Zeolite Incorporated Polycaprolactone/Zeolite Nanocomposite Membranes for Silver Removal
The presence of heavy metals in drinking water leads to several health problems. Nano and micro fiber membranes can be used to overcome this through nano or microfiltration process. In this study, polycaprolactone (PCL)/zeolite electrospun composite membranes were fabricated and characterized. PCL is one of the synthetic polymers used in biomedical applications. It has several advantages, including biocompatibility, biodegradability and mechanical flexibility. On the other hand, zeolites are microporous, aluminosilicate minerals commonly used as commercial adsorbents. Electrospinning is a promising technique to produce membranes by applying high voltage electricity. In this research, an electrospinning technique was used to fabricate the electrospun membrane based on PCL and zeolite. In order to produce electrospun membrane, 15% (w/v) of PCL polymer solution was dissolved in acetone and 20% (w/v) zeolite nanoparticles were incorporated into the PCL polymer solution. The diameter range of fiber was 2-6 Âµm. Zeolite nanoparticles were distributed homogenously into the fibers. EDX spectrum confirmed the presence of zeolite throughout the membrane. From the performance testing, it was revealed that the membrane can be potentially used as microfiltration to entrap silver contaminants in drinking water. Apart of that, the membranes are prepared with biocompatible, non-toxic materials which can be eco-friendly.
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