Novel clay-based nanofibrous membranes for effective oil/water emulsion separation

Research paper by YekaiZhu, DajunChen

Indexed on: 02 Nov '17Published on: 01 Aug '17Published in: Ceramics International


In this work, nanofibrous ultrafiltration (UF) membrane based on natural clay (attapulgite, AT) nanofibers for oil/water emulsion separation was fabricated through a combination of papermaking and sintering technologies. The effects of sintering process and poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) content on the pore structure, wetting ability and mechanical property of AT-based nanofibrous membranes (NFMs) were investigated. The obtained AT-based NFMs possessed low pore size (~12 nm), high porosity (above 60%), good flexural strength (5–7 MPa), excellent chemical stability and fouling resistance. The separation efficiency of AT-based NFMs for nano-sized emulsified oil reached 97.4%. The AT-based NFMs also exhibited high pressure resistance (>0.6 MPa), indicating potential applications in oil/water emulsion separation.