Processing and Performance of MOF (Metal Organic Framework)-Loaded PAN Nanofibrous Membrane for CO2 Adsorption
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The objective of this experimental study is to produce a nanofibrous membrane functionalized with adsorbent particles called metal organic framework (MOF) in order to adsorb CO2 from a gas source. Therefore, Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) was chosen as the precursor for nanofibers and HKUST-1, a Cu-based MOF, was chosen as adsorbent. The experimental process consists of electrospinning PAN solution blended with HKUST-1 to produce a nanofibrous mat as working substrates. The fibers were collected in a cylindrical canister model. SEM image of this mat showed nanofibers with the presence of small adsorbent particles, impregnated into the as-spun fibers discretely. To increase the amount of MOF particles for effectual gas adsorption, a secondary solvothermal process of producing MOF particles on the fibers was required. This process consists of multiple growth cycles of HKUST-1 particles by using a sol-gel precursor. SEM images showed uniform distribution of porous MOF particles of 2-4 µm in size on the fiber surface. Energy dispersive spectroscopy report of the fiber confirmed the presence of MOF particles through the identification of characteristic Copper elemental peaks of HKUST-1. To determine the thermal stability of the fibrous membrane, Thermogravimetric analysis of HKUST-1 consisting of PAN fiber was performed where a total weight loss of 40% between 210 and 360 °C was observed, hence proving the high-temperature durability of the synthesized membrane. BET surface area of the fiber membrane was measured as 540.73 m2/g. The fiber membrane was then placed into an experimental test bench containing a mixed gas inflow of CO2 and N2. Using non-dispersive infrared CO2 sensors connected to the inlet and outlet port of the bench, significant reduction of CO2 in concentration was measured. Comparative IR spectroscopic analysis between the gas-treated and gas untreated fiber samples showed the presence of characteristic peak in the vicinity of 2300 and 2400 cm−1 which verifies the adsorption of CO2.
Keywordsadsorption CO2 electrospinning HKUST-1 MOF nanofibers PAN
The authors would like to express their utmost gratitude to the Center for Sustainability of Georgia Southern University to provide financial support for this project.
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