Cellulose is a natural material with dissolution-regeneration property and numerous hydrogen bonds in the molecule. By utilizing these properties, this paper reported the development of a multi-functional fabric consisting of cellulose and commercial cotton fabric. The morphology, mechanical and thermal properties along with the oil-water separation performance of the developed material were studied. The results showed that the cellulose dissolved in NaOH/urea solution was regenerated in a salt solution, and attached tightly onto the cotton fabric, forming a sandwich structure for the material. Such modification significantly enhanced the strength, thermal stability and hydrophilic performance of the fabrics. Interestingly, the prepared material exhibited a unique underwater oleophobic performance, and had the capability to separate highly emulsified oil-water mixtures. The relatively low cost for the material preparation, enhanced mechanical property and high separation performance distinguished the developed material a suitable candidate for the separation of emulsified oil from water in practical applications.
Keywords: Cellulose; Cotton fabric; Emulsified oil-water mixture; Separation; Underwater oleophobicity.
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