While the lack of protective equipment against Covid-19 is still common worldwide, researchers have created a hydrophobic membrane that makes the N95 surgical mask, used globally in hospital, reusable and more effective.
Populations have been told that the masks mitigate the risk of Covid-19, as the virus is believed to be transmitted through respiratory drops. But production has failed to keep up with demand, especially in the case of N95 masks, which are believed to be the most efficient.
Researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the University of California reported in the monthly ACS Nano scientific journal that the membrane works where the masks do not, because the typical N95 masks can only filter about 85 percent of the particles less than 300nm.
The hydrophobic membrane cleans as droplets slip from the surface back into the air. This prevents the worm̵
To ensure breathability, the researchers measured the air flow through a nanoporous membrane. They found that pores smaller than the virus needed to be positioned at most 330 nm apart to achieve good breathability.
It is hoped that the harsh environmental impact caused by these masks can be dramatically reduced if a reusable mask was developed.
At the beginning of May, the UCL Plastic Waste Innovation Hub estimated that 66,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic wastes would be generated annually if we could not find a reusable worm alternative.
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