This paper reports the synthesis and characterization of novel ultrafiltration (UF) electrospun nanofibrous membranes (ENMs) incorporated with iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles (NPs) for effective oily solution treatment. Three strategies were employed to improve the physiochemical properties of the resultant ENMs. Firstly, n-methyl-pyrrolidinone (NMP) was added to dimethylformamide (DMF) wherein the solvent stimulated fusion of the inter-fiber junctions was enhanced. Secondly, Fe3O4 NPs were introduced into the ENMs to improve their hydrophilicity and anti-fouling resistance against oil molecules. Thirdly, hot pressed technique was adopted to strengthen the electrospun mat, avoiding delamination of the ENMs layer during liquid filtration processes. The findings indicated that the developed Fe3O4 NPs incorporated ENMs exhibited outstanding oil elimination (94.01%) and excellent water flux recovery (79.50%) when tested with synthetic oil solution (12,000 ppm). Water productivity of over 3200 L/m2 h was achieved without forfeiting the rate of oil removal under gravity. Extraordinarily low flux declination disclosed by the proposed ENMs was attributed to their tailored surface resistance mediated oil anti-fouling character. The enhanced mechanical and oil anti-fouling traits of the prepared ENMs were established to be potential for the treatment of diverse oily effluents (especially emulsions of oil–water) in the industries.
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