Highly durable superhydrophobic polymer foams fabricated by extrusion and supercritical CO 2 foaming for selective oil absorption

Hao Yang Mi, Xin Jing, Yuejun Liu, Lengwan Li, Heng Li, Xiang Fang Peng, Huamin Zhou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


The severe water contamination caused by oil leakage is calling for low-cost and high-performance absorbent materials for selective oil removal. In this study, a scalable green method was proposed to produce polypropylene (PP)/poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) composite foams via conventional processing techniques including twin-screw extrusion and supercritical carbon dioxide foaming. To produce the superhydrophobic foam, micro- and nanosized PTFE particles were melt blended with PP and subsequently foamed. Ascribed to the nanofibrillation of microsized PTFE during processing, the fabricated foam exhibited a special highly porous structure with PTFE nanofibrils and nanoparticles uniformly distributed on the pore surfaces within the PP matrix, which resulted in a remarkably high water contact angle of 156.8° and a low contact angle hysteresis of 1.9°. Unlike traditional surface-modified superhydrophobic absorbers, the foams prepared are entirely superhydrophobic, which means that they remain superhydrophobic when being fractured or cut. Moreover, they are highly durable and maintained the superhydrophobicity when subjected to ultrasonication and mechanical sanding. When used in selective oil absorption, the durable foams exhibited excellent absorption efficiency and high stability in repetitive and long-term use. These advantages make the PP/PTFE foam a promising superabsorbent material for water remediation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7479-7487
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2019


  • durability
  • oil absorption
  • poly(tetrafluoroethylene)
  • polymer foam
  • superhydrophobic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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