The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has developed a modified cotton fabric capable of adsorbing harmful pollutants from the air. Known as [email protected] Cotton and [email protected] Cotton are Zeolite Imidazolate Framework (ZIF)-modified functionalized fabrics, that adsorbs high levels of organic air pollutants like benzene, aniline, and styrene from the ambient air, says IIT Delhi.
The research team has been led by Prof Ashwini K Agrawal and Prof Manjeet Jassal at the SMITA Research Lab in the Department of Textile and Fibre Engineering, and Prof Saswata Bhattacharya at the Department of Physics.
The fabrics are robust and can withstand even the harsh conditions of washing. They can be used repeatedly and in designing functional filters and pollution controlling upholstery fabrics among others. According to research scholar, Hardeep Singh, who carried out the experiments, says the ZIFs are more suitable under Indian weather conditions.
Speaking of the modified cotton fabric, Prof Ashwini Agrawal, Textile and Fibre Engineering Department, IIT Delhi said, “In this study, we have shown the functionalization of cotton fabric by ZIF MOFs (ZIF-8 and ZIF-67) using a rapid, facile, eco-friendly, and scalable approach. The ZIF functionalized textiles possess a huge potential for applications as protective garments and in controlling indoor air pollution.”
The cotton fabrics can be used as upholstery for controlling gaseous pollutants that cannot be filtered out using filter media. Besides, it can be used within closed spaces, such as homes, offices, theatres, airplanes, and other transport vehicles, adds Prof Agrawal.
The ZIF-8 functionalized fabric was found to adsorb a maximum of 19.89 mg/g of aniline, 24.88 mg/g of benzene, and 11.16 mg/g of styrene on the weight of the fabric. These fabrics could be easily regenerated by heating the fabrics at 120 degrees celsius and reused without any decrease in their adsorption capacity for several cycles.