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Electrospun nanofibre-based strategies for removal and detection of water contaminants
Expanded Title:The work focused on nanotechnology-based solutions for drinking water in which electrospun nanofibres were used for removal / detection of contaminants in water. The aim was to develop electrospun nanofibre-based devices for water purification as well as monitoring of water quality suitable. Nanofibres were fabricated by electrospinning. The experimental approach consisted of evaluating the recognition principle (compounds or metallic nanoparticles) responsible for selectivity in solution phase then incorporating it in or on a nanofibre platform. The objectives of the project were to: (1) develop sorbents for uptake of metals in water; (2) develop nanofibres with antimicrobial properties for control of pathogens in water; (3) develop optical probes for the detection of heavy metals and organic contaminants in water; and (4) develop enzyme/substrate immobilised electrospun nanofibres for removal and monitoring of contaminants in water. All four objectives were achieved. Sorbents were developed for uptake of metals, and were demonstrated to be selective for arsenate species. The uptake of arsenate was not affected by competing anions. The interaction between arsenate and the electrospun nanofibres is suspected to be via hydrogen bonding of the anion with the hydroxyl groups on the primidine ring. Nanofibres incorporated with 2-substituted N-alkylimidazoles showed excellent antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria. Electrospun nanofibres incorporated with silver(I) complexes showed a broader spectrum antimicrobial activity, attributed wholly or partially to the silver(I) ions, depending on the type of microorganism. Optical detection probes were developed which discoloured in the presence of Ni(II) but not when exposed to other metals. Another probe, for the colorimetric detection of 17β-estradiol, was developed using gold nanoparticles in electrospun nylon 6 and polystyrene polymer nanofibres. This probe was also highly selective for and sensitive to the target compound. The research detailed in this report has enhanced the understanding of the use of electrospun nanofibres as a platform for water purification and contaminant detection strategies. The new probes invented during this project are protected by patents 2012/08972, 2012/08973 and 2012/08971.
Date Published:01/04/2013
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Drinking water - Water supply
Document Keywords:Water Quality
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:1991/1/13
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0395-6
Authors:Pletschke B; Frost C; Tshentu Z; Torto N
Project No:K5/1991
Originator:WRC
Organizations:Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology Rhodes University; Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University; Rhodes University
Document Size:5 084 KB
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