(WFLA/NBC) – Israeli researchers say they have invented a reusable face mask that can kill the coronavirus with heat.
The new mask has a USB port that connects to a power source, such as a standard phone charger.
It heats an inner layer of carbon fibers to 158 degrees, high enough to kill viruses.
“The main issue was to assist the medical crew in order that they have as much as possibilities to use and re-use the same mask itself,” said Professor Yair Ein-Ein.
Researchers say the disinfecting process takes about 30 minutes and users should not wear the mask while it’s plugged in.
The prototype looks like a standard N-95 face mask, with a valve at the front and bands to hold it in place around the head.
The team from Technion University said disposable masks were not economically or environmentally friendly.
They are in such high demand globally during the health crisis, the inventors wanted to devise a practical alternative to disposables.
“The medical world always was moving towards non reusable or disposable but when you have a crisis that you need five billion masks in 2020, in 2021 worldwide, five billion, you have to realize that this is not economic or environmentally friendly,” said Professor Ein-Ein.
“Not at all. You have to make it reusable and friendly and this is our solution.”
The research team says the mask can be re-used at least 20 times with no impact on durability.