thermal anti viral mask

Anti-Covid innovation: the thermal anti-viral mask refused by Idelux and Innovatech but developed by MIT

La physical resistance of the Sars-Cov2 coronavirus is exceptional and explains, in part, the current global pandemic health situation. Numerous international studies have been made on the physical and chemical behavior of Sars-Cov2, one of the latest published in October 2020 speaks of a resistance up to 28 days on some surfaces ! It is exceptional resistance for a virus. Many studies have been compiled on this page on the coronavirus resistance 2019. These studies all show that the coronavirus is resistant but… also, and fortunately, that it is a heat labile virus. That is to say that it will be destroyed quite quickly by the heat. Conversely, a coronavirus can survive for more than 2 years at -20 ° C. Those who still think that a good winter cold will disinfect and stop the pandemic are completely wrong .... This is the case for some bacteria but not at all for coronaviruses. The reverse will happen, the cold and the winter conditions strengthen the resistance capacities of the coronavirus, while the heat decreases them. From March 2020, we thought about a thermal inhibition viral disinfection mask. MIT has just communicated that it had made the same development ... development which was refused support by Idelux Innovation and Innovatech. Here is his story ...

In this section:

  1. Thermolability of Sars-Cov2 by published scientific studies
  2. Theory of viral disinfection mask by thermal inhibition of Coronavirus
  3. The thermal inhibition mask test prototype
  4. Presentation at Idelux Innovation and Innovatech in May 2020
  5. MIT's thermal mask presented to the public on October 21, 2020

1. The virus is heat labile: it resists low temperatures for a very long time but dies quite quickly with heat.

Searching and reading scientific publications makes it easy to find information and figures on the viral resistance of Sars-Cov2, A team of Chinese researchers, for example, published on March 27, 2020 this study Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions

coronavirus and temperatures
Source: Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions published on March 27, 2020

In biochemistry, it is considered that a viral or bacterial disinfection is acceptable when there is a decrease in the concentration of pathogens of LOG 4, that is to say a division by 10. Many tests start with a concentration of order of LOG 000, it is therefore necessary to reach LOG 6 to consider that the disinfection is effective. The table above thus indicates that the virus is still extremely active even after 14 days at 4 ° C… but it takes less than 5 minutes at 70 ° C for it to become undetectable (U).

The same study also provides the following table of resistance on surfaces. The surface is another important parameter of resistance of the virus. Here are some values ​​of viral resistance at room temperature (20 ° C) on different surfaces:

SarsCov2 surface temperature resistance
Source: Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions published on March 27, 2020

Another study, published on October 7, 2020, titled The effect of temperature on persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on common surfaces confirms this resistance and makes the link between temperature and surface resistance on different surfaces: stainless steel, plastic, banknotes, glass, vinyl and cotton clothing.

Sars-Cov2 surface temperature resistance
Source: The effect of temperature on persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on common surfaces published on October 7, 2020

We can thus read on these different graphs that there are traces (LOG 2 or higher) of the virus after 28 days on banknotes and after 21 days on stainless steel or plastic at 20 ° C but these values ​​drop to 7 days at 30 ° C and 1 day at 40 ° C. Finally, you should know that these tests were carried out in the dark, without light or UV. Indeed, as also indicated on the page of viral resistance, UV rays which can strongly contribute to viral disinfection.

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But it is easy to understand that the scorching summer largely protected the population and that the bad days and drop in temperatures were, as if by chance, followed by an explosion of cases. Something that no media has ever said to protect its population!

So this scientific information allows to conclude at least 3 things:

  • that Sars-Cov2 is extremely resistant in the open to a virus
  • that some influencers, whether official or not, have criminal behavior that would deserve heavy criminal penalties by publicly affirming (internet, media, political speeches, etc.) that the virus only survives a few hours in the environment
  • that it is possible to attack it very effectively with temperature, that is to say thermally, which is the object of the invention initiated on this site on April 2, 2020 and developed since by MIT

2. Theory of viral disinfection mask by thermal inhibition of Coronavirus

From April 2, 2020, only 5 days after the publication of the Chinese study on the thermal resistance of the virus, Christophe Martz publicly submitted the idea of ​​making a viral disinfection mask by thermal method with the possibility of a UV supplement.

To do this, Christophe extrapolated the data from the Chinese study to establish the following thermal inhibition curves at LOG4:

Extrapolation thermal destruction of the coronavirus
Source: Sars-Cov2 thermal inhibition curves by Christophe Martz

What does this extrapolation allow to deduce? The following viral inhibition data versus duration:

  • at 90 ° C a log reduction of 8,46 / minute is obtained
  • at 120 ° C a log reduction of 16,89 / minute is obtained
  • at 150 ° C a log reduction of 27,68 / minute is obtained

Either in seconds (subtract LOG from 60 or 1.778):

  • at 90 ° C a log reduction of 6,68 / second is obtained
  • at 120 ° C a log reduction of 15,11 / second is obtained
  • at 150 ° C we get a log reduction of 25,91 / second

In other words, to obtain thermal disinfection of LOG 4, the virus must be heated for the following periods:

  • at 90 ° C a log 4 reduction is obtained after 0.60 seconds
  • at 120 ° C a log 4 reduction is obtained after 0.26 seconds
  • at 150 ° C a log 4 reduction is obtained after 0.15 seconds

Times completely compatible with a respiratory flow rate and a possible thermal mask, all the more so as the respiratory flow rate is pulsed… it therefore remained to make a thermal balance to see what power was needed to heat the respiratory air to these temperatures. This respiratory heat balance was carried out by Christophe here and concluded at a power required at rest of about twenty Watts to raise the air temperature by 100 ° C, which is quite compatible with a portable device.

