A picture went viral a few days ago which showcased a huge mass of face masks waste hindering the aquatic lives. People were outraged and blamed each other for creating one problem out of the other. The outrage which was a result of the tons of non-disposable waste created due to face masks was a matter of international concern. Though India might not be able to find a vaccine for COVID-19, it has an amazing technology to deal with disposable face masks. Chakr Innovation, a cleantech startup incubated by IIT Delhi, has developed Chakr DeCoV which is a device to enable safe reuse of N95 masks.
The new technology works on the principle of ozone-based decontamination. The device utilizes high penetrability of Ozone gas for cleaning the pores of the N95 mask which ensures complete decontamination of its intricate layers. Ozone is a strong oxidizing agent. Works to destroy viruses by destroying through the protein coat, resulting in damage to the viral RNA. The N95 mask can be used up to 10 times after this decontamination which is more efficient against viruses as compared to UV rays disinfection.
The team of Chakr has developed the technology under the guidance of professors and researchers from IIT Delhi. The startup claims that ‘the technology has been tested at IIT Delhi’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering and has undergone rigorous in-house testing for safety and reliability. Mr. Kushagra Srivastava who is the CEO of Chakr Innovation, added that “We also believe that our product will help solve the rising concerns over biomedical waste generation while treating novel coronavirus disease.”
The product was backed by ICICI, Coal India and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited and is now ready for large scale production and use. It has cleared all tests and proven to be a highly reliable and safe product. Now, because of the DeCoV at least we don’t have to worry about creating waste when we worry about our safety and wear our masks at all times.