|Heru SB Rochardjo||Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Grafika No. 2, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia|
|Fatkhurrohman||Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Grafika No. 2, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia|
|Ahmad Kusumaatmaja||Department of Physics, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Sekip Utara, Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia|
|Ferriawan Yudhanto||1. Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Grafika No. 2, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia 2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogya|
Filtration is an effective
method in any process concerning the removal of potential infective substances
via a size separation mechanism. The filter can be made from various materials.
This research analyzes the fabrication of nanofiltration membranes made from
polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) nanofibers reinforced with ramie cellulose nanocrystal
(CNC) using the electrospinning method. The physical and mechanical properties
of the filters were investigated with varying CNC concentrations in PVA to
investigate the effect of the CNC content. The results showed that the fiber
diameter in the membranes was not significantly related to the CNC content.
However, the strength and elongation increased with an increase in CNC
concentration until a certain value was reached, at which point it started
decreasing. The SEM image showed that the membrane nanofibers have a pore size
small enough to be used in a nanofiltration process. SEM-EDX and TGA/DSC
testing were also carried out to determine the elements in the membrane and
show the suitability of the thermal resistance.
Cellulose nanocrystal; Electrospinning; Nanofiber membrane; Polyvinyl alcohol
The Covid-19 virus is currently a global pandemic, with the first outbreak identified in Wuhan, China, in 2019. Since then, the virus has spread around the world. Therefore, it is essential to take the right steps to break the chain of its transmission. One of the strategies for preventing its transmission includes creating a nanofiber filter with smaller pores than the virus. This is because nanofibers show prospective filtration due to their controlled fiber diameter, high specific strength, high surface area, and mat pore size (Sanders et al., 2019).
The nanofiber is a fiber nano-sized in diameter. It can be produced from
various types of polymers, including polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Reinforcements
for these polymers are valuable for strengthening their properties. The use of
cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) as a reinforcement in the nanofiber membrane is
supportive due to its nano dimensions, high aspect ratio, high crystallinity,
low density, high mechanical strength, unique morphology, addition to these benefits, CNCs also have better properties than other
fibers, including glass, steel wire, Kevlar, and graphite (Kim et al., 2015).
This study utilized cellulose from ramie fiber, which is a natural fiber containing 76% cellulose, 17% hemicellulose, and 1% lignin (Heinze et al., 2018). However, studies on the use of ramie fibers as CNCs are scarcely found. The utilization is limited to handicrafts and fabrics despite its abundance in Indonesia due to its ability to grow adequately in any tropical region with good productivity. Cellulose can also be extracted from many other natural materials besides ramie fiber. For example, Helmiyati and Anggraini (2019) successfully researched the production of cellulose from rice husks.
Polyvinyl alcohol is a low-cost, water-soluble, biocompatible polymer used in many biomedical applications (Sousa et al., 2015). For these reasons, the combination of ramie CNC and PVA is expected to produce an excellent composite material with a higher strength in the nanofiber membrane.
In this study, a ramie CNC-filled PVA nanofiber membrane was manufactured using an electrospinning method. This technique is widely used for the production of membrane nanofibers despite the potential use of other methods, such as sol-gel (Poerwadi et al., 2020), screening and drying a composite solution to form a rougher result (Rochardjo et al., 2019), or spin coating followed by direct immersion in distilled water of polyethersulfone (Prihandana et al., 2015). With electrospinning, PVA fibers can be produced with a diameter ranging from ten to hundreds of nanometers (Rezaei et al., 2016).
fabrication of composite nanofiber membranes from CNC ramie fiber and PVA has
been successfully conducted. Due to the average pore size of 11.8 nm in
nanofiber membranes, it can be used as a nano-filtration process in general.
The addition of 5% CNC ramie fiber (v/v) has a positive impact on the tensile
strength and elongation of the nanofiber membrane. The membrane was produced perfectly
with a voltage of 15 kV and a distance between the tip and collector of 12
cm. However, at higher CNC contents, it
needs further investigation, since the resulting membrane was not good, as
shown by the existence of defects on the membrane that resulted in lower
mechanical properties. The thermal resistance of the nanofiber membrane is in
the temperature range of 300oC–340oC; therefore, the
membrane is safe when used at room temperature and higher.
authors would like to acknowledge the Department of Mechanical and Industrial
Engineering Universitas Gadjah Mada for providing research equipment and supporting
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