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Title: Keratin adsorbent material for chemical protective clothing
Author: Ward, Ross Ritchie
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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Wool is potentially a valuable adsorbent that has been used for the depletion of airborne gas molecules. The aim of the research is to modify the complex hierarchical structure of wool fibres to form a reticulated internal porous structure within the fibre in order to ultimately enhance the adsorption capacity of wool and/or its composite fibres. In this study, the effects of several chemical treatments and their combinations on the formation of porous microstructure within wool fibres are studied. The techniques studied include oxidation (Formic acid treatment), oxidation/swelling (Ozone treatment in urea hydrogen peroxide solution) and education treatments (Sodium hydroxide treatments) and their combinations. Mesopore and macropore formations were evident after wool fibres and fabrics were treated with individual and consecutive chemical treatments. However, the pore formations after these chemical treatments did not produce materials with specific surface areas comparable to activated carbon. Despite this shortcoming there was evidence of both accessible and inaccessible pore formations within wool fibres. Additional physical selective degradation of raw and chemically modified wool fibres by using both electron beam irradiation using SEM and low pressure oxygen plasma irradiation treatments were identified to expand accessible pores or expose inaccessible pores formed within wool fibres after chemical treatment. Porous wool fibres with reticulated pore structures were evident after exposing the chemical pretreated wool fibres to low pressure plasmas. To enhance the adsorption capacity of the porous wool fibres formed, novel wool aerogel composite wool fibres have been developed. The resultant composite fibres were capable of adsorbing cyclohexane with up to 2.5 w/w% uptake. Also, similar uptakes were evident after testing without any sample pre-heating process. This demonstrates that wool-aerogel composite fabrics are capable of adsorbing VOCs at conditions similar to environments present during the use of CPC.
Supervisor: Mao, Ningtao ; Russell, Stephen ; Dennis, Michael Sponsor: EPSRC ; DSTL
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available