Multifunctional carbon aerogels from typha orientalis for oil/water separation and simultaneous removal of oil-soluble pollutants

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Biomass-derived carbon aerogels with 3D network porous structure show excellent physical properties and exhibit superior application potential. Here, we prepare multifunctional carbon aerogels (MCAs) by carbonization of aerogels composed of typha orientalis fibers. The MCAs feature light mass (5.0 mg cm−3), excellent compressibility (80%), good electrical conductivity (0.18 S cm−1), and very high oil absorption capacity (42–160 g g−1). Because of the excellent superhydrophobic/superoleophilic properties, the MCAs can be used as adsorbent materials to remove free oils in water by various methods. The MCAs can also be applied for efficient separation of surfactant-stabilized water-in-oil emulsions and rapid removal of soluble dyes in oils. Furthermore, the mixtures of multi-emulsions and dyes can be purified with MCAs, which makes MCAs alternative materials for oil purification.

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This work was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (51602132).

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Correspondence to Jin Yang or Beibei Chen.

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Yang, J., Xu, P., Xia, Y. et al. Multifunctional carbon aerogels from typha orientalis for oil/water separation and simultaneous removal of oil-soluble pollutants. Cellulose 25, 5863–5875 (2018) doi:10.1007/s10570-018-1994-x

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  • Carbon aerogels
  • Typha orientalis fibers
  • Superhydrophobic
  • Water-in-oil emulsions
  • Oil purification