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Article

Face Mask Wastes as Cementitious Materials: A Possible Solution to a Big Concern

Institute of Construction Science Eduardo Torroja (IETcc-CSIC), 28050 Madrid, Spain
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Academic Editor: Eddie Koenders
Materials 2022, 15(4), 1371; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15041371
Received: 20 January 2022 / Revised: 4 February 2022 / Accepted: 8 February 2022 / Published: 12 February 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Construction and Building Materials)
After more than two years wearing surgical masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, used masks have become a significant risk for ecosystems, as they are producing wastes in huge amounts. They are a potential source of disturbance by themselves and as microplastic contamination in the water system. As 5500 tons of face masks are estimated to be used each year, there is an urgent need to manage them according to the circular economy principles and avoid their inadequate disposal. In this paper, surgical wear masks (WM), without any further pretreatment, have been introduced as addition to mortars up to 5% in the weight of cement. Mechanical and microstructural characterization have been carried out. The results indicate that adding MW to the cement supposes a decrease in the properties of the material, concerning both strength and durability behavior. However, even adding a 5% of WM in weight of cement, the aspect of the mortars is quite good, the flexural strength is not significantly affected, and the strength and durability parameters are maintained at levels that—even lower than the reference—are quite reasonable for use. Provided that the worldwide production of cement is around 4.1 Bt/year, the introduction of a 5% of WM in less than 1% of the cement produced, would make it possible to get rid of the mask waste being produced. View Full-Text
Keywords: face masks; addition to mortars; circular economy; strength and durability properties face masks; addition to mortars; circular economy; strength and durability properties
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MDPI and ACS Style

Castellote, M.; Jiménez-Relinque, E.; Grande, M.; Rubiano, F.J.; Castillo, Á. Face Mask Wastes as Cementitious Materials: A Possible Solution to a Big Concern. Materials 2022, 15, 1371. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15041371

AMA Style

Castellote M, Jiménez-Relinque E, Grande M, Rubiano FJ, Castillo Á. Face Mask Wastes as Cementitious Materials: A Possible Solution to a Big Concern. Materials. 2022; 15(4):1371. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15041371

Chicago/Turabian Style

Castellote, Marta, Eva Jiménez-Relinque, María Grande, Francisco J. Rubiano, and Ángel Castillo. 2022. "Face Mask Wastes as Cementitious Materials: A Possible Solution to a Big Concern" Materials 15, no. 4: 1371. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15041371

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