IIT Madras Develops Filter for Coronavirus Healthcare Workers
IIT Madras has developed a nano-coated filter media for healthcare workers who are treating coronavirus patients. However, the filter can be used not only in healthcare but also in defence and other fields that call for air filtration of submicron particles.
The nano-based filter media has been made with a nylon-based polymer coating on cellulose paper and was developed through the electrospinning process. The coating properties have been optimized to efficiently remove submicron-sized particles in the air.
Professor K Arul Prakash of IIT Madras said, “The nano-coating fabricated through the electrospinning process have fibre diameter less than one micron and can be positioned according to the need to enhance surface/depth filtration for healthcare workers or public responders.”
“This novel filter with multiple nano-coating has capabilities to filter particles of the order of one-micron size, which is a remarkable achievement,” he said.
The filter is currently being field-tested. After validation, it will be recommended for bulk manufacturing through industry collaborations.
Originally funded by the Defence Research Development Organization for defence purposes, it is being repositioned in healthcare applications.
The product was the outcome of a joint effort between the faculty of the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Engineering Design of IIT Madras.
Nano-coated filter media exhibit better reverse cleanability traits, which results in an extended service life period, providing long working hours for armoured vehicles. This will be a huge cost-saving measure, since filter applications are currently imported.
In India, various IITs are contributing in some way or the other to combat the coronavirus pandemic.