MORE | Spring 2020

Tuning the Hydrophilicity and Porosity of Electrospun Membranes for Pretreatment in Water Filtration

Sustainability icon, disabled. A green leaf.

The reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment process is a well-researched technology among the pressure driven processes to produce potable water. RO membranes are susceptible to fouling and scaling. This work explores electrospinning, a cost-effective and scalable technique, to blend two polymers into a nonwoven membrane comprised of fibers ~100 nm – 100 µm in diameter. After electrospinning, the mats are cross-linked with a poly(ethylene glycol) diacid to impart mechanical strength and tune the porosity. These mats display tunable hydrophilicity and porosity that aids to tackle the fouling and scaling of these membranes. Future work includes water filtration studies and flux studies.

Student researcher

Husain Mithaiwala

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Graduation date: Spring 2020