Multifunctional Filters for Protecting Public Health

Principal Investigator: Professor Chuyang TANG (Department of Civil Engineering)

This project is showcased in the inaugural exhibition – Engineering for Better Living in Innovation Wing Two

Project information


Clean water and clean air are vital for public health. This project focuses on developing high-efficiency and environmentally sustainable filters for removing harmful air/water pollutants. The team has developed novel architectures and functionalities for the filters to achieve high permeance, high removal efficiency, and excellent reusability.

Novelty of the Project

The developed highly porous, multifunctional, and nanostructured filters consist of numerous functional nanofibers fabricated by electrospinning for high-efficiency water and air purification. The major innovation features of the filter include: 1) nanostructured multifunctional porous filters for effective air filtration (e.g., >99% removal of 0.3 pm particles, indicating excellent efficiency for eliminating nano-sized air pollutants including bioaerosols and viruses); 2) rapid water filters that are electricity-free, chemical-free, compact, and with high removal efficiency (e.g., >99.9% for heavy metals and >99.9999% for bacteria); 3) reusable filter designs for improved sustainability.

Benefit to the Community

The project will create great benefits to the communities which include:

  1. Meeting urgent public demand for clean air amid COVID-19. Our air filters offer long lasting, highly efficient, and sustainable air filtration to address the critical challenges on air quality during COVID-19.
  2. Providing clean drinking water for people with urgent needs. Our water filter technology enables instant provision of clean water for urgent needs, featuring rapid water purification and high-efficiency removal without the need of electricity and chemical addition.
  3. Promoting environmental sustainability. The reusable features of our water and air filters extend their lifespan and effectively reduce the generation of waste from exhausted filters.

About the scholar

Professor Tang is a Professor of Water and Enivronmental Engineering at HKU. His research focuses on memebrane and filter technology for water-energy nexus. He is a recipent of the inaugural RGC Senior Research Fellowship, the inaugural HKU Innovator Award, and many other prestigious awards.

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Achievement of the Project
  • This project has got 8 awards, including HKU Innovator Award, MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35, etc.
  • It also generated 9 papers and 6 patents.
  • It has successfully licensed the water filter technology to a company and collaborated with potential filter manufacturers on several contract research projects.
Enquiry / Feedback

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