Protein-based Nanofabrics as Multi-functional “Green” Air Filtering Materials for High Efficiency Particulate and Toxic Chemical Filtration


Air filters currently in the market cannot simultaneously purify the air from particles and chemicals effectively. The non-degradable synthetic nature of existing products also creates environmental issues.  To solve these problems, researchers at Washington State University have developed a green multi-functional air filter. This filter is comprised of biodegradable materials and has been shown to not only filter particulate material out of the air, but also remove malicious toxic chemicals. This innovation is unique to the marketplace because it is comprised of biomaterials and is produced using nanotechnology. Making it not only green, but cheaper and easier to produce when compared to current synthetic filters.


By controlling the morphology and surface chemistry of ultrafine nanofibers researchers have achieved an air filter which not only has a substantially better area density when compared to commercially available High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. But, also has the capability to remove toxic and nocuous chemicals from the air. Additionally, HEPA filters are made of glass mats or PP plastics, and as such, pose a significant problem when considering the environmental effects of disposing used filters. This technology allows the filter to be biodegradable and reduces the impacts to the environment.


Applications and Advantages

•       An air filter that allows for the filtering of both particulate and noxious chemicals

•       Has been shown to remove harmful chemicals and noxious smells such a formaldehyde and cigarette smoke

•       Cheaper to produce then conventional HEPA air filters

•       Biodegradable


IP Status

Patent Has Been Filed


Learn More

Scott Steiger
Associate Director
Washington State University
(509) 335-7065
Reference No: 1607


Weihong Zhong
Hamid Souzandeh
Yu Wang

Key Words