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Materials 2016, 9(4), 247; doi:10.3390/ma9040247

Recycled PET Nanofibers for Water Filtration Applications

United States Army Research Laboratory, Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, MD 21005, USA
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Academic Editor: Armando Silvestre
Received: 17 December 2015 / Revised: 21 March 2016 / Accepted: 23 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)
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Abstract

Water shortage is an immediate and serious threat to our world population. Inexpensive and scalable methods to clean freshwater and wastewater are in high demand. Nanofiber filtration membranes represent a next generation nonwoven filter media due to their unique properties. Polyethlyene terephthalate (PET) is often used in the packaging of water and other commonly used materials, leading to a large amount of plastic waste often with limited incentive for recycling (few value-added uses). Here, we present work in the generation of nanofiber liquid filtration membranes from PET plastic bottles and demonstrate their use in microfiltration. PET nanofiber membranes were formed via solution electrospinning with fiber diameters as low as ca. 100 nm. Filtration efficiency was tested with latex beads with sizes ranging from 30 to 2000 nm. Greater than 99% of the beads as small as 500 nm were removed using gravity filtration. To reduce biofouling, the mats were functionalized with quaternary ammonium and biguanide biocides. The biguanide functionalized mats achieved 6 log reduction for both gram negative and gram positive bacteria. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrospinning; nanofibers; recycled PET; water filtration; antimicrobial electrospinning; nanofibers; recycled PET; water filtration; antimicrobial
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zander, N.E.; Gillan, M.; Sweetser, D. Recycled PET Nanofibers for Water Filtration Applications. Materials 2016, 9, 247.

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