Graphene/carbon nanotube hydrogels and aerogels for selective removal of oils and organic contaminants

S. Kabiri, D.N.H. Tran, D. Losic
The University of Adelaide, AU

Keywords: graphene, graphene aerogels, graphene composites, oil adsoption

Summary:

We present a green approach to fabricate graphene-carbon nanotube hybrid aerogels with three dimensional (3D) interconnected networks, using a one-step reaction under the synergic effects of the reduction of graphene oxide sheets and acid treated carbon nanotubes by ferrous ion. They showed highly mass sorption capacity, excellent recyclability and stable performance. The aerogels exhibit efficient absorption capacity for the removal of petroleum products, fats and organic solvents and can be used in conjugation with a vacuum system for the continuous removal of oils approx. 22000 times its own weight. This work provides a simple and low-cost method for preparing highly porous 3D aerogels for environmental remediation and water purification.