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SB-spinning and supersonic nanoblowing biopolymer nanofiber mats for in situ removal of heavy metal ions

Grant number: 19/18219-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): September 21, 2020
Effective date (End): September 20, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Condensed Matter Physics
Principal Investigator:Osvaldo Novais de Oliveira Junior
Grantee:Rafaella Takehara Paschoalin
Supervisor abroad: Alexander L Yarin
Home Institution: Instituto de Física de São Carlos (IFSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/18725-2 - Hybrid core-shell and Janus nanofibers obtained by Solution Blow Spinning, BP.PD

Abstract

Heavy metals are known to cause serious diseases in humans by threatening their nervous and cardiovascular systems, to mention a few, even at low concentrations. Many materials have been developed for heavy metal ion removal. However, most of them have low adsorption rates and may take a long time to achieve adsorption equilibrium. Furthermore, there are concerns about the use of non-biodegradable materials over exhausting natural resources and environmental burdens that have led to increased demand for biodegradable materials created from rapidly renewable sources, especially for disposable applications and short-term use. However, bioplastics are still more expensive and have shortages in performance when compared to conventional plastics. The current proposal aims to develop biodegradable mats for heavy metal removal from water. In a biorefinery approach, these novel membranes will be based on chitin nanofibers derived from unexploited residues through green processes that can be scaled-up in a straightforward fashion, namely solution blow spinning (SB-Spinning) and electrically assisted supersonic solution blowing. The structure of the nanofibers will be characterized and its metal removal performance will be investigated in equilibrium as well as under the throughflow conditions. The removal mechanisms of chitin nanofibers to aqueous heavy metals will be studied, focusing on the roles of surface functional groups in different pHs.