Microfluidic production of poly(1,6-hexanediol diacrylate)-based polymer microspheres and bifunctional microcapsules with embedded TiO2 nanoparticles
journal contributionposted on 2018-09-14, 15:14 authored by Ruqaya Al Nuumani, Guido Bolognesi, Goran VladisavljevicGoran Vladisavljevic
Application of TiO2 as a photocatalyst and UV protector is restricted by the difficulties in the recovery of TiO2 nanoparticles after water treatment. In this work, TiO2 nanoparticles (Degussa P25) were immobilised within easily recoverable poly(1,6-hexanediol diacrylate)-based polymer microspheres produced by on-the-fly photopolymerisation of microfluidically generated droplets. Due to fast polymerisation reaction, TiO2 was uniformly distributed within the polymer network. The transformation of double bonds in terminal vinyl groups of 1,6-hexanediol diacrylate (HDDA) monomer into single bonds during photopolymerisation was confirmed by Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy. The microspheres containing 0.5 wt% TiO2 embedded in a poly(HDDA) matrix degraded 80% of methylene blue from 1 ppm aqueous solution in 9 h under UV light irradiation at 365 nm. The microspheres could easily be separated from water and used in repeated cycles without any loss in photocatalytic activity. The inclusion of TiO2 within a polymer matrix increased the thermal degradation temperature of the material from 364 to 389 oC. Bifunctional microcapsules consisted of aqueous or liquid paraffin core enclosed within a TiO2/poly(HDDA) composite polymer shell were also prepared. The fluorescent dye calcein was encapsulated in the core with 100 % efficiency.
Ruqaiya Al Nuumani holds a scholarship from ‘The Government of Oman’. The authors also acknowledge the financial support received from the EPSRC grant EP/HO29923/1.
- Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering
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