Cellulosic solution for face masks

Friday 2 Oct 2020

 
A Canadian forest sector research and development organization said it's close to coming up with a completely homegrown, sustainable solution to replace disposable plastic masks. FP Innovations said its researchers have developed a filter for a biodegradable, disposable face mask made from wood fibre that performs better than single-use personal masks made from petroleum-based plastics.

The Canadian organization said it's successfully developed a cellulosic filter media, with the middle layer of a three-layer mask made from wood fibres, which is suitable for single-use face masks for public use. The cellulosic filter media is made from a blend of hardwood and softwood fibres.

The average filtration efficiency of its filter media is currently at 60 per cent, FP Innovations said, surpassing the average filtration efficiency of a typical cloth mask which is approximately 30 per cent. The firm asserts the Canadian pulp and paper industry could meet the mask procurement needs of this country "within weeks" without having to retool production lines and make large investments in new equipment.

It could also provide "significant export opportunities" that could be developed within very short timelines. FP Innovations believes this also solves a growing environmental problem that the demand for disposable plastic masks has created.

With funding for Natural Resources Canada, the Quebec-based non-for-profit research centre said it came up with the solution within eight weeks. The next step in their research is coming up a fully, biodegradable, disposable mask made from Canadian wood fibres for domestic, and possibly global, use.

Source: timminstoday.com, Photo: FP Innovations

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