In this work, electrospun poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP) nanofiber membranes were loaded with tungsten oxide (WO3) nanoparticles, surface coated with polydopamine (PDA) hierarchical structures, and tested in oil/water separation, photothermal water evaporation, and degradation of ampicillin. The electrospun nanofiber membranes (ENMs) consisted of three layers and the WO3 nanoparticles were incorporated into the top layer to increase their surface exposure. These layers were then heat-pressed for dimensional stability and surface coated with PDA hierarchical structures. Characterization was conducted using microscopic, goniometric, gravimetric, and spectroscopic methods. All ENMs displayed randomly oriented, smooth microporous structure and EDS mapping revealed a uniform distribution of WO3 nanoparticles on the nanofiber matrix. WO3-blended ENMs showed improved mechanical strength, higher UV/Vis absorption, and similar thickness as pristine ENM. PDA deposition has reduced the water contact angle of pristine PVDF-HFP membrane from 130.3 to 0 degrees, whereas, the underwater oil contact angle has increased from 55.8 to 159.7 degrees. The PDA-coated ENMs exhibited enhanced oil/water separation with 384.3 L m 2h- 1 (LMH) of flux and 97.6% oil rejection when filtered under gravity. Photothermal interfacial evaporation and ampicillin degradation tests also demonstrated the multifunctionality and exciting features of the fabricated membranes for a wide range of applications.
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