The new sponge works well in high temperature and high humidity environments and is made of environmentally friendly materials, say the team of researchers from Fuzhou University in China.

Particulate matter from automobile exhaust and industrial chimneys poses a significant health danger to both the environment and humans, where it can impair the central nervous system and the respiratory system.

Air filters typically do not perform well in harsh environments, where high temperatures, high humidity, or the need for long periods of filtration bring added challenges.

To build a better air filter, the research team designed a three-dimensional particle capture device using a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) sponge.

The team tested their sponge under high temperature (250°C) and high humidity (90 per cent relative humidity) conditions that simulated an industrial high-temperature environment.

They also tested the composite sponge under the conditions required...