A PAIR of factories in Andalucia have launched a huge recycling project, aiming to each recycle 500,000 face masks a day.
The petrochemical facilities of Asturain energy firm Therman in Montilla (Cordoba) and Palos de la Frontera (Huelva) are participating in the national project, ‘Industrial and Neutral Antiseptic Pressurised System’.
It is a collaborative platform that seeks viable alternatives to the shortage of masks during the coronavirus crisis.
The project urges all hospital and healthcare personnel to properly recycle used surgical masks.
In an exclusive interview with the Olive Press, Therman spokesperson Carmen Espinosa explained that the project aims to ease the shortage of protective equipment due to the high demand generated by the pandemic.
The initiative is using a University of Oviedo study, led by Doctor of Chemistry David Hevia Sanchez.
The proposal was launched by Therman the very day after the state of alert was declared.
Espinosa explained that the privately financed project takes used masks from health centres and subjects them to a physical and chemical sterilisation procedure which permits a second use of the much-demanded protective material.
The procedure gives a 100% guarantee that the material of the masks will not lose quality or undergo any damage during the sterilisation process.
Last month involved carrying out corresponding tests and adapting the factories for this large-scale sterilisation process.
Espinosa said that in the following 48 hours, used surgical masks will be delivered to the Montilla and Palos de la Frontera sites to initiate the sterilisation process.
It’s expected that by the end of this week the first recycled masks will be donated back to the hospitals.
Espinosa said that since the company started the project, over 15 other companies have joined the initiative.
If the project proves successful, Therman will apply the initiative to its facilities in San Andreu de la Barca (Barcelona) and Fatima (Ourem-Portugal), both having an estimated capacity to recycle a million masks a day.
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