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Influence of solution properties and pH on the fabrication of electrospun lentil flour/HPMC blend nanofibers

Electrospinning is a method used in fiber production in which an electric force is applied to create jets of charged polymer solutions. The objective of this study was to obtain homogeneous nanofibers from lentil flour and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) blend by using electrospinning method. Distilled water was used as solvent. The effects of pH (7, 10 and 12), lentil flour concentration (1% and 2% (w/v)) and HPMC concentration (0.25%, 0.5% and 1% (w/v)) on solution properties and fiber morphology were investigated. When the pH was increased, the viscosity of the solutions containing 1% and 2% lentil flour decreased. Increasing the pH values caused an increase in the electrical conductivity. At pH value of 7, homogeneous nanofibers could not be obtained whereas fibers were perfectly homogeneous at alkaline pH values. Nanofiber diameter decreased with increase in pH when 2% lentil flour was used. On the other hand, diameter of fibers did not show any significant change with pH for 1% lentil flour. When the lentil flour concentration was increased, viscosity and fiber diameter increased at pH 10. When HPMC concentration was increased, both viscosity and fiber diameter increased but electrical conductivity did not show any significant change. Average fiber diameters ranged between 198 +/- 4 and 254 +/- 5 nm for solutions prepared with different lentil flour and HPMC concentrations at different pH values.