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Next gen nanofilter for gas masks and respirators made in Tambov

Researchers at Derzhavin Tambov State University in Central Russia have come up with a new-generation nanofilter to decontaminate the air, the university press service announced.

Using the filter in new gas masks for military and civilian purposes appears to be the largest application for the invention. Such gas masks could become standard in the Russian Armed Forces and federal emergency agencies about three years from now, while simpler masks and respirators for general populations are expected to hit the domestic market within a year after serial production is launched.

In addition, the new gas absorber is said to help triple or even quadruple the level of personal protection against carbon dioxide, which makes it a perfect product for the mining, chemical and oil and gas sectors, as well as for cleansing the air inside aircraft and spacecraft.

“Today’s personal gas protection systems use granulated gas absorbers. With their low durability they have a short service life and are very inefficient. With a level of carbon dioxide in a room rising above 0.06-0.08%, which is typical for fires, using a conventional gas mask may lead to unpredictable health problems and even death,” explained Vyacheslav Rodaev, the deputy CEO of Tambov University’s Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials scientific center.

At the heart of the Tambov project is a new cobweb-like material that contains sorbent nanoparticles applied to the surface of ultra-thin polymer fiber.

The fiber-based filter is easy to make, its raw material is readily available, it demonstrates enhanced gas-absorbing properties, and is easy to store and use. That leads to more than halving the cost of filter-based products compared to existing analogs. For example, today a high-quality gas mask can be found for more than $80 in the Russian market.

The developers believe that for such an affordable gas mask or respirator with a nanofiber-based absorbing filter the national market can also include general populations that might want to replace their archaic cotton-gauze bandages with the new products to protect themselves against smog. Smog usually stifles cities every summer when surrounding quagmires, or peatlands, are burning and spitting heavy smokes. 

2014-03-21, Marchmont News.

Keywords: nanotechnologies, Tambov Region

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