Chitin nanowhisker – Inspired electrospun PVDF membrane for enhanced oil-water separation

Sreerag Gopi, Rupert Kargl, Karin Stana Kleinschek, Anitha Pius*, Sabu Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The requirement of promoting a revolution in filtration technology has led to growing devotion in advanced functional materials such as electrospun membranes for filtering devices as a solution for providing water at lower energy costs. In this study, electrospun polyvinylidene fluoride membranes were fabricated by reinforcing 0.5 and 1 wt. % of chitin nanowhiskers in order to improve their thermal stability, mechanical properties, pure water flux and oil-water filtration performance for the possible application as filtration membranes. Morphological analysis revealed the porous and fibrous structure of membranes which confirmed by BET surface area analysis. Incorporation of chitin nanowhiskers improved the mechanical properties of the membranes such as elongation at break and tensile strength (specifically at 1 wt. % of chitin nanowhisker) while resulted in substantial enhancement of their thermal properties. Furthermore, polyvinylidene fluoride/chitin nanowhisker membranes showed enhanced oil-water separation ability, while reinforcement of chitin nanowhisker led to increase pure water flux rate, which measured as a crucial point in filtration membranes. The oil-water separation results compared with a commercial polyvinylidene fluoride membrane and the results signified the potential of electrospun polyvinylidene fluoride/chitin nanowhisker to be used for filtration application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Advanced materials
  • Biopolymer
  • Chitin
  • Oil
  • Polyvinylidene fluoride
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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