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Medical Waste Treatment via Waste Electrospinning of PS
Body fluid medical wastes are infectious clinical wastes (blood, saliva, urine) due to their high pathogenic content. Incineration is the most commonly used method in waste management that possess high water content along with molecularly dissolved species such as proteins. The process is costly; so that the removal of solid content dissolved in aqueous part by preliminary filtration can reduce the volume of the waste material. In this study, fibrous mats were prepared by electrospinning of PS wastes from DMF and THF solutions. Then they are employed in the removal of protein-based solid contents of body fluid medical wastes before their disposal. Two sources of PS waste (CD cover and Styrofoam) were employed along with virgin PS for comparison. The adsorption capacity of as-prepared electrospun fibers was examined for three model proteins: Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA), Myoglobin (MYO), and Trypsin (TRY). The fibers obtained from PS CD wastes have remarkably larger protein sorption capacities (particularly BSA) than the fibers obtained from virgin PS. XPS reveals the presence of CaCO3 domains in CD covers added into PS during their production steps probably to increase mechanical properties. There may be an electrostatic interaction between Ca2+ and the negatively charged groups of the protein. In this way, PS wastes could be converted to a beneficial secondary product by electrospinning and also resulting materials promises for the disposal of body fluid medical wastes. This may be one of the frontiers study on the removal of medical wastes by adsorbents produced via electrospinning of waste polymers.