Functionalized Filtration Media
Traditional particulate air filtration technology relies on the capture mechanisms of impaction, interception, diffusion as well as electrostatic attraction. While pollutants are successfully arrested by the filtration media, these pollutants can retain their malicious attributes even though they are being trapped. And they can e-enter the ambient atmosphere during any subsequent handling for disposal. As an example, it is well documented that bacterial and viral spores trapped on surfaces can remain infectious even after 10s to 100s of days. That could be a plausible explanation for the so-call “filter fever” where filtration technicians developed cold-like or flu-like symptoms after changing filters in commercial buildings.
We report a newly developed technology where filter media are constructed with nanofiber and microfiber layers that also possess the build-in ability to inactivate bacterial and viral strains to not only ameliorate this undesirable phenomenon but also potentially reduce the impact of air borne infectious diseases. The fiber formation process is based on a recently granted melt blowing patent that is not related to electrospinning. The technology to inactivate bacterial and viral strains to protect the filter does not utilize chemicals that are detrimental to the environment and is not applied via traditional means such as topical pad-on treatment or polymer compounding. This technology is well suited for applications such as face masks, air filtration, and ventilators. A description of this unique technology as well as the filtration efficiency and bioefficacy performance will be presented.