Chemical Engineering Students Create Ultrafiltration Masks from Shrimp Skin

Positive cases of Covid-19 in Indonesia are still increasing. Masks are one of the mandatory items in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

The most commonly used masks are surgical masks and the like. However, the mask has a filtration pore size of 5 microns, while the particle size of the droplet carrier of the coronavirus is 120-160 nanometers.

Masks with higher filtration capabilities are certainly needed. Seeing this phenomenon, Khiva Haidar Shauma and his four colleagues; Anggita Adiningrum, Annisa Fairus Zayyan, Ayu Nur Kholifah, and Erina Azahra Amalia, with the guidance of Nurul Faiqotul Himma, S.T., M.T. initiated an innovation, the ultrafiltration mask.

The team used membrane technology in the manufacture of these masks. This technology makes it possible to fabricate an ultrafiltration membrane layer with a pore size of 1-200 nanometers.

“We use chitosan from shrimp shell extract because the chitin content reaches 15-20%. That’s why we process this chitosan into a membrane that is applied to masks,” Khiva explained.

MAsker tampak depan dan samping

This mask innovation not only filters virus droplet particles but can also kill viruses attached to the mask layer. The membrane layer was modified by lavender oil with a modified polyvinyl alcohol coating method.

“Lavender oil contains linalool and linali acetate which have antimicrobial properties and are useful as respiratory fresheners for its users,” explained Khiva.

This mask consists of 3 layers; outermost layer, ultrafiltration membrane, and innermost layer. The innermost layer is made of cotton fabric.

Cotton fabric is soft so it is comfortable to use when in contact with facial skin. While the outer layer is made of polyester.

Polyester is hydrophobic so the outside of the mask can be waterproof. Just like ordinary cloth masks, these masks can be used repeatedly by cleaning regularly.

Logo MarsufilamiThere is also a product logo on the mask. In the product logo, there is a picture of a shrimp that shows the base material for the ultrafiltration membrane of the mask, lavender flowers that represent lavender oil, a shield that shows protection, and viral cells that represent the COVID-19 virus.

“Hopefully this mask innovation can provide an alternative to ultrafiltration membrane mask products that can cope with the spread of COVID-19 and can be marketed thoroughly to all circles of society,” hoped Khiva on behalf of the team.

For more information about the product, please visit Instagram social media: (humasft)