Monday, 25 May 2020 07:36

Scientists develop self-cleaning electric face mask ‘which kills Coronavirus’

The self-cleaning mask could be available for as little as $1 The self-cleaning mask could be available for as little as $1 Credit: Technion Press Office

Israeli researchers have developed a prototype face mask which can clean itself using electricity provided by a phone charger.

The mask, developed by researchers at Technion’s Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, uses an internal carbon fibre layer to destroy pathogens such as coronavirus which may accumulate on it.

The carbon fibre layer is heated using an electrical current which can be provided by a common smartphone charging cable.

Researchers have filed a patent application for the device in the United States and hope to make it commercially available for the price of around $1.

A spokesman for the university did not respond when asked if the mask will be made available in the UK and Europe in the future.

Standard disposable face masks are designed to be used once and then thrown away once they are worn or become damp.

Developing new types of reusable face masks could help to reduce the environmental impact of a steep rise in the use of disposable masks during the pandemic. 

Gary Stokes, the director of ocean conservation group OceansAsia, has warned that discarded masks will create a “substantial” amount of ocean pollution.

The development of the self-cleaning mask comes after another Israeli inventor revealed a separate prototype face mask which includes a remote-controlled mouth.

Avtipus Patents and Inventions designed the mask to include an aperture which can open and close to allow people to eat in restaurants without removing their face mask.

Asaf Gitelis, one of the creators of the new mask, said people will be able to use a lever to open the aperture in order to consume food or drink.

Government guidance encourages people to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces where it is not possible to carry out social distancing.

“This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example, on public transport or in some shops,” the Government has said.

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