Electrospun nanofibrous polyvinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene membranes for oil–water separation

Lamiss Zaidouny, Mohamad Abou-Daher, Ali R. Tehrani-Bagha*, Kamel Ghali, Nesreen Ghaddar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Effective separation of oil from water is of significant importance globally for various applications such as wastewater treatment, oil spill cleanup, and oil purification. Among the numerous approaches for oil removal, membrane separation is considered one of the most promising approaches due to its selectivity and ease of operation. Electrospinning is a promising technique for producing polymeric membranes with tunable structures with interconnected pores, large surface area, and high porosity. In this study, hydrophobic poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP) nanofibrous membranes were electrospun and used for this purpose. The effects of various parameters (e.g., polymer concentration, applied voltage, tip to collector distance, and feed rate) were investigated to find the optimum electrospinning conditions. Further, the electrospun membranes were characterized according to average fiber diameter, morphology, average pore size, and wettability to identify the combinations most likely to succeed in oil–water filtration. The physical–chemical properties of the membranes (i.e., thickness, areal density, porosity, average pore size, water/oil contact angle, hydrostatic pressure head, and oil filtration flux) were studied based on standard test methods. The separation efficiency of eight electrospun membranes with various pore sizes and average fiber diameters were tested for diesel/water mixtures. A linear relation was found between the initial oil flux and the average pore size of the membranes. The maximum oil filtration flux of about 224 L/m2/h, achieving over 75% oil recovery in 10 min, was obtained for the electrospun membrane with the average pore size of 4.5 μm. The membranes were successfully used for eight consecutive oil–water separation cycles without noticeable loss of flux.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49394
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • electrospun membranes
  • hydrophobic membrane
  • oil flux
  • oil-water separation
  • pore size


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