Fabrication and characterization of superhydrophilic graphene-based electrospun membranes for efficient oil-water separation

Lijo Francis, Shabin Mohammed, Raed Hashaikeh, Nidal Hilal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research article investigates the fabrication of superhydrophilic graphene-based electrospun membranes for efficient oil-water separation. The study utilizes cellulose acetate (CA) as the base material for membrane fabrication, employing an electrospinning technique followed by the electrohydrodynamic atomization of graphene oxide (GO) to enhance their hydrophilicity. The surface morphology, water contact angle, and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectra of the fabricated membranes were analyzed to assess their properties. The membrane characterization techniques revealed the successful integration of GO nanosheets on the surface of the highly porous interconnected nanofibrous matrix. The modified membranes exhibited superhydrophilicity and underwater oleophobicity. The water contact angle of the optimized GO-based electrospun CA membrane was reduced from 110° to zero within 3 s. The performance of the membranes was evaluated through oil-water separation experiments using different types of oils (such as toluene, n-decane, and hexane) in water. The results demonstrated that the graphene-based optimized membranes exhibited high separation efficiency (3820 LMH), with a water permeation flux as high as 65.5 % compared to CA membranes (2308 LMH). The efficiency of separation while using all three different oils with DI water was calculated to be >99.9 %. The study provides valuable insights into the use of graphene-based membranes for oil-water separation and highlights the potential of the electrohydrodynamic atomization technique for the surface modification of membranes. The developed membranes have great potential applications in various industries, including oil and gas, chemical, and wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104066
JournalJournal of Water Process Engineering
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Electrospinning
  • Electrospraying
  • Graphene
  • Nanostructured membranes
  • Oil-water separation
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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