Scientists from Vanderbilt University recently developed a lightweight and ultra-compact graphene-based filter that can block aerosolized nanoparticles of size in the sub-20 nm range.
Nanoparticulate aerosols contain toxins, pollutants, and harmful viruses, whose size varies between 20 and 300 nm in diameter. Although conventional air filters, such as 95% efficiency filter (N95) and the high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA), exhibit superior air flow rates, they are unable to inhibit nanoparticulate aerosols whose size is less than 300 nm. Facemasks that can block nanoparticulate aerosols of size below 300 nm are bulky and develop thermal stress due to low breathability. To improve the applicability of PPEs, several strategies are implemented that focus on making porous polymers, with greater thickness, which can filter out nanoparticulate aerosol toxins, pathogens, and pollutants.