As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the French start-up Ajelis, supported by EIT RawMaterials, has developed a new mask that stands out with its self-decontaminating model.
In addition to its self-decontaminating properties during the day, it also filters and destroys the virus. It is made of fabric and a reusable and sterilisable barrier patch covered with a solution based on copper, the self-decontaminating material with biocidal properties HYGIAFELT-Cu®.
Due to the shortage of masks in France, the start-up participated in the creation of a network of volunteer sewists who make masks for health personnel and police. The distribution in Essonne region to nursing homes and hospitals in the South region of Paris was carried out for four weeks free of charge to respond to the emergency. With the HYGIAFELT® barrier patches, Ajelis has equipped the personnel most exposed to pathogens with very positive user experience feedback, they have also received many requests.
Following the success of this initiative, and to meet the continuous high demand, Ajelis are offering masks and patches for sale to the public or professionals. The washable masks are sewn following the AFNOR standard and have successfully passed the DGA breathability tests. The added value is the additional filtration layer with the self-disinfecting and sterilisable HYGIAFELT®-Cu barrier patch.
The HYGIAFELT® material was already well advanced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic because it existed in the form of wires for wound cartridges to eliminate micropollutants and possibly pathogens and disinfect tap water. Today, Ajelis are concentrating their efforts on its manufacture in other forms to apply it in self-disinfecting air filters, hygiaphones and additional barriers in masks.
Design and production of a new generation of fibers for recovery and recycling of metals
Ajelis, supported RM Booster and Innovation Hub Central in 2017, develops sorbent systems that can selectively capture metals in hydrometallurgical processes. Furthermore, Ekaterina Shilova, CEO of AJELIS, was nominated for the EIT Woman Award 2019. The EIT Woman Award that recognises the outstanding achievements of women entrepreneurs and leaders from the EIT Innovation Communities.
The company has developed expertise in strategic metals, particularly rare-earth elements as well as lithium separation from magnesium or other bivalent pollutants. Their solution consists of a filtration-column system, loaded with proprietary extractive fibres, that can directly replace current ion-exchange resins (printer/printer cartridge business model).