Alginate–Halloysite Nanocomposite Aerogel: Preparation, Structure, and Oil/Water Separation Applications

Sneha Bhagyaraj, Igor Krupa
2020 Biomolecules  
Environmental remediation using green approaches for addressing various pollution-related issues, especially water pollution, is in high demand. Here, we designed an environmentally friendly, low-cost, and stable sodium alginate–halloysite clay composite aerogel (SAHA) for oil/water separation via a two-step synthesis procedure, including ionic crosslinking and freeze-drying. The as-prepared SAHA aerogels were characterized in detail by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force
more » ... mic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transformation infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. Characterization of the SAHA aerogels revealed a three-dimensional porous microstructure with uniformly dispersed halloysite nanotubes (HA) within the alginate matrix. The elemental composition of the hydrogels investigated using energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) revealed the presence of minerals, such as magnesium, sodium, aluminum, and silicon in the SAHA aerogels. The presence of a hydrophilic alginate matrix combined with these unique morphological characteristics resulted in SAHA aerogels with underwater oleophobicity and excellent oil/water separation efficiency (up to 99.7%). The ease of fabrication, excellent oil/water separation, and multiple performances make the SAHA aerogel an interesting candidate for practical applications in water recycling.
doi:10.3390/biom10121632 pmid:33287322 fatcat:67dywd36bzg4zcgex6yswmsdn4