Wear the ‘Sun Wash’ jean pant and contribute to conserve energy, save water, breath fresh, and reduce pollution! No surprise! Nanotechnology is at work! A ‘Self Cleaning’ and ‘UV protection’ technology developed by a team at the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), an autonomous R&D Centre of Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, can do such wonders!
A novel titanium-dioxide based material has been developed at ARCI, Hyderabad for self-cleaning application. It is ‘Self Cleaning’ and can clean the organic pollutants and microorganisms just by giving sunlight exposure for a few hours. The technology has been transferred to Bengaluru based industry for its application on textiles and commercialization, and the ‘Self Cleaning’ garments have been launched in the market under tag ‘Sun Wash’ and ‘Wearable Sun Screen.’
The ‘self-cleaning’ technology works on the principle of photocatalysis, in which the active photocatalyst Titanium dioxide absorbs the photons of a certain wavelength in the sunlight, which leads to an excitation of electrons in the molecule to higher energy state leaving behind positive holes at lower energy level. These photo-induced excited electrons and holes take part in the reduction and oxidation process, respectively, and can degrade most of the organic pollutants and microorganisms in its contact, keeping the surface clean. The ‘self-cleaning’ technology for textiles can save water, detergent, and electricity.
ARCI and Resil Chemicals, a Bengaluru based Private company, worked together to bring this technology to the market. ‘Self-cleaning’ textiles are the first of its kind product commercialized in our country and abroad.
The product developed at ARCI is in the form of suspension of Titanium dioxide or titania microspheres in water. The particles are micrometer in size but possess all the special properties due to the nanometer scale and are specially designed by bandgap and surface engineering.