The Department of Mechanical Engineering of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), Hong Kong/China, has developed an electrostatically charged nanofiber filter with multiple separator layers, which can capture pollutant particles that are below 100 nm in diameter (covering the most common airborne nano-particles and viruses).
The novel nanofiber filter demonstrates better performance in terms of breathability, filtration efficiency (10% higher than the conventional electret microfiber filter), and shelf life (up to 90 days).
The researchers used and tested polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), a semi-crystalline thermoplastic commonly used as insulation on electrical wires, to fabricate nanofiber filters. PolyU’s innovation can be widely applied in air filtration, from industrial to personal and household applications. Industrial usage includes dust-free rooms and fossil-fuel power stations. Air filtration can also be used to reduce particulate emission from exhaust of ships and vehicles. Personal and household usage of air filtration includes facemask, air purifier, vacuum cleaner, window filter screen, etc. The innovation can also be applied to drugs delivered by inhalation e.g. for asthma.