Electrospun polystyrene nanofiber membrane with superhydrophobicity and superoleophilicity for selective separation of water and low viscous oil

Min Wook Lee, Seongpil An, Sanjay S. Latthe, Changmin Lee, Seungkwan Hong, Suk Goo Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

232 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to prepare solid surfaces with well-controlled superhydrophobic and superoleophilic properties is of paramount importance to water-oil separation technology. Herein, we successfully prepared superhydrophobic- superoleophilic membranes by single-step deposition of polystyrene (PS) nanofibers onto a stainless steel mesh via electrospinning. The contact angles of diesel and water on the prepared PS nanofiber membrane were 0 and 155 ± 3, respectively. Applications of the PS nanofiber membrane toward separating liquids with low surface tension, such as oil, from water were investigated in detail. Gasoline, diesel, and mineral oil were tested as representative low-viscosity oils. The PS nanofiber membranes efficiently separated several liters of oil from water in a single step, of only a few minutes' duration. The superhydrophobic PS nanofiber membrane selectively absorbs oil, and is highly efficient at oil-water separation, making it a very promising material for oil spill remediation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10597-10604
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov 13



  • electrospinning
  • membrane
  • oil-water separation
  • PS nanofibers
  • superhydrophobic
  • superoleophilic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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