Smart Sand by Surface Engineering: Toward Controllable Oil/Water Separation

Jian Chang, Chi Siang Ong, Yusuf Shi, Jiayin Yuan, Zeyad Ahmed, Peng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Sand, an abundant resource from the nature, is a promising candidate for oil/water separation. Herein, raw sand was designed with switchable surface wettability to enable recyclability and versatility in practical oil/water separation. The “smart” sand was fabricated by grafting pH-responsive poly(4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP) and oleophilic/hydrophobic octadecyltrimethoxysilane (OTS) onto its surface. The decorated sand can be used as the oil sorbent for controllable oil sorption and desorption in response to different pHs, as well as a filter to selectively separate either oil or water on demand. This novel design offers an intelligent, low-cost, large-scale, and highly efficient route to potentially settle the issues of industrial oily wastewater and oil spill.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIndustrial & Engineering Chemistry Research
StatePublished - Jun 23 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-06-25
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Saudi Aramco for generous funding to support this project (RGC/3/3577-01-01).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Smart Sand by Surface Engineering: Toward Controllable Oil/Water Separation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this