Development of "green" multi-functional air filters with features such as excellent filtration efficiency, eco-friendliness, and environmental stability are critically required to address the increasing concerns of polluted air. Natural proteins, such as soy protein and gelatin, are attractive candidates as multi-functional air-filtration materials owing to the rich functional groups; however, these bio-materials are vulnerable to moisture, which limits their broad application in practice. In this work, a hydrophobic protein of zein derived from abundant corn is modified for the first time to produce high-performance nanofilters via electrospinning. The zein nanofabrics are fabricated with the aid of a non-toxic solvent and co-electrospinning agent, poly(ethylene oxide). The results reveal that the zein-based nanofabrics show high efficiency for the simultaneous removal of particulate matters of different sizes ranging from 0.1 to 10 mu m (> 99.5%) and certain gaseous toxic chemicals (> 70%). In addition, the zein nanofabrics show excellent moisture-resistance and good adhesion to the cellulose paper towel used as the air-filter substrate. This study demonstrates that nanofabrics based on hydrophobic natural proteins such as zein are promising materials for developing multi-functional "green" air filters.
为了在不继续恶化环境的基础上，迫切需要开发具有出色过滤效率，生态友好性和环境稳定性等功能的“绿色”多功能空气过滤器，以解决人们日益关注的污染空气问题。天然蛋白，例如大豆蛋白和明胶，由于具有丰富的官能团，因此是多功能空气过滤材料的诱人候选。但是，这些生物材料易受潮，限制了它们在实践中的广泛应用。在这项工作中，首次对源自丰富玉米的玉米醇溶蛋白的疏水蛋白进行了修饰，以通过静电纺丝生产出高性能的纳米过滤器。玉米醇溶蛋白纳米织物是在无毒溶剂和共电纺丝剂聚环氧乙烷的帮助下制成的。结果表明，基于玉米醇溶蛋白的纳米织物对同时去除0.1至10微米（> 99.5％）的各种尺寸的颗粒物和某些气态有毒化学物质（> 70％）显示出高效率。另外，玉米蛋白玉米蛋白纳米纤维显示出优异的耐湿性和对用作空气过滤器基材的纤维素纸巾的良好粘附性。这项研究表明，基于疏水性天然蛋白质（例如玉米蛋白）的纳米织物是开发多功能“绿色”空气过滤器的有前途的材料。
Journal ：Nano Research