A facile synthesis of porous graphene for efficient water and wastewater treatment
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The use of two-dimensional graphene-based materials in water treatment has recently gained significant attention due to their unique electronic and thermal mobility, high surface area, high mechanical strength, excellent corrosion resistance and tunable surface chemistry. However, the relatively expensive, poor hydrophobicity, low adsorption capacity and recyclability, and complex post-treatment of the most pristine graphene frameworks limit their practical application. Here, we report a facile scalable method to produce highly porous graphene from reduced graphene oxide via thermal treatment without addition of any catalyst or use of any template. Comparing to conventional graphene counterparts, as-prepared porous graphene nanosheets showed evident improvement in hydrophobicity, adsorption capacity, and recyclability, making them ideal candidate materials for water treatment. Superhydrophobic and superoleophilic porous graphene prepared in this work has been demonstrated as effective absorbents for a broad range of ions, oils and organic solvents, exhibiting high selectivity, good recyclability, and excellent absorption capacities > 90%. The synthesis method of porous graphene reported in this paper is easy to implement, low cost and scalable. These attributes could contribute towards efficient and cost-effective water purification and pollution reduction.
The authors acknowledge support from the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Metamaterials at the University of Exeter [Grant no. EP/L015331/1].
This is the final version of the article. Available from Springer Nature via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 8, article 1817