Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Chemical Engineering


Caryn L Heldt


Membrane filtration has become an accepted technology for the removal of pathogens from drinking water. Viruses, known to contaminate water supplies, are too small to be removed by a size-exclusion mechanism without a large energy penalty. Thus, functionalized electrospun membranes that can adsorb viruses have drawn our interest. We chose a quaternized chitosan derivative (HTCC) which carries a positively-charged quaternary amine, known to bind negatively-charged virus particles, as a functionalized membrane material. The technique of electrospinning was utilized to produce nanofiber mats with large pore diameters to increase water flux and decrease membrane fouling. In this study, stable, functionalized, electrospun HTCC-PVA nanofibers that can remove 3.6 logs (99.97%) of a model virus, porcine parvovirus (PPV), from water by adsorption and filtration have been successfully produced. This technology has the potential to purify drinking water in undeveloped countries and reduce the number of deaths due to lack of sanitation.