Structure changes and water filtration properties of electrospun polyamide nanofibre membranes

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Nanofibre membranes are studied extensively in water treatment. Inappropriate storage, however, could alter their performance, e.g. regarding water filtration. This shows the need for investigating this effect in more detail so as to offer a solution for long-term behaviour and stability. In this study, polyamide nanofibre membranes were treated under different conditions, simulating the diverse storage conditions and to simulate their use in water filtration systems. Under all these different settings, nanofibre properties (scanning electron microscope pictures, dimensional changes, tensile strength) and water filtration performance (clean water permeability (CWP), bacterial removal) were investigated. The results demonstrate that, as soon as the dimensional change of a membrane is >2%, the CWP, tensile strength and bacterial removal significantly decrease. These dimensional changes occurred when the membrane became dry after it had been in contact with water. As such, it is important to keep the membrane either in dry or in wet conditions to store its unique properties. When heat-treated, the membrane had a higher tensile strength and kept its morphology and characteristics better during storage.

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