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Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering >> 2023, Volume 17, Issue 10 doi: 10.1007/s11705-022-2288-2

Nano-copper ions assembled cellulose-based composite with antibacterial activity for biodegradable personal protective mask

Received: 2022-08-14 Accepted: 2023-05-26 Available online: 2023-05-26

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The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has resulted in the widespread use of personal protective equipment, particularly face masks. However, the use of commercial disposable face masks puts great pressure on the environment. In this study, nano-copper ions assembled cotton fabric used in face masks to impart antibacterial activity has been discussed. To produce the nanocomposite, the cotton fabric was modified by sodium chloroacetate after its mercerization, and assembled with bactericidal nano-copper ions (about 10.61 mg·g–1) through electrostatic adsorption. It demonstrated excellent antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli because the gaps between fibers in the cotton fabric allow the nano-copper ions to be fully released. Moreover, the antibacterial efficiency was maintained even after 50 washing cycles. Furthermore, the face mask constructed with this novel nanocomposite upper layer exhibited a high particle filtration efficiency (96.08% ± 0.91%) without compromising the air permeability (28.9 min·L–1). This green, economical, facile, and scalable process of depositing nano-copper ions onto modified cotton fibric has great potential to reduce disease transmission, resource consumption, and environmental impact of waste, while also expanding the range of protective fabrics.

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