PPE can be converted into fuel using pyrolysis. File Image / Pixabay
A new study published in peer-reviewed journal Biofuels suggests face masks used to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 could be turned into biofuel.
The disposable masks, formally known as personal protective equipment (PPE), contain polypropylene. While this poses an environmental threat, it can also be converted into fuel using pyrolysis, the study says.
"Presently, the world is focusing to combat COVID-19, however, we can foresee the issues of economic crisis and ecological imbalance also," the study's lead author, Dr. Sapna Jain, said.
It is unclear if it would be practical for PPE-derived biofuel to make its way into the marine market, but interest in biofuel bunkers has risen significantly in recent years.
"We have to prepare ourselves to meet the challenges which are forcefully imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Jain.