The Eurecat technology centre has successfully tested in its Manresa laboratories the system developed by E. Vila Projects, a firm based in Sant Fruitós de Bages, which uses infrared and ultraviolet radiation technology to disinfect FFP2 and FFP3 masks so they can be reused. These face masks provide the greatest protection against Covid-19.

The trial consisted of testing the system with Escherichia coli bacteria, which in scientific studies is more resistant to these treatments than Sars-CoV-2, in order to check its efficacy in disinfecting face masks.

The system developed by E. Vila Projects includes two disinfection technologies. Firstly, it uses infrared radiation to heat up the face mask, and secondly it applies ultraviolet light. The literature available suggests that both treatments theoretically render Sars-CoV-2 inactive.

Eurecat contaminated the inside and outside of the face masks at several points during the test with Escherichia coli bacteria. It then applied the firm’s disinfection treatment and measured the amount of viable microorganisms left in the contaminated areas.

The trial included positive and negative controls, with face masks that were contaminated and not disinfected and ones that were not contaminated, to add to the validity of the results. The tests were run in partnership with water utility Aigües de Manresa, which provided material and equipment to carry them out.

E. Vila Projects, a firm based in Sant Fruitós de Bages, has just patented the system and each of its devices can treat 5,000 face masks per month.

E. Vila Projects was established in 2008 and has offices in Sant Fruitós de Bages, Madrid and Mexico. It specialises in the use of infrared and ultraviolet technology in industry and science.