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09 Apr, 2020

BITRI has entered into an agreement with Eagle Medical Industries to produce medical masks for a period of four months to assist in Corona virus mitigation.

The agreement is that BITRI will produce and supply at least 300 metres of nanofibre membrane per week to Eagle Medical Industries who will in turn produce 1000 masks per week. BITRI will control the quality of the nano fibre membrane during the production process. The tests results, conducted by an international independent testing laboratory, have verified that the membranes produced by BITRI have a Viral Filtration Efficiency (VFE) of >99.9%. These results mean that the material used to make the membranes can be used to manufacture health /medical masks for medical practitioners and areas of outbreak of epidemics such as Corona virus.

The BITRI Lead Researcher, Nanomaterials Division, Prof James Darkwa explained that “Instead of using the typical material in masks, we set out to use something that is in the nanometer range when it comes to the pores of the masks so that it may take out very small things, which include viruses. The size of bacteria ranges from 1 to 2 microns. So, we are dealing with smaller particles. When we are in the region of viruses, we are talking about 20 to 400 nanometres. So, these are much smaller particles that can sneak through even the finest of materials. But, when we use nanofibers, they are able to prevent even viruses from going through. One of the things we pride ourselves as BITRI regarding the membrane we manufacture to go into the masks, is breathability, which means one can wear the mask for a long time since it’s easy to breathe in while wearing. The results from the tests we conducted show that the BITRI mask improves breathability by 30 to 40%, which is much better than what is available.”

BITRI recently donated five hundred (500) units of masks to the Ministry of Health and Wellness to be used in the Corona virus mitigation exercise. BITRI had partnered with Greenline Technologies, a South African company, in the manufacturing of the donated masks


Source: BITRI Facebook page