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Open AccessArticle

Mixed Matrix Poly(Vinyl Alcohol)-Copper Nanofibrous Anti-Microbial Air-Microfilters

1
Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds 3008, Victoria, Australia
2
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization CSIRO, Waurn Ponds 3008, Victoria, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2019, 9(7), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9070087
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Environmental Engineering)
Membranes decorated with biocide materials have shown great potential for air sanitization but can suffer from biocide agent leaching by dissolution in water. In order to tackle the diffusion of biocide metal ions from the fiber matrix, composite nanofiber membranes of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) cross-linked with copper (II) acetate have been successfully engineered via sol–gel electrospinning, providing a stable mean for air bactericidal microfiltration. The novelty lies in the bonding strength and homogeneous distribution of the fiber surface biocide, where biocide metals are incorporated as a sol within a polymer matrix. The electrospinning of bead-free composite nanofibers offered over 99.5% filtration efficiency for PM2.5, with a theoretical permeance above 98%. The PVA/copper nanofiber membranes also showed satisfactory anti-bacterial performance against the gram-negative Escherichia coli within 24 h, making them promising materials for the remediation of airborne bacteria. The mechanical and chemical stability of the engineered nanocomposite electrospun nanofiber webs added to the natural biodegradability of the materials, by offering ideal low-cost sanitary solutions for the application of air disinfection in both indoor and outdoor fitting a circular economy strategy where advanced materials are redesigned to be sustainable. View Full-Text
Keywords: sol–gel electrospinning; anti-bacterial activity; air filtration; composite nanofibers sol–gel electrospinning; anti-bacterial activity; air filtration; composite nanofibers
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MDPI and ACS Style

des Ligneris, E.; Dumée, L.F.; Al-Attabi, R.; Castanet, E.; Schütz, J.; Kong, L. Mixed Matrix Poly(Vinyl Alcohol)-Copper Nanofibrous Anti-Microbial Air-Microfilters. Membranes 2019, 9, 87.

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