Preparation of new materials for application as filtration systems and evaluation of their efficiency in air conditioning devices for buildings: Mats of ultrathin fibers/nanofibers, porous sheets and multi-layer-structured polymeric materials reinforced
Nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) is considered to be an excellent reinforcing agent in polymeric composites prepared, e.g., via electrospinning. Ultrathin fibers (diameter <1000 nm)/nanofibers (diameter d 100 nm) produced via electrospinning have a high surface area to volume ratio and therefore can present a remarkable potential for adsorption of contaminants from air on their surface. In this context, the present project aims to produce NFC from lignocellulosic fibers of bamboo and sisal via grinding process of the pulp. Electrospun mats will be prepared with aligned and non-aligned fibers via electrospinning of polymer solutions such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), containing different concentrations of NFC. It will be evaluated the influence of the presence of NFC as reinforcing agent and the degree of fiber alignment on the final properties of the materials, including their performance as air filtration systems. Furthermore, the present project aims at the preparation of other air filtration media, e.g., porous sheets and multi-layer-structured systems (composed of porous sheets and electrospun mats of the same composition). Thus, to the best of our knowledge, in an innovative way, the goal of the present study is to prepare bio-based filter media with superior performance in the air filtration process compared to traditional filters (such as glass fiber filter media of abrasive nature), aiming at air quality and thermal comfort in buildings such as residential, commercial and industrial ones.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: