Hi there, as i shortly announced in the Festival I would love to engage myself (and you?) with the Hackteria-futures and engage with this Project, which I roughly discribe here. I got a little funding for it so any good step will be facilitated if possible.
Project overview: (short description, context, motivation, goal)
Since the use of masks for protection in the Covid 19 pandemic, masks are produced in-house and also imported in large numbers from China and other countries. Some masks have a recommended usage time of 4 hours and are then (not properly) disposed of or recycled (see picture). This probably contributes to the worsening of the (disposal) problem of the current disposable society. The amount of used masks will generate a large amount of waste in the coming years. In order to solve this problem, a study is needed to investigate to what extent a biodegradable mask can provide complete protection, ensure wearing comfort and gain general acceptance, and whether it can contribute to improving the ecological footprint in terms of CO2 emissions and other ecological aspects of production, use and reuse. The aim of this project is to conduct a small feasibility study that could lead to a CO2 offset innovation.
Research question and method:
How can masks be grown? Which moss/funguss/grasses and plants would be suitable for air filtration? Which properties support biodegradation at the end of the life cycle of the masks? Which materials offer the same protection compared to conventional masks?
Which existing materials are used to test a sustainable transformation of today’s mask types? And which new materials are being considered for the development of a cycle-based bio-mask? Who will potentially become a wearer of a “biomask”?
Conception of a portfolio of researched materials and manufacturing methods of the mask.
Investigation of protection and degradability of the materials.
Implementing different designs with a test arrangement.
Develop a beta test with a small series of the suitable prototype.
To develop wearers, tests and further prospects and applications that allow for a deeper study of the topic.
Possibility of use (practical applications) and results (publications, exhibitions, cooperation, workshops, …):
The mask is currently experiencing great demand. There is increased attention to mask production processes worldwide and various supply dependencies have become apparent in recent months. The demand for biodegradable masks is therefore foreseeable and thus very conceivable in practice, and local production of ecological masks could reduce the above-mentioned problems. The research will also reveal how disinfection with UV light is possible and how production works with melt-down production.
- Evaluation of materials and manufacturing possibilities and test results including material portfolio.
- Design of some masks, presentation in media, publication of the test arrangements and results. Catwalk with masks and a masked apero would be conceivable as an event.