Smart Sand by Surface Engineering: Toward Controllable Oil/Water Separation

Jian Chang, Chisiang Ong, Yusuf Shi, Jiayin Yuan, Zeyad Ahmed, Peng Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Sand, an abundant resource from the nature, is a promising candidate for oil/water separation. Herein, raw sand was designed with switchable surface wettability to enable recyclability and versatility in practical oil/water separation. The “smart” sand was fabricated by grafting pH-responsive poly(4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP) and oleophilic/hydrophobic octadecyltrimethoxysilane (OTS) onto its surface. The decorated sand can be used as the oil sorbent for controllable oil sorption and desorption in response to different pHs, as well as a filter to selectively separate either oil or water on demand. This novel design offers an intelligent, low-cost, large-scale, and highly efficient route to potentially settle the issues of industrial oily wastewater and oil spill.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9475-9481
Number of pages7
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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