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
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GO/TiO2 membrane was prepared by assembling GO nanosheets and TiO2 nanotubes.

The intercalation of TiO2 nanotubes enlarged the space of GO interlayers and modified the surface morphology.

Hydrophilic/underwater superoleophobic property of GO/TiO2 membrane was obtained.

Water permeability, hydrophilicity, oleophobicity and antifouling ability of GO-based membrane were all enhanced by intercalating TiO2 nontubes.

Membrane technology for oil/water separation has received increasing attention in recent years. In this study, the hydrophilic/underwater superoleophobic membrane with enhanced water permeability and antifouling ability were fabricated by synergistically assembling graphene oxide(GO) nanosheets and titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanotubes for oil/water separation. GO/TiO2 membrane exhibits hydrophilic and underwater superoleophobic properties with water contact angle of 62° and under water oil contact angle of 162.8°. GO/TiO2 membrane shows greater water permeability with the water flux up to 531 L/(m2·h·bar), which was more than 5 times that of the pristine GO membrane. Moreover, GO/TiO2membrane had excellent oil/water separation efficiency and anti-oil-fouling capability, as oil residual in filtrate after separation was below 5 mg/L and flux recovery ratios were over 80%.The results indicate that the intercalation of TiO2 nanotubes into adjacent GO nanosheets enlarged the channel structure and modified surface topography of the obtained GO/TiO2 membranes, which improved the hydrophilicity, permeability and anti-oil-fouling ability of the membranes, enlightening the great prospects of GO/TiO2 membrane in oil-water treatment.

Keywords Hydrophilic      Superoleophobic      Graphene oxide      Membrane      Titanium dioxide nanotubes      Oil-water separation     
Corresponding Author(s): Qiaoying Wang   
Issue Date: 19 April 2018
 Cite this article:   
Zhichao Wu,Chang Zhang,Kaiming Peng, et al. Hydrophilic/underwater superoleophobic graphene oxide membrane intercalated by TiO2 nanotubes for oil/water separation[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2018, 12(3): 15.
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Zhichao Wu
Chang Zhang
Kaiming Peng
Qiaoying Wang
Zhiwei Wang
Fig.1  Schematic diagram of the fabrication process of GO and GO/TiO2 membranes via vacuum-assisted filtration
Fig.2  SEM images of (a) GO membrane, (b) GO/TiO2 membrane (TiO2/GO= 2), (c) GO/TiO2 membrane (TiO2/GO= 4), (d) GO/TiO2 membrane (TiO2/GO= 6), and (e) GO/TiO2 membrane (TiO2/GO= 8). (f) XRD patterns of GO membrane and GO/TiO2 membrane
Fig.3  Photographs of GO/TiO2 (a, b) and GO (c, d) membranes before and after ultra-sonication and oscillation
Fig.4  Permeate flux of GO/TiO2 membranes with different TiO2/GO mass ratios
Fig.5  (a) Apparent water contact angles in air and (b) apparent oil contact angle under water of GO/TiO2 membranes with different TiO2/GO mass ratios. Snap shots of the oil/water/membrane interfaces of (c) GO and (d) GO/TiO2 membranes (TiO2/GO= 4). Snap shots of underwater oil adhesion test of (e) GO membrane and (f) GO/TiO2 membrane (TiO2/GO= 4)
Fig.6  (a) Oil/water separation performance of GO and GO/TiO2 membranes, and (b) Schematic representation of oil/water separation mechanism
Fig.7  Flux recovery test of GO and GO/TiO2 membranes with different mass ratios of TiO2/GO (a, b). Flux recovery test of GO/TiO2 membranes in different concentration of oil emulsion (c, d)
Membrane Water flux
Oil flux
Oil rejection ratio (%) Flux recovery ratio (%)
GO/TiO2 membrane 4020 1980 70.2 84.5
Ultrafiltration membrane 505 228 65.3 70.8
Tab.1  Permeate flux, oil rejection ratio and flux recovery ratio of GO/TiO2 membrane and commercial ultrafiltration membrane.
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