Advancements in electrospun nanofibers for water splitting and water treatment
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This dissertation study reports on the development of a nanomembrane for dam water and wastewater treatment. The study highlights the application of nanotechnology in water purification by employing an electrospun nanomembrane for water treatment. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) was dissolved in dimethylformamide (DMF) with different weight percentages of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), and gentamicin sulfate powder was added to the solution prior to the electrospinning process. Gentamicin was added mainly to remove bacteria and some viruses, while PVP was added to make the surface of the membrane hydrophilic in order to enhance the filtration efficiency. The electrospun nanomembrane is capable of playing a major role in water purification. Recently, many problems have emerged as a result of the increase in the consumption of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) worldwide. These problems have led many researchers to focus on alternative sources of energy that are safe, clean, affordable, and environmentally friendly. There is a compelling necessity for developing a productive photocatalyst system for overall water splitting to produce clean and recyclable hydrogen on a large scale. The other aspect of this dissertation is the synthesis of nickel oxide-loaded strontium titanate (NiO-STO) on electrospun nanofibers using a single electrospinning technique and a coaxial electrospinning technique for efficient overall water splitting. The electrospun NiO-STO nanofibers are then annealed at 600oC to transform them into a crystalline form for better photocatalyst efficiency. Ultraviolet (UV) spectrophotometry and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy were used to characterize the structural properties of the fibers. Their morphology and dimensions were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The structures of the calcined nanofibers were determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), which clearly indicated the formation of NiO and STO and nanofiber structures.
Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering