Design and evaluation of a portable nanofilter system for continuous water supplies in water-scarce locations

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Nepal, Kiran
Asmatulu, Ramazan

Water is a very essential and necessary element in human life. About 70% of water found in the human body is located in the cells. Lack of pure water in developing countries creates many health problems, such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, dysentery, malaria, jaundice, and water borne disease; therefore, it is very important that water is pure. Nanofibers are produced by the electrospinning process, a valuable technique based on the use of electrostatic forces to produce continuous nanofibers with a diameter of about 10 nanometers to some micrometers. Nanofiber can remove impurities such as metals, salts, viruses, algae, and pathogens from water. In this research, nanofibers were produced from two polymers-polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). Dimethylformamide (DMF) was used as the solvent. An amount of 0.1 gram of PEG and 1.8 gram of PAN was mixed with 18 grams of DMF to form a polymer solution. Nanofibers were produced from this polymer solution by the electrospinning process. Due to its superhydrophilic property, nanofiber can easily pass water and then filter it. In this research, impurities such as salts, pathogens, and chemicals were removed from the contaminated water by using a nanofilter. Various water samples-pond water, water jet cutter water, tap water, deionized (DI) water, and carbon black (CB) deionized water-were used for the experiment. The purpose of this study was to remove the impurities such as arsenic, pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and salts from the water using nanofilters that were developed for this purpose. Activated carbon was added to the nanofilter, which increased the surface area for adoption of the water. The water samples were tested for turbidity, total dissolved solids (TDS), electrical conductivity (EC), pH, and refractive index.

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Thesis (M.S.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering