Nanocomposite Foam Involving Boron Nitride Nanoplatelets and Polycaprolactone: Porous Structures with Multiple Length Scales for Oil Spill Cleanup
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2017 American Chemical Society. Herein, we report a facile approach to fabricate highly porous nanocomposites made from polycaprolactone (PCL) and boron nitride (BN) nanoplatelets using coprecipitation mixing and supercritical CO 2 drying. The presence of boron nitride nanoplatelets in polycaprolactone matrix enhanced the porosity of polycaprolactone foams and also improved the interfacial compatibility with oils and nonpolar organic solvents. Through a synergistic combination of surface morphology and interfacial tension effect, PCL:BNNP foams achieved a high hydrophobicity with a contact angle of 135 while being strongly oleophilic with a near zero contact angle for oils and nonpolar organic solvents. The absorption capacity was 6.1, 5.8, 4.3, 3.7, and 3.4 for paraffin oil, silicone oil, corn oil, hexadecane, and n-hexane, respectively. Additionally, the nanocomposite foam also demonstrated promising reusability and oil stability. Overall, this study offers a novel and facile strategy for fabricating porous nanocomposite materials with a strong potential in the applications of environmental remediation.