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    Fabrication of a Superhydrophobic, Fire-Resistant, and Mechanical Robust Sponge upon Polyphenol Chemistry for Efficiently Absorbing Oils/Organic Solvents

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    In this study, a superhydrophobic, fire-resistant, and mechanical robust sponge was fabricated through a two-step polyphenol chemistry strategy for efficiently absorbing oils/organic solvents (<i>rapidness in absorption rate and large quantity in absorption capacity</i>). Specifically, the Fe<sup>(III)</sup>–polyphenol complex is formed upon the metal–organic coordination between tannic acid (TA, a typical polyphenol) and Fe<sup>(III)</sup> ions, which is spontaneously coated on the surface of the pristine melamine sponge. Then, free catechol groups in the polyphenol are applied for grafting 1-dodecanethiol, thus generating the superhydrophobic sponge. Several characterizations have confirmed the chemical/topological structures, superhydrophobicity, fire-resistant merits, and mechanical robust property of the sponge. As a result, this sponge exhibits excellent absorption capacities of oils/organic solvents up to 69–176 times its own weight, indicating promising sorbents for removing oily pollutants from water. Meanwhile, owing to the facile fabrication process and inexpensive/easy available raw materials, the large-scale production of this sponge will be convenient and cost-effective