Amino Carbon Nanotube Modified Reduced Graphene Oxide Aerogel for Oil/Water Separation

Jingyi Cai 1, #

Jing Tian 1, #

Hongbo Gu 1, Email 

Zhanhu Guo 2

1Shanghai Key Lab of Chemical Assessment and Sustainability, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China

2Integrated Composites Lab (ICL), Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 37966, USA

# These authors contributed equally to this work.


In this work, reduced graphene oxide/amino multi-walled carbon nanotube (rGO/MWCNTs-NH2) aerogel has been successfully fabricated through the chemical reaction between carboxyl groups on graphene oxide (GO) and amino groups on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs-NH2) in combination with freeze-drying and high-temperature annealing process. The optimal condition for fabrication of rGO/MWCNTs-NH2 aerogel is mass ratio of MWCNTs-NH2 to GO = 1:8 with GO concentration of 2 mg mL-1. In addition, owing to the strong chemical bonding between amino groups on MWCNTs and carboxyl groups on GO, the improved hydrophobic property and microstructures of rGO/MWCNTs-NH2 aerogel are obtained confirmed by scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and contact angle measurement. After that, the adsorption tests and oil/water separation experiments prove that the rGO/MWCNTs-NH2 aerogel possesses an excellent adsorption performance for various organic solvents and oil including ethyl acetate (152.79 g g-1), cyclohexane (122.46 g g-1), acetone (219.54 g g-1), dichloromethane (242.31 g g-1), and sesame oil (156.35 g g-1), and achieves a high efficiency of oil/water separation within only 25 s. Our rGO/MWCNTs-NH2 aerogel is expected to be a promising material for treatment of oil spills.

Amino Carbon Nanotube Modified Reduced Graphene Oxide Aerogel for Oil/Water Separation