Ionic liquid has helped make the sponge a reliable filter for nanoscale particles. Developed by scientists from Sichuan University published in the journal Nature Communications.
Filters for nanoscale particles – from ten microns or less – are used to filter emissions that occur as a result of fuel combustion and a number of other production processes. Particles of this size, according to studies, can penetrate not only through biological barriers but also into the human brain, while being dangerous carcinogens.
Researchers have proposed a new method for manufacturing filters of nanosized particles – according to them, the material obtained with its help is more compact and cheaper than analogs. Unlike conventional filters, where harmful substances settle in the pores, the filter created by the researchers uses electrostatic forces – they attract microscopic particles to themselves, preventing them from seeping through the barrier.
For this, scientists used an ionic liquid made of several methylimidazole acetates mixed with various polymers. Then the researchers passed an electric current through the filter.
Testing the filter showed that it is capable of removing up to 99.7% of particles of micron size or smaller. Moreover, the development retains its effectiveness even in the case when the speed of passage of air through it increases by an order of magnitude.