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Surface modification of polypropylene non-woven fibers with TiO2 nanoparticles via layer-by-layer self assembly method: Preparation and photocatalytic activity

Ratthapol Rangkupan , Stephan T. Dubas , Suttipan Pavasupree


Received January 20, 2015,Revised March 06, 2015, Accepted April 08, 2015, Available online July 11, 2015

Volume 37,2015,Pages 59-66

Polypropylene (PP) meltblown fibers were coated with titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles using layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition technique. The fibers were first modified with 3 layers of poly(4-styrenesulfonic acid) (PSS) and poly(diallyl-dimethylammonium chloride) (PDADMAC) to improve the anchoring of the TiO2 nanoparticle clusters. PDADMAC, which is positively charged, was then used as counter polyelectrolyte in tandem with anionic TiO2 nanoparticles to construct TiO2/PDADMAC bilayer in the LbL fashion. The number of deposited TiO2/PDADMAC layers was varied from 1 to 7 bilayer, and could be used to adjust TiO2 loading. The LbL technique showed higher TiO2 loading efficiency than the impregnation approach. The modified fibers were tested for their photocatalytic activity against a model dye, Methylene Blue (MB). Results showed that the TiO2 modified fibers exhibited excellent photocatalytic activity efficiency similar to that of TiO2 powder dispersed in solution. The deposition of TiO2 3 bilayer on the PP substrate was sufficient to produce nanocomposite fibers that could bleach the MB solution in less than 4 hr. TiO2-LbL constructions also preserved TiO2 adhesion on substrate surface after 1 cycle of photocatalytic test. Successive photocatalytic test showed decline in MB reduction rate with loss of TiO2 particles from the substrate outer surface. However, even in the third cycle, the TiO2 modified fibers are still moderately effective as it could remove more than 95% of MB after 8 hr of treatment.

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