American Chemical Society
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Biomimetic Aligned Micro-/Nanofibrous Composite Membranes with Ultrafast Water Transport and Evaporation for Efficient Indoor Humidification

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-12-27, 14:36 authored by Jingxiu Chen, Jianzhang Mai, Chao Wang, Yanyan Lin, Dongyang Miao, Yongqiang Lin, Aijaz Ahmed Babar, Xianfeng Wang, Jianyong Yu, Bin Ding
Humidifying membranes with ultrafast water transport and evaporation play a vital role in indoor humidification that improves personal comfort and industrial productivity in daily life. However, commercial nonwoven (NW) humidifying membranes show mediocre humidification capability owing to limited wicking capacity, low water absorption, and relatively less water evaporation. Herein, we report a biomimetic micro-/nanofibrous composite membrane with a highly aligned fibrous structure using a humidity-induced electrospinning technique for high-efficiency indoor humidification. Surface wettability and roughness are also tailored to achieve a high degree of superhydrophilicity by embedding hydrophilic silicon dioxide nanoparticles (SiO2 NPs) into the fiber matrix. The synergistic effect of the highly aligned fibrous structure and surface wettability endows composite membranes with ultrafast water transport and evaporation. Strikingly, the composite membrane exhibits an outstanding wicking height of 19.5 cm, a superior water absorption of 497.7%, a fast evaporation rate of 0.34 mL h–1, and a relatively low air pressure drop of 14.4 Pa, thereby achieving a remarkable humidification capacity of 514 mL h–1 (57% higher than the commercial NW humidifying membrane). The successful synthesis of this biomimetic micro-/nanofibrous composite membrane provides new insights into the development of micro-/nanofibrous humidifying membranes for personal health and comfort as well as industrial production.