Fiber Diameter Dependency of Electrospun Polysulfone/SiO2/TiO2 Nanocomposite Membranes on the Solution Properties

Document Type : UFGNSM Conference

Authors

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

Polysulfone (PSU) is one of the most frequently used polymers in membranes technology, and it can be electrospun to form nonwoven fibers. However, its hydrophilicity should be improved for water purification purposes. The fiber diameter in electrospun membranes can affect the physical properties of the product. The electrospinning parameters can largely control the average fiber diameter in electrospun membranes. In this study, PSU/SiO2/TiO2 nanocomposite membranes were fabricated via the electrospinning method, and the effect of the introduced nanoparticles on the properties of the primary solutions and hence the average fiber diameter has been investigated. Silica and Titania nanoparticles (0, 0.5, 1wt%) were added to 20 wt.% PSU solution and were electrospun at a constant voltage and feed rate of 15.5 kV and 2 ml/h, respectively. The conductivity of the prepared solutions and the surface tension was measured. In addition, the rheological behavior of the solutions was evaluated using rheometric measurements. Finally, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to study the morphology of the membranes and estimate the average fiber diameter. The obtained results showed that increasing titania nanoparticles at a constant SiO2 content has decreased the average diameter from 959 to 712 nm, which can be attributed to the higher conductivity and lower surface tension of solutions with a higher TiO2 amount leading to facilitated fiber stretching during electrospinning. On the other hand, introducing silica nanoparticles to a certain extent can decrease the fiber diameter due to the predominant effect of improved conductivity. However, beyond this extent, the significant increase in the solution viscosity at 1wt.% caused the formation of thicker fibers with an average diameter of about 1160 nm. These findings emphasize the importance of solution properties for designing an efficient water membrane by controlling its fiber diameter and specific surface area.

Keywords


  1.  

    1. Amin MT, Alazba AA, Manzoor U. A Review of Removal of Pollutants from Water/Wastewater Using Different Types of Nanomaterials. Advances in Materials Science and Engineering. 2014;2014:1-24.
    2. Ahmed FE, Lalia BS, Hashaikeh R. A review on electrospinning for membrane fabrication: Challenges and applications. Desalination. 2015;356:15-30.
    3. Li Y, Zhu J, Cheng H, Li G, Cho H, Jiang M, et al. Developments of Advanced Electrospinning Techniques: A Critical Review. Advanced Materials Technologies. 2021;6(11):2100410.
    4. Ahmad AL, Majid MA, Ooi BS. Functionalized PSf/SiO2 nanocomposite membrane for oil-in-water emulsion separation. Desalination. 2011;268(1-3):266-9.
    5. Qu X, Alvarez PJJ, Li Q. Applications of nanotechnology in water and wastewater treatment. Water Research. 2013;47(12):3931-46.
    6. Manawi Y, Kochkodan V, Mohammad AW, Ali Atieh M. Arabic gum as a novel pore-forming and hydrophilic agent in polysulfone membranes. Journal of Membrane Science. 2017;529:95-104.
    7. Nechifor G, Voicu SI, Nechifor AC, Garea S. Nanostructured hybrid membrane polysulfone-carbon nanotubes for hemodialysis. Desalination. 2009;241(1-3):342-8.
    8. Xu Z, Liao J, Tang H, Li N. Antifouling polysulfone ultrafiltration membranes with pendent sulfonamide groups. Journal of Membrane Science. 2018;548:481-9.
    9. Zheng Q-Z, Wang P, Yang Y-N. Rheological and thermodynamic variation in polysulfone solution by PEG introduction and its effect on kinetics of membrane formation via phase-inversion process. Journal of Membrane Science. 2006;279(1-2):230-7.
    10. Hołda AK, Aernouts B, Saeys W, Vankelecom IFJ. Study of polymer concentration and evaporation time as phase inversion parameters for polysulfone-based SRNF membranes. Journal of Membrane Science. 2013;442:196-205.
    11. Chakrabarty B, Ghoshal AK, Purkait MK. Ultrafiltration of stable oil-in-water emulsion by polysulfone membrane. Journal of Membrane Science. 2008;325(1):427-37.
    12. Blanco J-F, Sublet J, Nguyen QT, Schaetzel P. Formation and morphology studies of different polysulfones-based membranes made by wet phase inversion process. Journal of Membrane Science. 2006;283(1-2):27-37.
    13. Hardman SJ, Muhamad-Sarih N, Riggs HJ, Thompson RL, Rigby J, Bergius WNA, et al. Electrospinning Superhydrophobic Fibers Using Surface Segregating End-Functionalized Polymer Additives. Macromolecules. 2011;44(16):6461-70.
    14. Yang Y, Wang P, Zheng Q. Preparation and properties of polysulfone/TiO2 composite ultrafiltration membranes. Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics. 2006;44(5):879-87.
    15. Obaid M, Tolba GMK, Motlak M, Fadali OA, Khalil KA, Almajid AA, et al. Effective polysulfone-amorphous SiO 2 NPs electrospun nanofiber membrane for high flux oil/water separation. Chemical Engineering Journal. 2015;279:631-8.
    16. Gopal R, Kaur S, Feng CY, Chan C, Ramakrishna S, Tabe S, et al. Electrospun nanofibrous polysulfone membranes as pre-filters: Particulate removal. Journal of Membrane Science. 2007;289(1-2):210-9.
    17. Almasi D, Abbasi K, Sultana N, Lau WJ. Study on TiO2 nanoparticles distribution in electrospun polysulfone/TiO2 composite nanofiber.
Volume 55, Issue 1
June 2022
Pages 15-20
  • Receive Date: 09 November 2021
  • Revise Date: 07 December 2021
  • Accept Date: 09 December 2021
  • First Publish Date: 24 June 2022