Activated carbon nanofiber nonwoven for removal of emulsified oil from water

Basma I. Waisi, Jason T. Arena, Nieck E. Benes, Arian Nijmeijer, Jeffrey R. McCutcheon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


Activated carbon nanofiber nonwoven (ACNFN) has the potential for being high capacity and throughput sorbent for a variety of contaminants in water due to high porosity and permeability, respectively. In this work, we explore the removal of emulsified oil from water using ACNFNs in both a batch and flow-through mode. The ACNFNs were prepared by pyrolysis of electrospun polyacrylonitrile and characterized for specific surface area, hydrophobicity, and mechanical strength. The ACNFNs exhibit a removal efficiency of up to 95% in batch mode and outperform our control tests with non-activated carbon nanofiber nonwoven and a commercial granular activated carbon. Adsorption tests in a flow-through mode demonstrated characteristic breakthrough behavior with subsequent clogging. Removal efficiency increased with the thickness of the mat and with prolonged operation due to ripening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109966
JournalMicroporous and mesoporous materials
Early online date19 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Activated carbon
  • And adsorption
  • Batch
  • Emulsion
  • Flow-through
  • Nonwoven
  • 22/2 OA procedure


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