Imagine all the cool uses people could come up with for cloth that can clean itself. Yes, you read that right: there is now a textile that, when soiled, can clean itself up, without a human having to scrub and rub it to get the dirt and germs out.
Just think: self-cleaning underwear, self-cleaning aprons, self-cleaning baby clothes, self-cleaning shirts, and so on and so forth. It seems too good to be true, but it’s all made possible because of a chemical compound called 2-anthraquinone carboxylic acid or 2-ACQ.
The compound was developed by a team of researchers from the University of California: Davis. Ning Liu, who came up with a method to incorporate 2-ACQ into cotton fabric, explained: “The new fabric has potential applications in biological and chemical protective clothing for health care, food processing and farmworkers, as well as military personnel.”
2-ACQ forms a strong bond with the cellulose in cotton, so it’s extremely hard to wash off. When the compound is exposed to light, it produced reactive oxygen species, such as hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals, that combat bacteria and cause organic compounds such as pesticides and other toxins to disintegrate.