Performance Factors for Filtration of Air Using Cellulosic Fiber-based Media: A Review


  • Lindsay P. Owens North Carolina State University, Department of Forest Biomaterials; D. S. Smith, 2366 Interstate RD, Riceboro, GA
  • Martin A Hubbe North Carolina State University, Department of Forest Biomaterials


Permeability, Capture efficiency, Dust, Droplets, Face masks, Interception, Triboelectricity;, Nanocellulose, Hydrophobic


The filtration of air has attracted increasing attention during recent waves of viral infection.  This review considers published literature regarding the usage of cellulose-based materials in air filtration devices, including face masks.  Theoretical aspects are reviewed, leading to models that can be used to predict the relationship between structural features of air filter media and the collection efficiency for different particle size classes of airborne particulates.  Collection of particles can be understood in terms of an interception mechanism, which is especially important for particles smaller than about 300 nm, and a set of deterministic mechanisms, which become important for larger particles.  The effective usage of cellulosic material in air filtration requires the application of technologies including pulp refining and chemical treatments with such additives as wet-strength agents and hydrophobic sizing agents.  By utilization of high levels of refining, in combination with freeze drying and related approaches, there are opportunities to achieve high levels of interception of fine particles.  A bulky layer incorporating nanofibrillated cellulose can be used in combination with a coarser ply to achieve needed strength in a filter medium.  Results of recent research show a wide range of development opportunities for diverse air filter devices containing cellulose.



2023-01-25 — Updated on 2023-01-31



Scholarly Review