NUS develops novel liquid that removes PM2.5 particles

A research team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has successfully concocted a novel nanofibre solution that creates thin, see-through air filters that can remove up to 90 percent of PM2.5 particles. It is also capable of achieving high air flow of 2.5 times better than conventional air filters.

In addition, this eco-friendly air filter improves natural lighting and visibility while blocking harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, NUS said in a press statement on March 20, 2017.

Assistant Professor Tan Swee Ching (left) and Mr Sai Kishore Ravi (right). Photo courtesy: NUS
Assistant Professor Tan Swee Ching (left) and Mr Sai Kishore Ravi (right). Photo courtesy: NUS

Air filters developed using the novel nanofibre solution are two times better in quality than commercial ones. They are suitable for applications on windows and doors to improve indoor air quality. This novel air filter also has promising applications in respirators.

The NUS team’s air filter is also eco-friendly and easy to produce – simply apply the novel nanofibre solution onto a non-woven mesh, and leave it to dry naturally.

"Air pollution poses serious health threats. Therefore, there is a strong need for economical and effective technologies for air filtration,” explained Assistant Professor Tan Swee Ching from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the NUS Faculty of Engineering, who led the research. 

“Currently, most nanofibres used in air filters are energy intensive to produce and require specialised equipment. Our team has developed a simple, quick and cost-effective way of producing high-quality air filters that effectively remove harmful particles and further improves indoor air quality by enhancing air ventilation and reducing harmful UV rays. In the long run, it may even be possible for a DIY (do-it-yourself) kit to be made available commercially for consumers to make air filters at home," he added

The NUS team also comprises Mr Sai Kishore Ravi from the NUS Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Dr Varun Kumar Singh, who was formerly with the Department. The findings of the study was recently published in the online version of scientific journal, Small.

The NUS research team has filed a patent for this novel invention. The team is now looking into adding more functionalities, such as anti-bacterial properties, into the air filter. The team is also planning to work with industry partners to commercialise this novel technology.