Electrospun polystyrene-(emeraldine base) mats as high-performance materials for dye removal from aqueous media

Filipe D.S. Gorza, Graciela C. Pedro, Romário J. da Silva, Juan C. Medina-Llamas, José J. Alcaraz-Espinoza, Alicia E. Chávez-Guajardo, Celso P. de Melo

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10 Scopus citations


© 2017 Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers A more widespread use of conducting polymer nanostructures in environmental remediation is limited by their tendency to form agglomerates. In this study, we report the development of electrospun polystyrene/polyaniline composite membranes that can be used as efficient agents for the removal of dye molecules from aqueous solutions. These nonwoven polystyrene-polyaniline (NW PS-PANI) mats are formed after the incorporation of the conducting polymer into the surface of nonwoven polystyrene (NW PS) mats produced via the electrospinning method. The composite mats were characterized by contact angle measurements, SEM, FTIR and UV–vis spectroscopy. By performing experiments in batch mode, we examined the capacity of these mats for removing Congo red (CR) molecules, a prototypical azo dye, as a function of pH, interaction time and dye initial concentration. These membranes are hydrophilic and have a large CR removal efficiency. The zero point charge pH of the NW PS-PANI membranes was determined as 6.4, and we have found that their adsorption capacity reaches a maximum of 380.0 mg/g at pH 6.0. An easy recovery of the contaminant is possible by using these mats, which can be reutilized in at least 13 consecutive adsorption/desorption cycles, without significant losses in their adsorption capacity. In addition, they can be adapted for usage in compact filtration systems for an even faster removal of the dissolved dye molecules.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)300-311
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


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