Enhanced Water Harvesting System and Mechanical Performance from Janus Fibers with Polystyrene and Cellulose Acetate
Joanna Knapczyk-Korczak, Jian Zhu, Daniel P. Ura, Piotr K. Szewczyk, Adam Gruszczyński, Lothar Benker, Seema Agarwal,Urszula Stachewicz
ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2020, https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c06480
Water resources are shrinking year by year, and fog water collectors (FWCs) are already being used in humid regions, where populations have limited access to traditional water resources. The aim of this study was to use electrospun fibers as FWCs to collect water. Two polymers with different wetting and mechanical properties were successfully combined to create a Janus structure from hydrophobic polystyrene (PS) and hydrophilic cellulose acetate (CA). These fibers, with a specially designed gutter shape, were electrospun using a side-nozzle system. The resulting side-by-side PS-CA fiber meshes proved to be a more effective system for fog collection under controlled laboratory conditions than either commercially available Raschel mesh or PS and CA fibers alone. The efficiency of Janus PS-CA fiber mesh achieved a rate of 71 mg·cm–2·h–1. The reinforcement of PS with CA made it possible to obtain durable and mechanically stable PS-CA meshes with higher tensile strength than PS or CA fiber mesh alone. These new PS-CA Janus fibers proved to be a robust and highly efficient system for water harvesting applications.