Catalytic electrospun nano-composite membranes for virus capture and remediation

Riyadh Al-Attabi, Julio Rodriguez-Andres, Jürg A. Schütz, Mikhael Bechelany, Elise des Ligneris, Xiao Chen, Lingxue Kong, Yosry S. Morsi, Ludovic F. Dumée

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Viruses spread in the environment through solution and as aerosols, generating great risks of infection for exposed populations. Virus versatile chemistries and behaviours thus require remediation solutions encompassing both nanoscale controlled surface topography and chemical functionalities. Here, nano-composite electrospun nanofiber membranes were electrospun from tetraethoxysilane and ammonium tetrathiomolybdate mixed blended with poly(acrylonitrile) to produce defect-free and highly interconnected porous structure. The capture efficiency of the nano-composite electrospun based membranes for the Semliki Forest virus in solution was found to be largely related to the tuned fiber surface morphology and roughness as well as to the surface energy of the materials. The mechanically flexible and robust composite microfiltration membranes, with pore size distributions in the range of 0.8 to 3.1 µm and specific surface areas on the order of 45.6 m2/g, exhibited virus removal efficiencies in single pass up to 98.9% and yet very high water permeation up to 26,000 L.m−2.h−−1. The hybrid membranes also yielded excellent photocatalytic performance thus allowing for continuous flow operation as continuous membrane reactors. These ultra-thin membranes, facile to mass-produce, offer opportunities to provide cost-effective water remediation strategies for low-energy requirement separation systems for the simultaneous capture and degradation of pathogens, and to self-cleaning materials.

Original languageBritish English
Article number115806
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2019


  • Catalytic properties
  • Electrospun membranes
  • High flux
  • Virus capture


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