Researchers at the University of Abertay Dundee (UAD) have discovered that activated carbon cloth is very effective at filtering harmful compounds out of air and liquids.
The material was first developed in the 1980s, to protect British soldiers from chemical attacks. It is still in use today, in chemical, biological and radiological warfare suits for the military. This recent study, however, indicates that it could have a number of other uses.
The initial phase of the latest research was carried out in conjunction withCarbon Filter Technology, a Scottish company that manufacturers carbon cloth. The UAD researchers found that the material can be used to create reactive chemicals known as hydroxyl radicals. These are highly unstable, so they react instantly with any pollutants, even at concentrations of a few parts per million.