Nova Scotia chemists team up with mill to make N95 masks using pulp

Bachelor of Science students Kathleen Allen (left) and Taylor Lynk (right) and chemist Christa Brosseau are shown at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax in this undated handout image. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Saint Mary’s University-Riley Smith)

By / Michael Tutton

HALIFAX — A team of chemists at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax is looking at methods to help East Coast mills produce pulp that can be used in the N95 respirator masks that have been in high demand during the global pandemic.

Christa Brosseau, the lead researcher on the project, says fresh methods are needed to manufacture a supply of the gear used to protect against COVID-19.

The professor is partnering with Port Hawkesbury Paper LP, based in Cape Breton, to determine how to use balsam fir and spruce fibre to produce the pulp needed for the masks.