Filtration of Paint-Contaminated Water by Electrospun Membranes
Ann-Kathrin Müller, Zhi-Kang Xu, Andreas Greiner
Macromolecular Materials and Engineering 2022 https://doi.org/10.1002/mame.202200238
Micro- and nanosized plastics as persistent anthropogenic pollutants have attracted more and more attention in recent years. A source of nanoparticles is, for example, water-borne dispersion paint, which consists of a variety of different materials with potential adverse effects on living systems. Therefore, a rising challenge becomes apparent to investigate remediation strategies for environmental media. This problem is addressed by utilizing electrospun membranes for filtration applications because of their outstanding properties, such as their high surface-to-volume ratio and ease of functionalization. The electrospun membranes are able to successfully filter different paint components, such as titanium dioxide and polyacrylate nanoparticles, as well as dispersed polymers and calcium carbonate microparticles. Besides the known size-exclusion mechanism, the membranes featured extraordinary properties, such as effective separation of components smaller than the pore size of the electrospun membranes. This property occurs due to the fiber surface functionalization and enables not only filtration of nanosized or dissolved mater at high filtration efficiencies up to 100% but also at a very low operating pressure. This combination of filter material properties cannot be achieved by conventional nanofiltration membranes and thus, demonstrates the high potential of electrospun membranes for the application in filtration for future environmental pollutants.