Zinc Titanate Nanofibers for the Detoxification of Chemical Warfare Simulants

Fabrication of a novel ceramic nanofiber system viz. zinc titanate using the well-known electrospinning technology with polyvinylpyrrolidone as a binder is reported. Use of zinc titanates as reactive sorbents to detoxify chemical warfare agents is hypothesized and proved. The zinc titanate nanofibers are tested against simulants of nerve and mustard agents and show satisfactory destructive activity. The extent of detoxification is measured using GC-MS analysis. The products of reaction of zinc titanate against the simulants are identified and are found to be relatively harmless. The possibility of replacement of conventional-activated carbon by electrospun ceramic nanofibers for face masks and protective clothing is proposed.

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