New nanofiber composition for multiscale bubble capture and separation

Sheibani Aghdam, Araz and Rokhsar Talabazar, Farzad and Jafarpour, Mohammad and Koşar, Ali and Cebeci, Fevzi Çakmak and Ghorbani, Morteza (2022) New nanofiber composition for multiscale bubble capture and separation. ACS Omega, 7 (44). pp. 39959-39969. ISSN 2470-1343

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Bubble dynamics inside a liquid medium and its interactions with hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces are crucial for many industrial processes. Electrospinning of polymers has emerged as a promising fabrication technique capable of producing a wide variety of hydrophobic and hydrophilic polymer nanofibers and membranes at a low cost. Thus, knowledge about the bubble interactions on electrospun hydrophobic and hydrophilic nanofibers can be utilized for capturing; separating; and transporting macro-, micro-, and nanobubbles. In this study, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and PMMA-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) electrospun nanofibers were fabricated to investigate gas bubble interactions with submerged nanofiber mats. To improve their durability, the nanofibers were reinforced with a plastic mesh. The ultimate tensile strengths of PMMA and PMMA-30%PEG nanofibers were measured as 0.35 and 0.30 MPa, respectively. With the use of reinforcement mesh, the mechanical properties of final membranes could be improved by a factor of 70. The gas permeability of the electrospun and reinforced nanofibers was also studied using the high-speed visualization technique and a homemade setup to investigate the effect of electrospun nanofibers on the bubble coalescence and size in addition to the frequency of released bubbles from the nanofiber mat. The diffusion rate of air bubbles in hydrophobic PMMA electrospun nanofibers was measured as 10 L/s for each square meter of the nanofiber. However, the PMMA-30%PEG mat was able to restrict the diffusion of gas bubbles through its pores owing to the van der Waals force between the water molecules and nanofiber surface as well as the high stability of the thin water layer. It has been shown that the hydrophobic electrospun nanofibers can capture and coalesce the rising gas bubbles and release them with predictable size and frequency. Consequently, the diameter of bubbles introduced to the hydrophobic PMMA membrane ranged between 2 and 25 mm, whereas the diameter of bubbles released from the hydrophobic electrospun nanofibers was measured as 8 ± 1 mm. The proposed mechanism and fabricated electrospun nanofibers can enhance the efficiency of various systems such as heat exchangers, liquid-gas separation filters, and direct air capture (DAC) systems.
Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center
Depositing User: Ali Koşar
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2023 14:08
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2023 14:08

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