The main objective of this work is to fabricate and characterize a new type of nanocomposite nanofiber membrane by incorporating photocatalytic nanomaterials – titanium dioxide (TiO2) into a highly porous nanofiber made of UV-resistant polyetherimide (PEI). The nanofiber membrane was fabricated via an electrospinning method using a dope solution containing 15 wt% PEI dissolved in a mixed solvent of dimethylformamide (DMF)/n-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). The resultant PEI nanofiber membrane was further modified by coating its surface with TiO2 (0.2 and 0.6 wt%) using electrospraying method. The properties of the TiO2-modified PEI nanofiber membranes were then analysed using scanning electron microscope (SEM), water contact angle (WCA) goniometer and tensile strength machine. Results showed that 0.2 wt% TiO2-modified PEI nanofiber displayed better behaviour by reducing WCA of unmodified nanofiber from 130.25° to 23.35° and improving water flux by 28%. Although the WCA of membrane was further reduced when a higher TiO2 amount (0.6 wt%) was used, the resultant nanofiber suffered from decreased ultimate strength and significant nanoparticles leaching. Using the best performing 0.2% TiO2-modified PEI membrane, significant removal rate of Escherichia coli (99%) and humic acid (∼80%) could be achieved along with 85% methylene blue degradation during photocatalytic process. The findings of this work provide an insight into the design of advanced nanocomposite nanofiber membrane for photocatalytic process.
- E. coli
- Titanium dioxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Process Chemistry and Technology