Not feeling safe from the threat of coronavirus even with a mask on? Well then, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s researchers may have a solution. While face mask has been proven to reduce risk of infection, MIT has developed a mask that inactivates CoV-2 virus.
Typical face mask filters out particulates, but this new kind of face mask does not. Instead, it uses a heated copper mesh that will slow and inactivate any viral particles that pass through it with high temperatures. Now that, folks, is an active protection.
Prototypes are being made and testing of this completely new mask concept will begin soon. Here’s how the mask works:
“The researchers were able to enhance the efficiency of virus deactivation by taking advantage of the breath to create a type of reactor known as a reverse-flow reactor. As the person wearing the mask breathes in and out, the air flow continually reverses, allowing any viruses in the mask to pass over the mesh many times and making it more likely that they will be deactivated. Purified air flows out of vents on both sides of the mask.”
Tests have shown at around 90 degrees Celsius (194 Fahrenheit) could reduce viral particles by a thousandfold to millionfold, says MIT. To achieve the required temperature inactivate the virus, electrical current powered by a 9-volt battery runs through a 0.1-mm thick copper mesh or thermoelectric heater. The battery can provide a few hours of activate use.
If you are thinking, “isn’t that like wearing a heater on your mouth and nose?” Well, it won’t. Apparently, the air will be cooled after viral inactivation to ensure it is comfortable to breathe and not like you are breathing in hotter-than-Sahara desert’s air.
The copper mesh is wrapped in neoprene to keep the heat in so that the mask will not become too hot to wear.
MIT has filed a patent for the coronavirus-killing face mask and when it eventually becomes available, it will like reserve for users of high risk exposure as they would be definitely more expensive.