The theory was good, it was now a question of confirming these calculations by a test prototype, something done in a few days ...

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3. The thermal inhibition mask test prototype

For more speed in the realization of the prototype, Christophe had quickly decided to go on a Decathlon Snorkeling mask to which it was enough to adapt a heating cell. Something done in just a few days.

The purpose of this part is not to go into technical details, but to quickly present the work and to show thata functional prototype of a thermal mask existed in Europe from spring 2020. This prototype was presented to Belgian aid organizations, but which showed little interest despite the urgent health situation. These illustrations come from the presentation made by videoconference to Idelux Innovation and Innovatech in May 2020, we will come back to that. These are 2 innovation incubators located in Belgium.

The total absence of public funding or external aid explains the frugality of the prototype design. The important thing was to demonstrate the viability of the technical concept and to validate the heat balance. All in a minimum of time given the health context.

thermal anti viral mask
Advantages and disadvantages of using a Decathlon-type snorkeling mask. The main advantage in our development was the saving of time.


thermal anti viral mask
Presentation of the "heated snorkel" made with a 12V 120W heater and regulated in a continuous loop without hysteresis with probe K. Everything is powered by a lithium battery.
thermal anti viral mask
Heated snorkel mounted on the Snorkeling mask: there are only 2 cables, the power supply and the temperature probe
thermal anti viral mask
Test in real condition at rest over a period of 1 hour to check the thermal balance: this fits perfectly with the theory, a power of around 20W is needed to supply this thermal mask.

4. Presentation to Idelux Innovation and Innovatech in May 2020

On May 11, 2020, all of the work and results carried out on the prototype were presented by videoconference at Charlotte Van Haelen and Christelle Henrotin from Idelux Innovation, a publicly funded innovation aid organization located in Belgian Luxembourg. A detailed 48-page presentation was given to them. The project caught their attention, a second videoconference was scheduled for a few days later with Stéphane Gualandris from the Innovatech incubator in order to work on the BMC: the Business Model Canvas.

It was unfortunately deduced from this BMC, which was carried out like any other innovation project, i.e. without taking into account the health situation that the thermal mask project could not obtain public support as it stood. However, everything indicated the strong health potential of the invention and therefore the potential preservation of human lives. But the first wave of spring was coming to an end in Belgium. It has been argued, among other things, that the epidemic was over. This is doubly wrong because on the one hand the virus never disappeared in the spring (neither in Belgium nor elsewhere), simply that the hospital services were starting to be less saturated. And on the other hand, the end of this first wave only concerned Belgium, many other countries in the world were still heavily affected at that time. Belgium could have been at the origin of a great global innovation and could perhaps have saved many lives… Belgians or others… .and of course slow down the pandemic!

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Mr Gualandris did not believe in an airborne contamination of the virus, despite the studies already published at the time and also made a haughty behavior and a certain arrogance hardly compatible with the function he occupies. He knew the epidemic was over and he knew the virus was not airborne… this with 100% certainty! This innovative project was therefore not worth dwelling on any longer and above all did not deserve support or public aid!

This project has therefore remained in the pipeline since May 2020 ... until the publication by the prestigious MIT of a very similar project in principle. Publication that is the source of this review article.

5. MIT's thermal mask presented to the public on October 21, 2020

Here is the press release in French of the MIT project relayed by Ouest-France yesterday October 26, 2020


US scientists test heated mask that would destroy coronavirus

So far, the mask has been used to prevent the dispersion of droplets carrying the coronavirus. What if the mask of tomorrow could simply neutralize the coronavirus with heat?

Research is still in progress but the first results look promising. In the United States, engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced on October 21 that they had developed a mask that could deactivate the virus by using heat.

While the masks we currently use, whether fabric or plastic, only work to reduce the spread of the virus, this new mask would be even more effective.

The system is as follows: a copper mesh heated in the mask by means of a battery enables viral particles to be neutralized by heat during respiration.

Prototypes already built but a need for scientific validation

"Such a mask could be very useful for healthcare workers, as well as for the general public in situations where social distancing cannot be respected such as in crowded public transport," the researchers write.

While this experiment has been underway since March, several prototypes of these masks have already been built. But the experimentation has yet to be evaluated by scientific and medical experts.

"And of course, we must be vigilant about safety as well as comfort for users of the mask"added Samuel Faucher, a graduate of the institute and lead author of the research. In all likelihood, these next-generation masks are expected to cost more than surgical masks.

Obviously the shape of the model is not the same as our spring prototype but the concept, ie thermal viral inhibition, is strictly identical.

MIT thermal mask

The original press release from MIT is dated October 21, 2020, it was the subject of a detailed scientific publication on arxiv available for public download.

A question ? An observation ? Contact Christophe, use the comments below or visit the history of the thermal anti-viral mask

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