Through a joint project, the University of Fukui, in Japan, and Japanese nonwovens producer Kuraray, have successfully developed a special nonwoven fabric that selectively absorbs and separates metal ions. The joint effort uses advanced fiber processing technology, specifically, electron beam-induced graft polymerization, to develop the nonwoven.
According to reports, the project came to being after researchers at the university determined that Kuraray’s Felibendy nonwoven fabric was particularly appropriate for this study because of its porous fiber structure. Felibendy uses Sophista, Kuraray’s core-sheath construction-type fiber, which can be easily modified and offers maximized fiber surface area.
Together, the university and Kuraray will now establish a metal ion collection business and will work together to ensure appropriate materials collaboration for the electron beam-induced graft polymerization. They have also applied for a joint patent.