Chemists at the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) have developed an abaca-based fabric that filters out toxic materials and other pollutants. It was developed by Jordan Madrid and Patrick Jay Cabala from the PNRI chemistry research section and Lucille Abad from PNRI’s atomic research division.
DOST said the composite nonwoven fabric was developed using natural fibres like abaca, a native plant readily available, as the country remains its largest producer globally.
Abaca was grafted with synthetic polymers that can filter toxic heavy metals dissolved in liquid. Radiation at PNRI’s electron beam irradiation facility was used to graft the materials and further process those into their final form as a synthesised filter for heavy metals, according to media reports in the country.
These metals, such as lead, cadmium, nickel, chromium, mercury and arsenic, can damage the environment and pose serious health risks to people.
The invention was awarded the Regional Winner for the Outstanding Utility Model Award during the 2019 DOST Regional Invention Contests and Exhibits in the national capital region held in November.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)