A 100 per cent biodegradable mask has been developed in the UAE, it was announced on Monday. A team of researchers from the Khalifa University developed the first working prototypes of the environment-friendly NavaMASK.
It is a fully biodegradable and biocompatible anti-viral adaptive face mask. It is made of nano-fibers, giving it strong anti-microbial properties.
“We recognised the need for an environment-friendly alternative to the currently available face masks in the market, (while) … maintaining the highest safety and breathability standards,” said Dr Shadi W. Hasan, associate professor chemical engineering at Khalifa University. “The first prototypes of the NavaMASK is fully biodegradable. It’s made of filtration materials that were carefully selected to provide effective protection, avoid skin irritation and, most importantly, be safe on the environment.”
The face mask has perpendicular arranged nanofibers with a diameter ranging between 100 and 600 nanometres which will allow air to pass through, but reject particles, bacteria and viruses. The mask’s strong anti-microbial properties will ensure more than 99 per cent removal of bacteria.
“It is expected that NavaMask will compete and outperform many of the existing face masks in the market,” said Hasan. “We are working together with our collaborators and partners towards developing a new second generation design of NavaMASK aimed at maintaining high removal efficiency and high comfortability and easier breathability with fewer layers.”