“Soaking up the water and the sweat – a new super desiccant. UNSW scientists have developed a new carbon-based material that could revolutionise moisture control in applications as diverse as electronics, packaging, air conditioning – and keeping footwear fresh.
One application of the new super desiccant could be removing smells from shoes. Image: Shutterstock.
The new super dessicant, made from graphene oxide, significantly outperforms current drying agents, and is twice as absorbent as the industry standard, silica gel.
One novel application we are investigating is the integration of the desiccant into inner soles of shoes to control odour and moisture. As the moisture could be released back into the atmosphere using an ordinary household device like a warm oven, shoes could be recharged regularly to keep them constantly fresh.”
The super desiccant is based on graphene – an extremely thin form of carbon – and is made of layers of graphene oxide. The researchers showed the material’s extraordinary adsorption and desorption rates were due to the high capillary pressure in the laminates and tunnel-like wrinkles on their surfaces – processes which had not previously been understood.
The project was conducted in collaboration with the computational materials design team of Professor Sean Smith, who was previously at UNSW and is now Director of Australia’s National Computational Infrastructure.
The researchers say the ability to fine-tune the spaces between the layers of graphene oxide as desired will allow the development of customised dessicants to control moisture across multiple applications.”
Source: UNSW Newsroom