Cost-effective air filters for developing countries and studying population response to air pollution
- / Photo by Laurentiu Morariu
- Environment and Health
Air pollution is a global hazard that causes millions of deaths annually. However, as millions of people in developing countries live in poverty, they cannot afford effective filters. To understand the impact of air pollution and our filter product on the local population, we will also initiate a public health study that will study the local population’s attitude towards air pollution, and the steps they have taken to mitigate the harmful effects of air pollution. This survey will also be utilized to create a product that the population is likely to use. We propose to harness the power of a recently discovered material, metal organic frameworks (MOF), as a physical barrier for particulate matter, as well as a chemical barrier for certain volatile organic molecules, both of which are classified as air pollutants.
We will create MOF films on locally used textiles (such as bamboo fiber, wool and cotton) using a variant of textile coating process. The combination of small amounts of MOF, locally sourced materials and commonly used textile coating processes will allow us to make filters at a low cost. We will use human centered design to create a mask/filter that is desired by the local population. After the introduction of our MOFfilter products, a follow up survey will also study whether the product helped to lessen the impact of air pollution. The public health study of population interaction with air pollution and filtration will allow us to design a better technology that is informed by real world choices.