Spongy Graphene as a Highly Efficient and Recyclable Sorbent for Oils and Organic Solvents.

Advanced Functional Materials, Volume 22, Issue 21, pages 4421–4425, November 7, 2012.

Hengchang Bi, Xiao Xie, Kuibo Yin,Yilong Zhou, Shu Wan, Longbing He, Feng Xu, Florian Banhart, Litao Sun,Rodney S. Ruoff. 

SEU-FEI Nano-Pico Center, Key Laboratory of MEMS of Ministry of Education, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, P. R. China.

Institut de Physique et Chimie des Materiaux, UMR 7504 CNRS, Universite de Strasbourg, 23 rue du Loess, 67034 Strasbourg, France.

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials and Science Program, The University of Texas at Austin, One University Station C2200, Austin, TX 78712, USA.

 

Abstract

 

In this work, spongy graphene (SG), a shape-mouldable and nanoporous material with a high specific surface area used as a versatile and recyclable sorbent material, is proposed and studied. SG shows highly efficient absorption of not only petroleum products and fats, but also toxic solvents such as toluene and chloroform (up to 86 times of its own weight), requiring no further pretreatment, which is tens of times higher than that of conventional absorbers. Moreover, SG can be regenerated (>10 times) by heat treatment, yielding the full release of adsorbates (>99%). The present work suggests SG a widespread potential for applications in industry as well as topics regarding environmental protection.

Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

 

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Additional Information

Pollution by oils, petroleum products, and toxic organic solvents causes severe environmental and ecological problems each year. New materials that can sequester and remove pollutants are therefore urgently needed. In the publication, ‘spongy graphene’ (SG), a shape-mouldable and nanoporous material with a high specific surface area used as a versatile and recyclable sorbent material, has been proposed and studied. SG shows highly efficient absorption to not only petroleum products and fats, but also toxic solvents such as toluene and chloroform (up to 86 times its own weight), requiring no further pretreatment, which is tens of times higher than that of conventional absorbers. Moreover, SG could be regenerated (>10 times) by heat treatment, yielding full release of adsorbates (>99 %).

Our overall efforts suggest SG a widespread potential for applications in chemical industry as well as environmental protection. For example, SG may be applied as an efficient sorbent for quick removal of oil spill on the sea surface.

Quite recently, it was found that SG also worked fine while absorbing and releasing crude oil. In the additional figure, panel a) showed the absorption of  crude oil (dark brown, sticky liquid) by a SG block and panel b) showed the release process of the same sponge, simply by heat treatment.

 

Spongy Graphene as a Highly Efficient and Recyclable Sorbent for Oils and Organic Solvents