"Air-Filtering Masks for Respiratory Protection from PM2.5 and Pandemic Pathogens"

Jinwei Xu: Xin Xiao, Wenbo Zhang, Rong Xu, Sang Cheol Kim, Yi Cui,Tyler T. Howard, Esther Wu, and Yi Cui; One Earth, 11/20/20.

Additional Authors: Xin Xiao, Wenbo Zhang, Rong Xu, Sang Cheol Kim, Yi Cui,Tyler T. Howard, Esther Wu, and Yi Cui

Abstract:

Air-filtering masks, also known as respirators, protect wearers from inhaling fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in polluted air, as well as airborne pathogens during a pandemic, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Fibrous medium, used as the filtration layer, is the most essential component of an air-filtering mask. This article presents an overview of the development of fibrous media for air filtration. We first synthesize the literature on several key factors that affect the filtration performance of fibrous media. We then concentrate on two major techniques for fabricating fibrous media, namely, meltblown and electrospinning. In addition, we underscore the importance of electret filters by reviewing various methods for imparting electrostatic charge on fibrous media. Finally, this article concludes with a perspective on the emerging research opportunities amid the COVID-19 crisis.