Photocurable 3D-Printable Systems with Controlled Porosity towards CO2 Air Filtering Applications

Annalisa Chiappone;Stefania Porcu;

Porous organic polymers are versatile platforms, easily adaptable to a wide range of applications, from air filtering to energy devices. Their fabrication via vat photopolymerization enables them to control the geometry on a multiscale level, obtaining hierarchical porosity with enhanced surface-to-volume ratio. In this work, a photocurable ink based on 1,6 Hexanediol diacrylate and containing a high internal phase emulsion (HIPE) is presented, employing PLURONIC F-127 as a surfactant to generate stable micelles. Different parameters were studied to assess the effects on the morphology of the pores, the printability and the mechanical properties. The tests performed demonstrates that only water-in-oil emulsions were suitable for 3D printing. Afterwards, 3D complex porous objects were printed with a Digital Light Processing (DLP) system. Structures with large, interconnected, homogeneous porosity were fabricated with high printing precision (300 µm) and shape fidelity, due to the addition of a Radical Scavenger and a UV Absorber that improved the 3D printing process. The formulations were then used to build scaffolds with complex architecture to test its application as a filter for CO2 absorption and trapping from environmental air. This was obtained by surface decoration with NaOH nanoparticles. Depending on the surface coverage, tested specimens demonstrated long-lasting absorption efficiency.
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