With the increasing levels of air pollution all across the country, especially in the metropolitan cities, it is not uncommon to see people wearing masks to protect themselves from harmful pollutants. Although they are beneficial, these masks can sometimes be suffocating to the person wearing them. To fix this problem, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi have come up with the ‘Nosacle’, an innovative improvisation to the existing masks. It filters all kinds of harmful particles and pollutants and allows in just the purified fresh air.
Researchers Debayan Saha and Shashi Ranjan have made this happen. Small in size, the Nosacle is reusable, and testing has shown that about 90 percent of pollutants are blocked and the air is filtered. This device has two nozzles and it is very similar to those used for sleep apnea. It has a cartridge which can be disposed of after filtration. Once it is in the market, customers can acquire multiple cartridges in a set when they buy the device. These cartridges should be changed every eight hours for better performance and efficiency.
Debayan Saha, one of the researchers, spoke to Times Of India, saying, “Face masks have membranes with smaller pores that can attract bigger particles. But the small pores pose greater resistance for breathing and carbon dioxide retention. In our device, we do not have a membrane. This makes it comfortable for the user to wear it most of the time.”
This innovative idea was conceived when the team members were pursuing their Stanford-India Biodesign fellowship. Later on, they incubated it in IIT-D under the Pfizer IIT-D Innovation and IP Programme. Having figured that the Nosacle has 90 percent efficiency, the team is going all out to bring this product to the market as soon as possible. The cost of the Nosacle will be approximately one-third of the existing face masks and the expected time of arrival of the product in the market is well before December 2017.