HAIFA (REUTERS) – Israeli researchers say they have invented a reusable face mask that can kill the coronavirus with heat by drawing power from a mobile phone charger.
The disinfecting process takes about 30 minutes – and users should not wear the mask while it is plugged in, said Professor Yair Ein-Eli, who led the research team at Technion University in Haifa.
The new mask has a USB port that connects to a power source such as a standard mobile phone charger that heats an inner layer of carbon fibers to up to 70 deg C, high enough to kill viruses.
Ein-Eli said disposable masks, in high demand globally during the health crisis, were not economically or environmentally friendly.
The prototype looks like a standard N95 face mask, with a valve at the front and rubber bands to hold it in place around the head.
The researchers submitted a patent for the mask in the United States in late March and say they are discussing commercialising the product with the private sector.