Soy-based air filter can deliver better purification than plastic

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In Washington, researchers have developed an air filter using soy protein along with bacterial cellulose.

The filter was developed by Washington State University researchers in partnership with a team from the University of Science and Technology Beijing. The work was published in a recent issue of Composites Science and Technology.

Because soy contains many functional chemical groups, including 18 amino groups, there are many opportunities for it to capture pollution. Because the soy-based filters chemically capture pollutants—as opposed to conventional plastic filters that physically filter small particles—they can capture hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.

The materials are also cost-effective and biodegradable. The team is also evaluating gelatin- and cellulose-based air filters.