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Robust and durable superhydrophobic cotton fabrics via a one-step solvothermal method for efficient oil/water separation

  • Quan-Yong Cheng
  • Cheng-Shu Guan
  • Yi-Dong Li
  • Jiang ZhuEmail author
  • Jian-Bing ZengEmail author
Original Research


Traditional superhydrophobic cotton fabrics (CF) demonstrate various advantages such as self-cleaning, water repelling and efficient oil/water separation capacity but limited practical applications due to their poor mechanical robustness and environmental durability. In this work, robust and durable superhydrophobic polydivinylbenzene (PDVB) coated CF (PDVB@CF) are fabricated via a simple one-step, fluorine-free, and inorganic nanoparticle-free solvothermal method. The PDVB@CF displays excellent chemical resistance without losing superhydrophobicity after immersing in various organic solvents, strong acid and alkali solutions for a long time. The PDVB@CF shows excellent mechanical robustness to resist sandpaper abrasion and ultrasonication treatment. Furthermore, the PDVB@CF exhibits outstanding high and low temperature resistances since the contact angle of either acidic or alkali droplets is greater than 150° after isothermal treatment at 200 °C or immersion in liquid nitrogen for 3 h. The PDVB@CF is very efficient in separating water mixtures with various oily compounds with separation efficiency of higher than 98% and flux up to 56 k L m−2 h−1 depending on characteristics of the oils. In addition, the PDVB@CF shows excellent recyclability with superhydrophobicity and separation efficiency that remained after 10 separation cycles. The PDVB@CF with excellent robustness and durability exhibits potential utility in oil/water separation even under some harsh conditions.


Superhydrophobicity Polydivinylbenzene Cotton fabric Durability Oil/water separation 



This work was supported by Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (XDJK2017A016).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.College of Materials and Chemical EngineeringChongqing University of Arts and SciencesChongqingChina

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