Superhydrophobic copper foam modified with hierarchical stearic acid/CuSiO3/Cu(OH)2nanocomposites for efficient water/oil separation

Ji Li, Yuan Wang, Ruixi Gao, Tian C. Zhang, Shaojun Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Developing efficient, durable and affordable oil-water separation technologies is critical to address the challenges of oily wastewater treatment. In this work, a microsphere-like CuSiO3 embedded Cu(OH)2 nanowires array was prepared on copper foam (CF) support (defined as CF/Cu(OH)2/CuSiO3) by using a simple chemical etching and hydrothermal method. After modifying with stearic acid (SA), such a novel CF/Cu(OH)2/CuSiO3-SA membrane presented excellent superhydrophobicity with a static water contact angle of 155.6°. The ammonia concentration in the precursor solution and the hydrothermal reaction time were critical for the morphology and the associated hydrophobicity of the CF/Cu(OH)2/CuSiO3-SA membrane. The as-prepared superhydrophobic CF had efficient anti-corrosion and mechanical properties and demonstrated an excellent separation capability of oil-water mixtures with a separation efficiency of 98.4%. It also exhibited a good separation efficiency of 98.3% for various water-in-oil emulsions, and delivered an outstanding separation efficiency of 98.2% towards oil/water mixture after operating successive 30 cycles of oil-water separation. With the inherent advantages of high separation efficiency of oil/water emulsion, good physicochemical stability and durability, and high mechanical and corrosion resistance, the novel CF/Cu(OH)2/CuSiO3-SA membrane is potentially useful in practical applications for oily wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107618
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Copper foam
  • CuSiOnanoparticles
  • Emulsion
  • Oil/water separation
  • Superhydrophobic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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