Comprehensive Electrokinetic-Assisted Separation of Oil Emulsion with Ultrahigh Flux


October 26, 2021

Volume 15, Issue 10

Pages 15397-16946

Many industries have a significant but largely unmet need for efficient and high-flux emulsion separation, particularly for nanoemulsions. Conventional separation membranes rely on size-based separation mainly utilizing a sieving mechanism plus a wetting phenomenon, resulting in a dramatic trade-off between separation efficiency and separation flux. Herein we address this challenge by adapting electrokinetics to membrane-based separation, using a charge-based mechanism capable of separating even nanoemulsions with a demonstrated separation efficiency of >99% and ultrahigh flux up to 40 000 L/H·m2. Our device arrests nano-oil droplets, allowing them to coalesce into larger droplets which are then able to be filtered by coarser membranes. This hybrid technology makes electrokinetic-assisted filtration scalable and commercially viable and allows for a better understanding of the multiphysics underlying dynamic separation.

  • Hyukjin J
  •  Kwon
  •  Minsoo Lee
  •  Seong Kyung Hong
  •  Chan Park
  • Seong J Cho
  • Geunbae Lim

ACS Nano | Vol 15, No 10

Image created by minjeong Kim / Nanosphere