Chula’s Faculty of Engineering joins hands with PTT to develop a 2 in1 face mask, an innovation that protects against PM2.5 dust particles and COVID-19 virus that can be reused more than 15 times, helps reduce waste, is pollution-free, and will be available for sale soon.
A face mask has become an important item in the new normal lifestyle, not only to protect us from COVID-19, but also against PM2.5 dust particles that harm everyone’s health. The invention of masks that are highly effective, easy to use, convenient, and non-toxic to the environment is essential to maintain the health of the people and the planet.
“The Defense Engineering and Technology Program, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University and PTT Plc. have jointly created a 2-in-1 face mask that can prevent both toxic dust and COVID-19 virus, suitable especially for frontline workers such as soldiers, policemen, rescuers who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 and being exposed to toxic dust,” said Associate Professor Dr. Pitchaya Rachdawong, Chairman of the National Defense Engineering and Technology Program, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University explained the origin of the 2in1 mask innovation which has proved efficient and satisfactory among PTT employees in the trial run.
“The 2in1 mask is the answer to a new lifestyle. It can filter PM2.5 dust up to 84% and trap up to 99% of bacteria or viruses” Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pitchaya explained the effectiveness of this health innovation.
The 2 in 1 mask, easy to use, and high efficient
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pitchaya further explained that the 2in1 mask comprises 3 layers:
1. The outer layer is woven from polyester fibers that can deflect water and chemicals, and coated with water-repellent and antiseptic compounds.
2. The second layer of the mask is a slot for a filter, made from replaceable, extra-fine synthetic fibers to specifically trap dust.
3. The innermost layer is made of 100% cotton giving users comfort and the assurance of safety from the effect of chemicals.
“The 2in1 hygienic mask is convenient to use and easy to clean. Just spray on a 70% disinfectant spray and let it dry, or it can be washed up to at least 15 times.” Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pitchaya suggested and added that “However, the 3-ply mask is suitable for indoor use because outdoor use can cause the mask wearer discomfort because of the heat. Researchers are working on developing masks with similar or higher efficiency, but thinner.”
“We don’t produce commercially, we conduct research to help society,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pitchaya, emphasizing the utmost responsibility of innovators, as manifested in every production process of 2in1 face masks, which must pass various component tests, from waterproof properties, protection against bacteria, viruses, and dust, to the uniqueness of the mask that can be reused many times thereby reducing the amount of hazardous waste, and is environmentally-friendly.
Even the mask disposal method was taken into account with the possibility of converting the infectious waste into energy with support from PTT, whose innovative thermal waste disposal process will melt the masks and turn them into fuel for other applications.
“Soon, the 2in1 masks that provide protection against PM 2.5 dust particles and COVID-19 will be produced for everyone at an affordable price. Currently, researchers are accelerating their data collection about the mask’s long-term use. PTT will handle the marketing of the masks,” concluded Assoc. Prof.Dr. Pitchaya.
By Chulalongkorn University