Chemical Plastic

July 13, 2011

Anti Pollution, Start From Fabrics of Clothing

Guide: The clothing we usually wearing, whose manufacturing process it will produce much air pollution, recently, researchers mad out a type of clothing made of nanometer material, which can purify the atmospheres, reduce air pollution thus to improve the air quality.


Designers at Catalytic Clothing claim their nanotechnology ‘Herself’ dress can reduce pollution and purifies the air.

Although the dress looks like something you’d see on a high-fashion catwalk, at molecular level some very interesting science is occurring.

Behind the layer of chiffon is a photocatalyst which breaks down airborne pollutants by harnessing energy from sunlight. For large cities like London and Beijing this could have a serious impact on air quality.

The “Herself” dress is sprayed with a Titanium Dioxide solution.

The dress is the result of collaboration between Professor Helen Storey of the London College of Fashion and scientist Professor Tony Ryan of Sheffield University. Professor Ryan explains how the technology behind the dress works.

“A light ray comes in, hits the particle, that excites electrons. Those electrons then interact with oxygen. And oxygen has two oxygen atoms together joined by a bond and it splits them apart and makes this thing called a free radical that has a lone electron. Electrons like to go around in pairs, so this lone electron runs around to find another electron to pair with and it makes peroxide and that peroxide does all the rest of the reactions.”

Professor Ryan believes that this is a key development because the technology requires wind to make it work. For a stationary building this relies on nature to provide the breeze, but as human beings move around they create their own source of wind.

But the technology only works if people are prepared to wear the clothes. For this reason, designers at the London College of Fashion created a dress with the wow factor to convert sceptics.

The data available from its architectural applications shows one square meter takes out half a gram of nitrous dioxide every day.

One dress is not going to make much difference to the air quality in London, but Professor Ryan believes if the technology became widespread it could cause a dramatic reduction in the levels of pollution.

“Let’s say there are 10 million people in London. So a conservative estimate would be that those 10 million people – if they only took one gram out each – that would take out ten tons of nitrous oxide in London every day.”

In many big cities – where smog drifts across a burning sun – it could have a positive impact on the population’s quality of life.

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