The disposable surgical masks we use to protect from Coronavirus mostly provide passive protection and a lot of times find themselves tossed after use, further adding to our global pollution problem. Israeli startup LIGC develops active filters made from Graphene, considered to be strong and highly conductive material. Utilizing its flexible characteristics, the Israeli startup creates filters for face masks, which have become part of our ‘wallet, keys, phone...mask’ check before we leave the house during COVID reality. The company announced recently a $3 million funding round led by Chinese giant Hubei Forbon Technology.
Every filtered particle gets treated
LIGC’s filters are made of a dense woven net of graphene, which is placed on top of the plastic filter. The graphene net conducts heat at a high temperature, thus capable of killing organic particles like bacteria, germs, viruses, and all other microscopic enemies flying through the air.
According to the company, its filters are much more efficient than other more common passive solutions like carbon filters, UV-C, or HEPA filters. The coolest thing about LIGC’s filter is that it’s reusable, heck it’s rechargeable, alleviating the worry of constantly stock piling surgical masks.
The startup claims that the filters are viable in all types of conditions and spaces: offices, homes, airplanes, ships, elevators, and even for frontline personnel protection. The development is based on a breakthrough discovery from a Rice University collab with Ben-Gurion University in Israel. LIGC was founded in 2019 by CEO Yehuda Borenstein and Chris Armush, employs a team of 5, and has 6 registered patents. A few months ago, the company launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Guardian G Volt mask, however, it has been suspended by the platform.
“For a simplified analogy, one can see the graphene as an electric fence to the micron and submicron level with similar functionality as a mosquito zapper,” said LIGC Co-founder & CEO Yehuda Borenstein. “When an airborne bacteria or virus touches the graphene surface, it’s electrified and damaged, and only low voltages and currents that are safe for use are needed.”