High-efficiency retention of ultrafine aerosols by electrospun nanofibers

Source avec lien : Scientific Reports, 12(20850). 10.1038/s41598-022-24739-9

Dans cette étude, nous avons testé l’hypothèse selon laquelle les filtres électrofilés pourraient fournir l’efficacité de filtration des particules et la résistance respiratoire requises par la norme du National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health pour les respirateurs à épuration d’air CBRN.

The versatility of nanofibrous polymeric materials makes them attractive for developing respiratory protective equipment. Ultrafine nanofibers effectively trap the most penetrating aerosols and exhibit consistent performance compared to conventional electret filters. Advanced nanofiber manufacturing technologies such as electrospinning can functionalize filter materials, enhancing them with unique antibacterial, catalytic, sensory, and other properties. Much of the current research in nanofibrous air filtration focuses on using nanofibers for lightweight personal protective equipment such as N95 respirators, but their use for higher levels of respiratory protection required for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection has not yet been comprehensively explored. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that electrospun filters could provide the particle filtration efficiency and breathing resistance required by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Standard for CBRN air-purifying respirators. Our manufactured nanofibrous filters demonstrated submicron aerosol retention efficiency of > 99.999999%, which is four orders of magnitude better than the requirements of the CBRN standard. They also had a breathing resistance of ~ 26 mmH2O, which is more than twofold lower than the maximum allowable limit. Although the filter material from the gas mask cartridge currently in service with the U.S. military demonstrated a higher quality factor than electrospun filters, the comparative analysis of filter morphology suggested ways of improving nanofibrous filter performance by tuning nanofiber diameter distribution.

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