Removal of oil from water using magnetic bicomponent composite nanofibers fabricated by electrospinning

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Journal Article
Composites Part B: Engineering, 2015, 77 pp. 311 - 318
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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. In the present study, a magnetic nanofibrous composite mat composed of polystyrene (PS)/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) nanofibers with selective incorporation of iron oxide (Fe 3 O 4 ) nanoparticles (NPs) on/in PS was successfully prepared via a facile two-nozzle electrospinning process for oil-in-water separation. Field emission scanning electron microscopy and infrared spectroscopy showed the mats to be highly-porous in structure and confirmed the presence of the Fe 3 O 4 NPs on/in the nanofibers. Both PS and PVDF nanofibers exhibited oleophilic and hydrophobic properties. The results showed improved mechanical properties when PVDF was added to the composite mat compared to the pristine PS mat. In addition, the incorporation of magnetic Fe 3 O 4 NPs in the composite mat helps in the easy recovery of the mats after the oil-in-water sorption process. The composite mats showed good oil sorption capacity (35-46 g/g) and improved mechanical property. The present electrospun magnetic PVDF/Fe 3 O 4 @PS nanofibers could be potentially useful for the efficient removal of oil in water and recovery of sorbent material.
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