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Group 1-17
Project Title Adsorption of heavy metal ions through electrospun nanofibres modified with fruit waste additives
Synopsis Heavy metals in polluted waters are known to be highly toxic and cause long term harmful effects on human health. Heavy metal toxicity may also be carcinogenic (Jaishankar, Tseten, Anbalagan, Mathew & Beeregowda, 2014). Hence, this project aimed to investigate the effectiveness of using electrospun cellulose acetate nanofibers modified with pineapple skin extract to filter out heavy metal ions copper(II) and lead(II) ions. The solutions that were used to test for adsorption were copper(II) nitrate and lead(II) nitrate, and the concentration of the copper ions adsorbed was measured using a colorimeter. The findings showed that when the CA in 15 w.t.% acetone membrane was being used as a filter in a specific vacuum filtration setup, no amounts of copper(II) ions were adsorbed onto the fibre. Similar findings were observed with the 5 w.t.% PA extract membrane and 10 w.t.% PA extract membrane. Possible reasons could be a large pore size of the membrane, which resulted in a fast flow rate, and hence insufficient time was given for the ions to be adsorbed onto the membrane. Furthermore, the P.A. extract might have affected the bonding between the CA and acetone in the membrane, resulting in observable holes in the modified membranes after filtration.
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