Nanofiber solution turns ordinary screens into air pollution-blockers

A team from the National University of Singapore has invented a new nanofiber technology that can block 90 percent of hazardous particles and UV rays from polluted air.


NSFW    SINGAPORE — People in smog-filled cities may soon breathe easier thanks to a new concoction that turns regular mesh screens into pollution-blocking nanofiber filters.

Assistant Professor Tan Swee Ching from the National University of Singapore’s Department of Material Science and Engineering led the team that invented the technology, according to a university press release.

They first created organic molecules out of phthalocyanine, a chemical compound used to make dyes. The molecules were engineered to form nanofibers, and the resulting solution was then applied to non-woven mesh to create thin, clear filter sheets.

The filters are able to block out up to 90 percent of hazardous particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns.

Unlike conventional filters that block out air along with pollutants, the nanofibers allow two and a half times more clean air to flow through.

Their ability to block out harmful UV rays while providing natural lighting makes the filters ideal for windows and doors. The novel technology can also be applied to respirators.

The Singapore team has filed a patent for their invention. They’re currently working to improve filtration efficiency, and maybe add antibacterial properties.
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