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Design and Development of a Novel Nanofiber Nasal Filter (NNF) to Improve Respiratory Health

Category: Air Pollution and Health Effects

Volume: 18 | Issue: 8 | Pages: 2064-2076
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.03.0086
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Taewon T. Han 1, Letao Yang2, Ki-Bum Lee2,3, Gediminas Mainelis1

  • 1 Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
  • 2 Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
  • 3 College of Pharmacy, Kyung-Hee University, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea

Highlights

A new hybrid filter for the NNF was fabricated using electrospinning technique.
The performance of NNF was successfully tested with 26 nm and 3.1 µm PSL particles.
The NNF showed higher collection efficiency compared to existing nasal filters.


Abstract

Currently available nasal filters are not well-suited for protecting humans against the fine and ultrafine airborne particles. In this research, we designed and evaluated a novel nanofiber nasal filter (NNF) capable of reducing personal exposure not only to large allergenic particles but also to ultrafine particles, thus reducing respiratory health risks. A new hybrid filter (HF) medium for the NNF was fabricated by overlaying a carbon filter substrate with nylon nanofibers produced by electrospinning. After optimizing the filter’s production parameters, the HF was produced using the Nylon-6 polymer solution with a concentration of 15 wt%, a substrate based on a MERV 5 carbon filter with a density of 61 kg m–3, and a nanofiber surface coating density of 0.72 g m–2 (or 0.54 g m–2 as a second choice). The new HF was tested with fluorescent polystyrene latex beads sized 0.026–3.1 µm and at operating flow rates of 7.5–30 L min–1. The newly developed NNF showed more than a 90% collection efficiency for particles > 1 µm, representing bacteria and molds, and more than a 50% efficiency for particles < 0.5 µm, including ultrafine particles—about a 2.3-fold improvement compared to commercially available nasal filters. Thus, this NNF may serve as a useful tool to minimize our exposure to airborne pollutants.

Keywords

Personal exposure Electrospinning Hybrid filter Carbon filter Ultrafine particles


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