Imagine wearing your favorite piece of clothing and breathing fresher air thanks to it. Professors Tony Ryan from the University of Sheffield and professor Helen Storey from the London College of Fashion are leading a project known as Catalytic Clothing to develop a textile that acts as a catalytic surface and purifies air. The technology behind the project relies on the power of photocatalysts to break down pollutants as soon as they come in contact with fabric.
Photocatalyst is delivered to clothing when washed with a detergent that has photocatalyst added to it. The active agent is packed within a shell that is attracted to the surface of clothing and binds to it during the washing cycle. When the fabric comes in contact with air or water the photocatalyst break down the pollutants, thus purifying the surrounding air. Currently cotton is being used to test the technology. The aim is to make it compatible with all fabric types.
According to Catalytic Clothing, a reduction in the level of pollution in a certain area could be achieved if “for every meter of pavement width, 30 people wearing Catalytic Clothes walked past each minute.” Times Square anyone?
Fashionably fresh air could be the new trend!