Coated Fabric Zaps Chemical Warfare Agents on Contact

November
2016

Garments that protect against chemical warfare agents (CWAs) are typically made of carbon-based materials. Although such fabrics effectively capture and absorb CWAs, they are not able to degrade the hazardous compounds. The CWAs therefore remain a lethal threat.

Scientists at North Carolina State Univ. have developed a material that breaks down CWAs on contact. A type of metal-organic framework (MOF), it can be made into fibers and woven into clothing.

“Our goal was to develop new materials that can detoxify these CWA compounds, and we’ve been successful,” says Junjie Zhao, who was a PhD student at NC State when he conducted this research and is now a postdoctoral associate of chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Recently, a wide variety of materials has been shown to have catalytic activity to degrade CWAs. Among them, MOFs have shown the most...

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