Students from Rice University and Ben Gurion University have developed a company that has come up with a face mask that uses graphene and an electric charge to provide unprecedented protection from any virus, including covid-19 (coronavirus).
The company, calling themselves LIGC Applications, came up with the mask after research and work of five years. Their timing could not have been more perfect, as global interest in surgical masks have peaked with people yearning for protection from the deadly covid-19 virus. The Guardian G-Volt face mask uses a graphene filtration system that can be sterilised and safely re-used. The company crowdfunded the project online, but their campaign has been suspended after raising $33,704 of their target of $55,000.
LIGC Applications claims that with its laser-induced graphene filter, the Guardian G-Volt is 99 percent effective against particles over 0.3 microns and 80 percent effective against anything smaller. For comparison, the N95 respirator mask blocks 95 percent of particles over 0.3 microns.
A low level electrical charge will pass through Guardian G-Volt when it is plugged in to a portable battery pack via a USB port. This charge would repel any particles trapped in the graphene mask.
At home, a docking system will allow the mask to be fully sterilised so it can be worn again.
With coronavirus outbreaks around the world, the effectiveness of N95 respirator masks has been called into question. Once these masks become damp, they must be disposed of and replaced.
The company says it uses graphene because it naturally resists bacteria. Additionally, by applying a low-level charge through a built-in USB port, the mask deters particles that are trapped in the graphene filter. This offers a mobile, portable option used with any simple power bank. The mask can be sterilised with heat through the same USB port.