Electrospun nanofibers for adsorption of pollutants from wastewaters

The overall objective of our research project is to develop a technology that will help many industries and more specifically the pulp and paper industry to reduce their fresh water consumption and by the same way their effluent discharge. To achieve this, it is mandatory to remove several contaminants from process waters because the reduction of fresh water consumption can only be made by closing down water systems. Therefore, reusing and recycling more process water within the mill is necessary. Unfortunately, as more process water is recycled back to the paper machine, an excessive accumulation of contaminants (dissolved and colloidal substances) in process waters results with detrimental consequences to the papermaking process itself as well as to the paper quality, and of course this is very costly. To overcome this problem, we have developed an experimental approach based on the adsorption process. We believe that if we can remove some of those contaminants from paper machine white water during the papermaking process; it will be possible to reuse it and replace an equivalent amount of fresh water, which is normally required to operate the paper machine without any disturbing problems.

The overall objective of the proposed research projet is thus to develop a filtration/adsorption device to adsorb specific pollutants (organic or inorganic) from wastewaters. The device will be made of electrospun nanofibers using various synthetic polymers as well as biopolymers.

The specific objectives of the project are:

-To manufacture electrospun nanofibers using various mixtures of polymers (synthetic/biopolymers) and to determine specific nanofiber properties (dimensions, strength, porosity, surface area, surface chemistry, etc).

– To study adsorption potential of those electrospun nanofibers towards specific contaminants (organic, inorganic).

-To determine adsorption isotherm (models) and kinetic adsorption isotherms under various experimental conditions.

Faculty Supervisor:

Bruno Chabot





Engineering - chemical / biological





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