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Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 9;6:31233. doi: 10.1038/srep31233.

A Versatile and Scalable Approach toward Robust Superhydrophobic Porous Materials with Excellent Absorbency and Flame Retardancy.

Ruan C1,2, Shen M1,2, Ren X1, Ai K1, Lu L1.

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State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, 130022, P. R. China.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100039, P. R. China.


The frequent oil spillages and the industrial discharge of organic contaminants have not only created severe environmental and ecological crises, but also cause a risk of fire and explosion. These environmental and safety issues emphasize the urgent need for materials that possess superior sorption capability and less flammability and thus can effectively and safely clean up the floating oils and water-insoluble organic compounds. Here we present the successful hydrophobic modification of the flame retardant melamine sponge with a commercial fluorosilicone, by using a facile one-step solvent-free approach and demonstrate that the resultant superhydrophobic sponge not only exhibits extraordinary absorption efficiency (including high capacity, superior selectivity, good recyclability, and simple recycling routes), but also retains excellent flame retardancy and robust stability. In comparison to conventional methods, which usually utilize massive organic solvents, the present approach does not involve any complicated process or sophisticated equipment nor generates any waste liquids, and thus is a more labor-saving, environment-friendly, energy-efficient and cost-effective strategy for the hydrophobic modification. Taking into account the critical role of hydrophobic porous materials, especially in the field of environmental remediation, the approach presented herein would be highly valuable for environmental remediation and industrial applications.

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