Prof. Dr. Christian Adlhart
Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology Zurich University of Applied Sciences, ZHAW


Reinventing filtration by using 3D nanofiber architectures


The performance of autonomous personal protective suites depends to a large extent on the air purification system, which purifies the incoming air from contaminants such as viruses (e.g. Ebola), potent drugs or hazardous gases. Filtration efficiency is always a compromise between high separation efficiency on the one hand and a high air flow on the other hand. Nanofibers have attracted the attention of filter development due to their ability of reducing the pore size of a filter without reducing the free filter area. However, physical limits of nanofiber based filters are met these days.
Together with TB-safety AG, we are opting for new opportunities by creating 3D architecture from the intrinsically flat nanofiber based filters.


Christian Adlhart obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry at ETH Zurich in 2003. After a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Oslo he was working for Ciba and later BASF where he headed the group of surface and nano analytics.
He joined ZHAW in 2010 as a lecturer where he is now heading the center for functional materials and nanotechnology. His research is focused on nanofibers and their transformation into 3D architectures. Such bio-based materials are exploited solid/gas, solute/liquid and liquid/liquid separation or as support for enzymes or as scaffolds for tissue engineering.