Researchers at Swansea University in Wales, UK, have pioneered a process that can transform used face masks into high value materials and thus contribute to creating a circular economy and making industrial processes greener. The new process could be used to upcycle materials, which would otherwise be thrown away, and transform them into high-value materials with real-world applications. "We established that the carbon inside the facemask could be used as a pretty good feedstock to make high-quality materials like carbon nano tubes," said Professor Alvin Orbaek White of Swansea's Energy Safety Research Institute. The process is green not only in levels of energy use but also in product value generation as opposed to waste creation. "This is a crucial piece of work as it contributes to not only a circular economy but is also scalable and is viable for industrial processing and has green chemistry at its core," White says.