Particulate matter (PM) pollution, which usually carries viruses and bacteria, has drawn considerable attention as a major threat to public health. In this present study, an environment-friendly antibacterial Poly(lactic acid)(PLA)/chitosan composite air filter was fabricated using the one-step electrospinning technique. The composite PLA/chitosan fibres show a highly porous structure, in which chitosan nanoparticles (NPs) were found to be uniformly distributed throughout the entire fibre. The morphologies, through-pore size and distribution, air filtration and anti-microbial properties of these filter media were studied. The results showed that it was not the chitosan content but instead the concentration of the spinning solutions that had the greatest effect on the morphologies of the porous fibres. The relative humidity influenced the nanometre-scale pores on the surface of PLA/chitosan fibres. The PLA/chitosan fibrous membranes with a chitosan to PLA mass ratio of 2.5:8 exhibited a high filtration efficiency of 98.99% and a relatively low pressure drop (147.60 Pa) when the air flow rate was 14 cm/s, while these also had high antibacterial activity of 99.4% and 99.5% against Escherichia coli
and Staphylococcus aureus
, respectively. It took 33 min for the PM2.5
concentration to decrease to 0 μg/m3
from 999 μg/m3
using the PLA/chitosan fibrous membranes, which demonstrates obviously effective air purification performance.
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