Good news for those allergic to dust as the days for your dust allergy are literally numbered. South Korean researchers have succeeded in developing a nanofibre-based filter that can efficiently filter out ultra-fine dust.
According to industry watchers, a research team at the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB) has created a nanofibre-based ultra-fine dust filter that can collect particulate matter known as known as PM2.5, which is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter.
High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which are currently ubiquitous in South Korea, can effectively collect fine dust particles based on a fiber with a few tens of micrometers in size, but have been criticized over pressure loss. Pressure loss refers to differences in pressure between the entrance and the exit of the filters. Also, efforts to reduce the loss by lowering the volume of air flow can have a negative impact on the capacity of filters, while increasing air flow can create noise and consume more energy.
The study conducted jointly by the Centre for Integrated Smart Sensors and Chonnam National University has created a technology that raises the fine dust collection capacity of nanofibre-based filters by 25 percent. Maintaining the same level of dust collection, the researchers were also able to improve pressure loss by 30 percent. With the new technology, the interior of a car polluted with PM2.5 particles can be cleaned effectively in 16 minutes with relatively low energy consumption, the researchers said.
The high-quality nanofiber filtering was developed by adopting reactive ion-etching technology to high-molecular nanofiber material. “(The new filters) can be used in car air purifier filters, as well as smart masks and window filters,” a researcher from the study said.
The Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology is already in talks with a startup firm to commercialize the new technology. The findings from the study were published in the online edition of Chemical Engineering Journal.