Zen graphene enhanced masks on the way
Ontario firm pens deal for viricidal ink to treat 100M masks Metal Tech News – Nov. 11, 2020
Last updated 11/10/2020 at 7:25pm
Zen Graphene Solutions Ltd. has cut a deal to supply Canada-based Trebor Rx Corp. with enough COVID-19 killing graphene-based ink to treat 100 million personal protection masks and mask filters.
"The signing of this significant commercial agreement is a watershed moment for our organization. Moreover, it is an honor for Zen to partner with a Canadian company like Trebor and develop a 100% Canadian solution in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," said Zen Graphene Solutions Chief Strategy Officer Greg Fenton.
Independent laboratory testing completed earlier this year has shown that a graphene-based ink developed by Zen is 99% effective at killing the virus responsible for COVID-19 when applied to mask filtration material.
All testing, which was carried out at Western University's Impakt facility in Ontario, was conducted to meet the standards of ISO, an international standard-setting organization based in Switzerland.
More information on the Zen Graphene virucidal ink testing can be read at Tests find Zen Graphene ink kills COVID in the Sept. 23 edition of Metal Tech News.
Trebor plans to use this virus killing ink to treat masks manufactured at its initial production facility in Ontario.
While new to making masks, Trebor Rx co-founder and CEO George Irwin is not new to making and selling safe and dependable products in Canada.
Irwin is better known for his role as the top executive of Irwin Toy, a family-owned company that has been making and selling toys in Canada for the better part of a century.
Irwin's decision to get into the mask making business came after he and his wife, Brenda Elliott, were infected with COVID-19 during a March trip outside of Canada.
Finding out firsthand just how hard it was to find masks at the onset of the pandemic, the couple set out to leverage Irwin Toy's overseas contacts to secure more than 10 million masks to import into Canada over the next several months.
Irwin and Elliot also found out firsthand just how difficult importing masks was at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak as individuals, companies, and countries around the world vied for a limited supply of personal protective equipment.
"It was like the wild, wild west, and I know that phrase has been used many times in this pandemic, but I've never experienced so many things that could go wrong did go wrong," Irwin told Business CTV News.
It was this experience that prompted the couple to start Trebor Rx, a company that recently ramped up initial manufacturing of the startup company's patent pending Pro+ respirator masks at its new Ontario facility.
Trebor plans to produce 50,000 of these N95 masks per day once the facility is ramped up to capacity.
Easily sanitized with antibacterial wipes, soap and water, steam, or ultraviolet light, Pro+ is reusable and recyclable, making it one of the best environmental choices. The only part that needs to be disposed of is the interchangeable N95 filters.
Trebor plans to offer filtration with the virus killing power of Zen's graphene-infused ink. Not only will these filters offer an extra layer of protection for the wearer but by killing viruses will lower the potential of secondary transmission of coronavirus or other disease through contact of the filter during change out or disposal.
"The innovation of the Trebor Pro+ respirator mask will set a new standard in the mask industry and, combined with our viricidal coating, will bring a new level of safety for our front-line workers," said Fenton.
This combination is expected to solve several problems related to cost, comfort, and medical waste.
"This is truly a game changer in the PPE space," said Irwin.
In addition to the respirator style masks, Trebor plans to begin manufacturing a standard 3-ply disposable mask similar to what you would traditionally see surgeons or dentists wear but has now become a mainstay for COVID-19 protection. Trebor is ramping up to produce about 700,000 of these masks per day.
Trebor also plans to offer a version of these surgical masks with the viricidal protection offered by Zen's graphene-based ink.
"With our production on the Pro+ mask already started and our 3-ply beginning in December of this year we anxiously await the production of masks with the ZEN viricidal coating," said Irwin. "Trebor's goal is to deliver a quality Canadian made product and it just got better with Zen as our partner."
Under a binding letter of intent signed by the two Ontario-based companies, Trebor will purchase enough Zen graphene-based virucidal coating to treat at least 274,000 masks and filters per day over the first year.
This initial first year minimum order is subject to Health Canada approvals.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Anticipating growing commercial demand for its coronavirus killing graphene-based ink, Zen Graphene recently announced the expansion of its Ontario laboratory and office space. More information on this expansion can be read at Zen Graphene expands antiviral ink lab in the Oct. 14 edition of Metal Tech News.