New filter material quickly cleanses water from oily substances

Scientists have developed an inexpensive membrane capable of very quickly filtering the oil from water and oil mixtures without polluting.

When mixing water with oily substances, they can be very difficult to completely separate from each other. However, groups of researchers from the University of Tafts created a water-repellent superolatile filter polymer material, which is able to effectively and quickly solve this task. The team inspired natural examples, such as lotus leaves, the surface of which never wet, but interact well with oils.

The membrane is created from an electrically charged polymer fluid flow coming out of a very narrow needle. After leaving, the substance dries in the form of a fine thread and randomly deposits on the surface of the target, forming a non-woven, porous fibrous canvas.

The polymer used is a chemical chain coated with fluorine atoms that give it water-repellent properties, and the random weave of the threads creates tiny pockets, delaying air, which prevents water penetration due to its strong surface tension. At the same time, oily and organic substances are well proceeded through the polyvinylidenefluoride and the membrane itself.

The properties of the filter can be configured by changing the functional polymer.

The developed membrane developed, works in 70 times faster than other existing analogues and remains clean, which increases its effectiveness and allows for industrial needs for a long time. In this case, various additive polymers ensure the possibility of changing the functional characteristics. Researchers hope that among other things, their invention will help effectively deal with oil spills in the oceans.

Previously, we also reported on the development of self-healing