Nanotechnology for Oil-Water Separation

  • Prakash M. Gore
  • Anukrishna Purushothaman
  • Minoo Naebe
  • Xungai Wang
  • Balasubramanian Kandasubramanian
Part of the Nanotechnology in the Life Sciences book series (NALIS)


The contamination of oceanic and ground water sources due to oil seepages and industrial waste solvents has emerged as a global issue urging for immediate counter measures to epitomize the catastrophic repercussions on sensitive ecological system. In this sense, various advanced techniques have been explored for the effective oil/solvent-water separation. Recently, researchers have focused on nanomaterials for efficient oil/solvent-water separation, as they render highly active surface area, improved functionality with ability to tailor the properties, and nano-scale dispersion. The oil/solvent-water separation is widely achieved via superwetting phenomena, i.e., superhydrophobic/superhydrophilic, superoleophobic/superoleophilic, which leverages selective wettability towards oil/solvents or water. The superwetting materials can be fabricated by engineering the porous surface-architecture and nano/micro-scaled hierarchical surface roughness. Various nano-functionalized superwetting materials like Janus fabrics, membranes, nanofibers, sponges/foams, and meshes have been explored for the treatment of oil/solvent-water emulsions, as they render high separation efficiency, recyclability, mechanical durability, and high performance against harsh environments. These superwetting nano-engineered materials are promising potential candidates for treating oil/solvent-water emulsions in large quantities, as compared to traditional separation techniques in the near future. In this book chapter, we have discussed the recent advances on superwetting nano-engineered Janus materials, foams, and sponges for the efficient oil/solvent-water separation, along with the governing principle theories such as Wenzel, and Cassie-Baxter. We have also discussed the fabrication methods for these materials, followed by a summary and future scope.


Oil-water separation Superhydrophobic Superoleophilic Nanomaterials Janus fabric Membrane 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Prakash M. Gore
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anukrishna Purushothaman
    • 3
  • Minoo Naebe
    • 2
  • Xungai Wang
    • 2
  • Balasubramanian Kandasubramanian
    • 1
  1. 1.Nano Surface Texturing Lab, Department of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, DIAT (DU)Ministry of DefencePune, GirinagarIndia
  2. 2.Institute for Frontier MaterialsDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Biopolymer Science and TechnologyCentral Institute of Plastics Engineering and TechnologyEloor, Udyogmandal, KochiIndia

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