Document Type: SI: Membr. Eng. Rev.
Chemical and Biological Engineering Department, University of Ottawa
University of Ottawa, Canada
Electrospinning is a simple and versatile technique that relies on the electrostatic repulsion between surface charges to continuously draw nanofibers from a viscoelastic fluid. Electrospinning can generate nanofibers with a number of secondary structures. Surface and/or interior of nanofibers can be functionalized with molecular species or nanoparticles during or after an electrospinning process to obtain desirable results. In a short period, elecrospun nanofiber membranes (ENMs) have gained popularity due to the facile fabrication, interconnectivity and large area/volume ratio. However, ENMs’ pore sizes are intrinsically very large fractions of micrometer to few macrometer, which makes modification of surface chemistry and especially reduction of the ENM pore size indispensable for wider applications of ENMs for membrane separation processes. The modification of nanofibers has been applied widely to give them improved properties. This review paper will provide the progress have recently made on the modification of ENMs to enhance their performance in various membrane separation processes.