Why are nanofibers used in air filtration?
Nanofibers have gained significant attention in the field of air filtration due to their exceptional filtration efficiency and versatility in capturing particles and pollutants. These ultrafine fibers, typically ranging from tens to hundreds of nanometers in diameter, offer several advantages that make them highly effective in air filter applications.
High Surface Area-to-Volume Ratio
Nanofibers have an exceptionally high surface area, thanks to their small diameter and large surface area-to-volume ratio. This property provides more opportunities for airborne particles to come into contact with the filter media, increasing the overall filtration efficiency.
Nanofiber filters can effectively capture submicron-sized particles, such as PM2.5 and smaller. Their small fiber size, small pores and high packing density contribute to efficient filtration of these tiny particles, improving air quality and reducing the risk of respiratory health issues.
Enhanced Mechanical Strength
Despite their small size, nanofibers can exhibit exceptional mechanical strength and robustness. This property ensures the integrity of the filter media, preventing fiber breakage and maintaining filtration efficiency over time.
Nanofibers can be electrostatically charged, further enhancing their filtration efficiency. Electrostatic attraction helps capture particles with opposite charges, including fine dust, smoke, and other airborne contaminants, leading to improved particle capture rates.
Porosity and Air Permeability
Nanofiber filters can be engineered with a controlled porous structure, allowing for efficient air permeability while effectively trapping particles. This property maintains a balance between filtration efficiency and low airflow resistance, optimizing energy efficiency in air filtration systems.
Chemical and Biological Filtration
Nanofiber filters can be functionalized or coated with specific materials to provide chemical and biological filtration capabilities. These functionalized filters can effectively remove harmful gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and airborne pathogens, enhancing air quality and safety.