Recent ship accidents that resulted catastrophic oil spills necessitate producing environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and large-scale fabrication technology for oil- sorbent materials. Various material systems have been employed to fabricate sorbent materials; however, using fresh material components as adsorbent can lead to a secondary pollution. Therefore, recycling of plastics wastes for the fabrication of adsorbent material could be a wise approach to handle this environmental issue. In this study, foam-expanded polystyrene (f-PS), a commodity polymer used for insulation and packing materials, was electrospun from solution mixture of THF and DMF. Surface and interior porosity were achieved from individual fibers electrospun from a composition of DMF:THF (1:3) at 20-wt% of solid f-PS content. The resulting adsorbents exhibited a considerable hydrophobicity (WCA ≈ 120°) and oleophilicity (CA ≈ 10°), which can selectively adsorb both vegetable and engine oils from polluted waters. The porosity of the fibers has significant effect on the sorption capacity and separation efficiency up to 124 g/g and 99%, respectively. Thus, electrospun mats of the polystyrene wastes offer a promising adsorbent for the remediation of oily wastewaters.
- Expanded polystyrene
- Oily wastewater