Published: 14th August 2020
LPU students develop herbal 'vetiver' mask with filters to purify air and strengthen your immunity against COVID
The herbal mask developed by a team at LPU can last up to two months and is washable. We find out how it was developed and how it can help you
Ever since the pandemic hit, students, entrepreneurs and innovators have been coming up with unique protective equipment to help humankind fight the Coronavirus. Recently, a team of students and teachers from the Lovely Professional University have developed a first-of-its-kind antibacterial herbal mask which uses Vetiver (Khus grass) to purify the air and strengthen the immunity of the wearer.
The astonishing claim is that this mask can last up to two months and is washable. The herbal mask has been developed using a combination of two necessary filters — the first one is a vetiver filter which serves as an antibacterial filter and purifies the air that one breathes through this mask. The filter also removes the toxic activated substances and adds moisture to the air. The second filter is the World Health Organisation recommended PM10 filter that ensures no particulate matter enters through it. The mask has four layers — the outer covering is made of cotton cloth for comfort, the second layer consists of the PM10 filter, Vetiver is in the third layer and finally, the last layer has a PM2.5 filter, which is used in regular masks to avoid pollution.
The team that developed the mask includes BTech students Narenthira Prasath D, Umeshwaran N, Uday Dubey and faculty — Himani Jerath, Assistant Professor, and Faculty Advisor, P Raja, Assistant Professor, and Dushyant Kumar Singh, HoD, Embedded System, School of Electronics and Electrical Engineering. The research team has already developed the product prototype for testing and has filed for a provisional patent. The team now plans to commercialise the herbal mask in association with industry players who can manufacture it on a large scale. The manufacturing cost of the mask after commercialisation is expected to be approximately Rs 60 per piece.
Narenthira said, "We started with the aim of building a face mask with a filter made from a natural substance. The objective was to develop a device that could help us fight the Coronavirus as well as the pollution in metro cities. We worked with various substances and analysed the lifetime and efficiency of each. After seven months of research, we zeroed in on Vetiver (Chrysopogonzizanioide), as it gave us the best results with the highest efficiency." Narenthira also told Edex that the team from LPU has earlier built an outdoor air purifier meant to use in Delhi due to the rampant increase in pollution. "We have used the same filter for the mask. It was already developed by us by the end of 2019, so it took us 15 days to manufacture the mask prototype," he added.
One of the professors involved in the process, Dushyant said, “It is tragic to see even educated people roaming around without wearing masks. When asked, many say that they are unable to breathe properly through them. Our herbal mask which uses Khus grass should help them breathe comfortably throughout the day.”