Researchers from South Korea and Japan have found that masks with nanofiber filters can be used multiple times after cleaning them with ethanol.
According to the joint study, a mask can be reused up to 10 times if the filter is sprayed with 75% ethanol and air-dried. The filtration efficiency remains high.
The research covered two types of filters -- melt-blown filters that are commonly part of N95 masks, and nanofiber filters. Both showed filtration efficiency of 95% and higher in first usage. The filtration efficiency of melt-blown filters, however, declined significantly after ethanol treatment, which is explained with the decrease in static electricity which important for the filtering properties of these filters.
The researchers recommend the wider use of nanofiber masks and hope they will be helpful in a potential second or third wave of COVID-19. Their work was recently published in ACS Applied Nano Materials.
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Image by Elvert Barnes licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr.