Scientists successfully turned used masks into lithium-ion density batteries

Read the full story at Interesting Engineering.

With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, humans have become reliant on personal protection equipment, or PPE, more and more with each wave of infection. While single-use face masks make up a large portion of PPE around the world, not much thought has been given to the proper disposal of these products.

While these products are crucial in our fight against COVID-19, they undoubtedly take a toll on the environment, ending up in landfills and oceans, giving off toxic gases. In only 2020, 52 billion face masks were made and 1.56 billion of them ended up in our oceans. 

Recycling used face masks into road material and sanitizing face masks with electric cookers are just some of the ways we’ve previously tried to deal with the worrying issue. Now, a team of scientists from the National University of Science and Technology “MISIS” along with colleagues from the U.S. and Mexico has come up with a novel method of turning used masks into low-cost, flexible, disposable, and efficient batteries. The study is published in the Journal of Energy Storage.

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