Team Receives Federal Grants to Create Fabrics to Render Toxic Chemicals Harmless
Cornell fiber scientist Juan Hinestroza is working with the U.S. government to create fabrics made of functional nanofibers that would decompose toxic industrial chemicals into harmless byproducts.
Potential applications include safety gear for U.S. soldiers and filtration systems for buildings and vehicles.
Hinestroza, assistant professor of fiber science in the College of Human Ecology, is a member of two teams that secured more than $2.2 million from the U.S. Department of Defense; about $875,000 will go directly to Hinestoza's work. Both grants are multi-university collaborative efforts funded through the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
"These nanostructures could be used in creating advanced air filtration and personal protection systems against airborne chemical threats and can find many applications in buildings, airplanes as well as personal respirators," Hinestroza said.
The first project, in collaboration with North Carolina State University, is aimed at understanding how very small electrical charges present in fibers and nanofibers can help in capturing nanoparticles, bacteria and viruses.
"Understanding how these charges are injected into the fibers and how they are dissipated under different environmental conditions can open an avenue to significant improvements in air filtration technology," Hinestroza said.
The position and distribution of the electrical charges on the nanofibers will be fed into computerized fluid dynamics algorithms developed by Andrey Kutznetsov of NC State to predict the trajectory of the nanoparticles challenging the filter. Hinestroza and NC State's Warren Jasper pioneered work in this area a couple of years ago.
The second project, in collaboration with the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), will study the incorporation of a new type of molecules -- called metal organic polyhedra and metal organic frameworks -- onto polymeric nanofibers to trap dangerous gases as toxic industrial chemicals and chemical warfare agents, then decompose them into substances that are less harmful to humans and
capture them for further decontamination. The synthesis of these molecules was pioneered by Omar Yaghi of UCLA.
This project will also look into the potential toxicity of these nanofiber-nanoparticle systems to humans in collaboration with Andre Nel from UCLA Medical School.
Hinestroza's research group specializes in understanding and manipulating nanoscale phenomena in fiber and polymer science.
Blaine Friedlander | newswise
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...