Disinfecting masks: a solution from Mons


Materia Nova is designing a new system that can be used to decontaminate masks in healthcare facilities.

The Materia Nova research and development centre, founded by the University of Mons, has spent many years working on the development of innovative materials. It is now inventing a brand new device that can be added to the much-awaited arsenal of protection against Covid-19.

Comparable to a domestic microwave in size, the prototype currently being tested provides results that are just as effective as those obtained by conventional decontamination chambers, which are much larger.

Plasma treatment takes place inside the device. As Thomas Godfroid, Scientific Leader at Materia Nova, explains, "The principle is that we are going to use a gas, air in this case, which will be activated in a plasma discharge. The technique involves passing an electric current through a gas to break up the molecules that will attack pathogens such as viruses and bacteria on the surface of the mask." The operation only takes a minute. The resulting mask is completely free of any coronavirus residues and can then be put back into an airtight bag.

According to Thomas Godfroid, "our target is hospitals and care homes. The focus has been on smaller equipment to provide decontamination treatment on demand, rather than a larger-scale approach.”

The device they have designed, which is expected to be launched on the market in May, should prove very useful in the fight against the coronavirus.