PULLMAN, Wash. (KOMO) — The United States produces more corn than any other country in the world, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We use corn to feed our livestock, fuel our cars and soon it could filter our air.
A team of researchers at Washington State University (WSU) put the commodity to the test, creating an air filter made of corn.
The challenge is how to capture toxic gas molecules,” said Katie Zhong, professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at WSU and the lead researcher on the project.
Commercial air purifiers remove tiny particles from air, but air pollution also contains hazardous gas molecules, like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds or VOCs.
“We spin the corn protein solution into fibers to make them into fabrics,” added Zhong.
The team said the amino acids in corn protein, act like octopus tentacles, grabbing toxic chemical molecules, something they said most filters can’t. Their research found that the corn filter captured 99.5% of small particulate matter, …