Wednesday, November 11, 2015: 4:55 PM
155F (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Carbon nanofibers nonwoven (CNFs) have been attracting increased attention for a wide variety of applications due to their high porosity and surface area. The low hydraulic resistance of nanofibers make them excellent candidate materials for water filtration, but CNFs have an added benefit of being a high performance sorbent, especially for oil, as a result of CNF hydrophobicity. We present our work on the performance of these unique materials for sorption of oil and removal of other dissolved subsances from oily water. We fabricated our CNFs by thermal treatments of electrospun polyacrylonitrile (PAN). Through a series of optimization studies, we identified how different fabrication procedures can change material properties that could impact material performance as a membrane or a sorbent. Mechanical strength, surface area, and fibers size are some of these properties. We performed batch dynamic sorption studies as well as normal flow filtration tests using emulsified crude oil. These materials show rapid adsorption kinetics of oils and very high sorption capacity relateive to other conventional sorbents.