VELLORA THEKKAE PADIL Vinod Technical University of Liberec

Tree Gum based Electrospun Nanofiber Membranes: Process Optimization, Characterization and Environmental Application

Co-authors ČERNÍK Miroslav

Tree gums (gum arabic, gum tragacanth, gum karaya, and gum kondagogu) are obtained as natural exudates and exhibit unique properties with a wide variety of applications. Commercially tree gums have a separate niche in the world market as a commodity of international trade. Most of these gums are heterogeneous polysaccharides with complicated structures and extremely high molecular masses. They contain a large number of hydroxyl groups usually arranged in a fairly regular manner along the backbone of the molecule, which allows for the chelation of mono- and divalent cations, thereby cross-linking the polymer chains together and forming complex macrostructures. They find important applications in food, pharmaceutical, adhesive, paper, textile, beverage and other industries. The nanofiber membranes were prepared from mixtures of various gums and biodegradable synthetic polymers (PVA and PEO) using electrospinning. The effects of solvents, molecular weight, degree of deacetylation, purity, solubility, charged group distribution, gelling behavior, concentration, viscosity, surface tension, chain entanglement, electrical conductivity, applied high voltage, air temperature and humidity on the electrospinning of the polymeric blends were studied. Further, nanoparticles such as Ag / CuO / TiO2 / Fe3O4 were incorporated into the electrospun nanofiber membranes to bind specific contaminants or catalyse degradation reactions, to reduce fouling, improve antibacterial properties, pore size, porosity, hydrophilicity and leading to enhanced flux. The developed membranes were evaluated for the removal of micropollutants from water.