Thermo-responsive membranes with switchable superhydrophilicity and superhydrophobicity for oil-water separation

Ranwen Ou, George P. Simon, Huanting Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


Oil-water separation remains key in the development of technology for a range of applications. In this chapter, thermally responsive membranes with switchable superwettabilities used for controllable oil-water separation will be discussed. Superwetting membranes have been shown to be energy-efficient and cost-effective for the separation of oil-water mixtures or oil-water emulsions because the separation mechanism is based on the different interfacial effects of oil or water on the superwetting surface. These membranes show not only excellent separation efficiency, but also ultrahigh permeation flux. In recent years, on-off switchable separation of oil-water mixtures, separation of different kinds of oil-in-water emulsions and water-in-oil emulsions with the same membrane, and tuneable permeation flux have been achieved by introduction of a thermally responsive ability into the superwetting membranes. The challenges in this area are also outlined for further development of thermo-responsive membranes with superwetting surfaces for controllable oil-water separation and practical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmart Membranes
EditorsLiang-Yin Chu
Place of PublicationLondon UK
PublisherThe Royal Society of Chemistry
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781788016377, 9781788017657
ISBN (Print)9781788012430
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameSmart Materials
PublisherThe Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN (Print)2046-0066
ISSN (Electronic)2046-0074

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