Maybe one of the crucial hanging life-style adjustments ensuing from the COVID-19 pandemic is the obligatory use of face masks in grocery shops, eating places, and different public locations. Sporting a masks, particularly when close to others, is crucial to slowing the unfold of COVID-19. With such a drastic enhance in masks’ utilization, an infinite quantity of plastic air pollution is being created, which is already one of the crucial important environmental points dealing with our society.
Biodegradable masks may very well be one of many choices to cut back such air pollution. Sung Yeon Hwang, professor on the Korea Analysis Institute of Chemical Know-how (KRICT), mentioned, “We consider biodegradable masks are the reply to this drawback. Contaminated plastic masks are troublesome to recycle and should be incinerated or despatched to a landfill.” The researchers reported a biodegradable and moisture‐resistant masks filter comprised of polybutylene succinate (PBS). PBS is a biodegradable plastic resin and it was coated with chitosan nanowhiskers. The filter materials is what the workforce classifies as a “nonwoven” material, a sheet or net of constructions bonded collectively by entangling fibers or filaments.
The filter, which by itself would have insufficient efficiency towards small particles, reminiscent of SARS-CoV-2 aerosols, is then enhanced with a coating of chitosan nanowhiskers. These nanowhiskers are the positively charged microfibers comprised of the shells of crustaceans. By soaking the filters in an answer of the nanowhiskers, the biodegradable filters grow to be completely coated. They’ve an elevated skill to lure tiny particles because of the nanowhisker’s optimistic cost.
The workforce’s experiments confirmed that the biodegradable filter was simply as environment friendly as N95 filters, eradicating 98.3% of two.5 µm (PM2.5) particles in a take a look at and decomposing inside 4 weeks of composting soil. Such biodegradable masks with comparable efficiency to traditional non-biodegradable masks supply monumental advantages for the atmosphere.