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Fabrication of nanofibrous mats by "green" electrospinning for liquid microfiltration applications

Abstract : The fabrication of nanofibrous mats by an environmentally friendly, or in other words by a “green”, electrospinning process is nowadays a challenge. Electrospinning is a process allowing the fabrication, generally from a polymer solution, of nonwoven mats composed of fibers having diameters ranging between 50 nm and a few micrometers. Two new strategies have been developed to answer such a growing need. The first one consists in electrospinning bio-sourced polymers while the second one is based on the electrospinning of aqueous solutions exclusively. This second strategy allows avoiding toxic vapors coming from the evaporation of toxic solvents often used during the process. In this context, mats were electrospun from solutions composed of aqueous suspensions of water insoluble polymers, on one hand, and composed of tannic acid, a non-polymeric bio-based molecule exploiting supramolecular interactions. These new environmentally friendly strategies turn the electrospinning process in a less dangerous and less expensive one, and, as a result, ease the use of multi-jet setups and enable a better industrialization of the electrospinning process. Membranes have been developed for liquid microfiltration applications. As a matter of fact, electrospinning membranes can combine submicron pore sizes with porosities greater than 80% unlike commercial microfiltration membranes (porosity < 40%). The fabrication of liquid filtration membranes by a multi-jet "green" electrospinning process, thus, makes it possible to increase the production rates of electrospinning mats and filtration rates while respecting the environment.
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Domitille Mailley. Fabrication of nanofibrous mats by "green" electrospinning for liquid microfiltration applications. Physics [physics]. Université de Strasbourg, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018STRAE019⟩. ⟨tel-02100975⟩

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