The group of SONG Yongyang and colleagues synthesized hydrophilic/oleophilic magnetic Janus particles by emulsion interfacial polymerization and the interfacial assembly of Fe3O4 nanoparticles. Based on this material, they achieved a rapid and efficient separation of micro-scaled tiny oil droplets from water.  When adding the particles to a stable oil-in-water emulsion and subsequently shaking for one minute, the emulsion rapidly formed layers. After manipulation with a magnetic field, the upper oil phase could be rapidly attracted toward the magnet. The whole process was accomplished in two minutes. The separation achieved a high efficiency (>99%) and was applicable to various oils and various oil contents.

CAS news release, June 22, 2016