Undergraduate YPEC 2022

UG14 – Mask Genesis – From Recycling To Concrete

Surgical masks have become our daily essentials since the outbreak of COVID-19. With a mask mandate in all public areas, over 10 tonnes of masks are sent to landfills daily. To alleviate the environmental problems from waste masks, a mask recycling system – Mask Genesis aims to turn them into useful construction materials such as concrete. Mask Genesis mainly comprises two stages – namely Collection Stage and Casting Stage. In Collection Stage, a reserve vending machine (RVM) equipped with an auto UV-sterilisation function will collect used surgical masks. Masks will be processed and handled in line with the latest COVID-19 protocols to ensure that nobody using the system will be at risk. This includes self-isolation of waste masks before processing and spraying ethanol-based disinfectant. Then in the Casting Stage, masks will be crushed and grinded mechanically. The shredded face masks will be mixed with aggregates, cement and water in accordance with General Specification. Concrete produced from the system will be used for minor structural or non-structural works. By recycling surgical masks through Mask Genesis, these medical wastes are repurposed into ‘green’ construction materials and end up in every corner of the world with high value.