Poly(lactic acid)/artificially cultured diatom frustules nanofibrous membranes with fast and controllable degradation rates for air filtration

Adv Compos Hybrid Mater. 2022 May 6:1-12. doi: 10.1007/s42114-022-00474-7. Online ahead of print.


The worldwide pandemic, coronavirus COVID-19, has been posing a serious threat to the global economy and security in last 2 years. The monthly consumption and subsequent discarding of 129 billion masks (equivalent to 645,000 tons) pose a serious detrimental impact on environmental sustainability. In this study, we report a novel type of nanofibrous membranes (NFMs) with supreme filtration performance and controllable degradation rates, which are mainly composed of polylactic acid (PLA) and artificially cultured diatom frustules (DFs). In this way, the filtration efficiency of particular matter (PM) and the pressure drop were significantly improved in the prepared PLA/DFs NFMs as compared with the neat PLA NFM. In specific, with incorporation of 5% DFs into fibers, PM0.3 removal with a filtration efficiency of over 99% and a pressure drop of 109 Pa were achieved with a membrane thickness of only 0.1 mm. Moreover, the yield strength and crystallinity degree of the PLA/DFs5 NFMs were sharply increased from 1.88 Mpa and 26.37% to 2.72 Mpa and 30.02%. Besides those unique characters, the PLA/DFs5 presented excellent degradability, accompanied by the degradation of 38% in 0.01 M sodium hydroxide solution after 7 days and approximately 100% in natural condition after 42 days, respectively. Meanwhile, the environmentally friendly raw materials of the composite polylactic acid and artificially cultured diatom frustules could be extracted from corn-derived biomass and artificially cultivated diatoms, ensuring the conformance to carbon neutrality and promising applications in personal protection.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s42114-022-00474-7.

PMID:35539508 | PMC:PMC9073818 | DOI:10.1007/s42114-022-00474-7


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