Researchers Create Biodegradable and Compostable N95 Masks

Saturday, May 23, 2020 - 13:12

University of British Columbia researchers have developed an N95 mask that keeping the environment in mind.

The new mask, called the Canadian-Mask or Can-Mask, was developed by researchers at the BioProducts Institute and is possibly the world’s first biodegradable medical mask, as it is made entirely from BC wood fibers sourced from spruce, cedar, and other softwood, Daily Hive reports.

“With escalating tensions during a pandemic, international supply lines for medical masks can break down, creating local shortages,” said Johan Foster, a UBC researcher and chemical and biological engineering associate professor in the faculty of applied science, in a statement.

“When we decided to design a mask back in March, we knew early on we wanted a solution that uses local materials, is easy to produce and inexpensive, with the added bonus of being compostable and biodegradable.”

Chemical and biological engineering professor Orlando Rojas, scientific director of the BioProducts Institute, explains that the mask provides a green solution to create more supply during the pandemic.

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s how important it is to have a robust supply of protective equipment like N95 respirators and surgical masks,” he said.

“The Can-Mask is a promising solution, as it pairs BC wood– a marvellous material with future potential for advancing our future bioeconomy and creating jobs – with BC industry expertise and technology developed and tested right here at UBC.”

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