Membrane-based strategy for efficient ionic liquids/water separation assisted by superwettability

Jiajing Zhang, Hongliang Liu, Lei Jiang

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Ionic liquids (ILs) acting as new functional solvents have significant impact in both synthetic and materials chemistry. However, the usage of volatile organic solvents in both synthesis and recycling of ILs usually imposes environmental issues. In this study, according to intrinsic wetting threshold theory, a membrane-based approach assisted by superwettability is developed for efficient, convenient, and economical purification of water-immiscible ILs. By precisely tailoring surface energy, the porous membrane is capable of hydrophobicity and superILphilicity (defined as IL contact angle close to zero), selectively allowing ILs to pass through. This kind of functional membrane can not only separate IL/water mixtures, but also IL/water systems containing inorganic salts, organic compounds, amino acids, and proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1606544
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Intrinsic wetting threshold
  • Ionic liquids
  • Membrane separation
  • Superwettability

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