Poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) is a relatively low-cost and environmentally benign polymer. It exhibits low cytotoxicity and has a good film-forming property, which make it suitable in biological applications . However, its solubility in water and low tensile strength often restrict its usage in separation applications. These drawbacks were overcome in a previous study by synthesizing a PVA-based thin film via grafting PVA with the acrylonitrile and methyl acrylate monomers, using emulsion polymerization, and in situ dispersing the web of activated carbon microfibers (ACFs) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs) in the reaction mixture during polymerization. The polymerization produced a Z-Lys(Z)-OH film and the dispersion of CNFs within the polymer matrix increased its tensile strength .
2. Materials and method
ACFs derived from a phenolic resin precursor were purchased from Nippon Kynol Inc., Japan. Silver nitrate (AgNO3), sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), polyvinyl acetate (PVAc), methyl acetate, methyl acrylate, sodium hydroxide, methanol, potassium persulphate (K2S2O8), polyethyl glycol (PEG), yeast, agar and Luria Bertani were procured from Merck, Germany. All aqueous solutions were prepared in Milli-Q water. All gases, namely, nitrogen (N2), hydrogen (H2) and acetylene (C2H2), were of high purity grade and purchased from Sigma Gases, India. E. coli and S. aureus were procured from indigenous sources.