August 17, 2009

Eco-friendly self-cleaning coating created

U.S. scientists say they've created a simple but effective coating for glass, plastics and other materials that enables the wiping away of oily smears.

Purdue University researchers, led by Assistant Professor Jeffrey Youngblood, said their coating can also be added to window cleaning sprays to prevent bathroom mirrors, automobile windshields, eyeglasses and other surface from fogging.

These are eco-friendly coatings -- environmentally 'green' in the sense that they eliminate the need for harsh detergents and solvents in settings ranging from home kitchens to industrial machine shops that must contend with heavy oil spills, Youngblood said.

The eco-friendly plastic chemical could reduce the need for detergents containing phosphates.

We put out tons of detergents and phosphates each year, Youngblood said, noting the polymer materials also could reduce the use of detergents for laundering clothes and, thereby, reduce the amount of phosphates that wash into lakes and streams and stimulate growth of algae.

The research was reported Sunday in Washington during a meeting of the American Chemical Society.