Preparation and Properties of Electrospun Fibers of Titanium Dioxide-Loaded Polylactide/Polyvinylpyrrolidone Blends
Nanofibers of polylactide (PLA)/polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) blends loaded with titanium dioxide (TiO2) particles have been prepared by an electrospinning technique. TiO2 particles are formed by sol-gel mechanisms from titanium (IV) iso-propoxide (TTIP) precursor. Effect of TiO2 formation rate on properties of the fibers are examined by adding iso-propyl alcohol (iPOH) to slow down the TiO2 precipitation process. The use of iPOH produces fiber mats consisting of slightly bigger and smoother filaments, but smaller-sized embedded TiO2 particles. Both materials show a distinct UV absorption characteristic of TiO2 at λmax 300 nm, which can be applied in catalytic applications. Degradation behaviors of the materials in phosphate buffer solutions have also been investigated. The materials have high potential for use as epoxidation catalysts for conversion of vegetable oils to polymeric building blocks and plasticizers.
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