Title

Electrospinning Pvdf Nanoporous Membranes For Use In Air Gap Membrane Distillation To Desalinate Dirty Water

Author(s)

John Mathai

School Name

South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Engineering

Presentation Type

Mentored

Mentor

Mentor: Xinyu Huang, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina

Abstract

Membrane distillation is a water desalination process that uses a temperature difference to create a diffusion gradient. The goal of this research was twofold: 1) electrospin a PVDF membrane and 2) build a housing unit for the membrane distillation process to occur. In order for the electrospinning process to work efficiently, the membrane must be hydrophobic and porous for water vapor, but not salt. Using electrospinning, a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) suspension was spun into a possible membrane candidate. Multiple PVDF suspensions spun at different air-gap distances, voltages and relative humidities displayed no fiber formation initially. Electrospray and conglomeration dominated the deposition. More PVDF suspensions were mixed with higher percentage PVDF, and fiber formation occurred. Although the fibers deposited were large, causing the membrane to lack the necessary characteristics to function properly, further work is expected to achieve the desired sub 5 μm fiber formation. In addition, sketching, Creo 2.0, 3D printing and aluminum milling allowed for the rapid prototyping and eventual creation of a larger membrane-housing unit that met all of the necessary structural constraints.

Start Date

4-11-2015 11:15 AM

End Date

4-11-2015 11:30 AM

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 11:15 AM Apr 11th, 11:30 AM

Electrospinning Pvdf Nanoporous Membranes For Use In Air Gap Membrane Distillation To Desalinate Dirty Water

Membrane distillation is a water desalination process that uses a temperature difference to create a diffusion gradient. The goal of this research was twofold: 1) electrospin a PVDF membrane and 2) build a housing unit for the membrane distillation process to occur. In order for the electrospinning process to work efficiently, the membrane must be hydrophobic and porous for water vapor, but not salt. Using electrospinning, a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) suspension was spun into a possible membrane candidate. Multiple PVDF suspensions spun at different air-gap distances, voltages and relative humidities displayed no fiber formation initially. Electrospray and conglomeration dominated the deposition. More PVDF suspensions were mixed with higher percentage PVDF, and fiber formation occurred. Although the fibers deposited were large, causing the membrane to lack the necessary characteristics to function properly, further work is expected to achieve the desired sub 5 μm fiber formation. In addition, sketching, Creo 2.0, 3D printing and aluminum milling allowed for the rapid prototyping and eventual creation of a larger membrane-housing unit that met all of the necessary structural constraints.