The simple solution for killing these toxins is sunlight. So, you can imagine all the bacteria are actually tiny, tiny vampires that disappear when in light. Okay, so it’s actually a bit more scientific than that. According to UC Davis, Ning Liu, a doctoral student at the UC Davis Division of Textiles and Clothing, came up with a way to embed the compound 2-anthraquinone carboxylic acid (2-AQC) into fabrics. The chemical bonds very sturdily to the cellulose in the cotton, which makes it very hard to wash off.
When it’s exposed to light, the 2-AQC produces “reactive oxygen species” like hydrogen peroxide that kills bacteria and can also break down other toxic chemicals like pesticides. Liu worked with textile chemists Gang Sun and Jing Zhu to develop the method that adds the 2-AQC compound into the cotton. The 2-AQC is a bit more expensive than other compounds, but Liu says there are less expensive materials that are equal and should work just as well.
But don’t get too excited just yet; this isn’t going to make your washing machine obsolete. The self-cleaning fabric wasn’t created so that we never have to wash our clothes again. It’s more geared towards health care, food preparation and processing, as well as for use on farms and by military personnel. We still think it will come down the line and make its way into a number of consumer products, though.
According to geek