NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     January 2021

Eliminate COVID Now with Tight Fitting, Efficient Masks

 A tight fitting efficient mask initiative should be given the highest priority because

  • The pandemic ends immediately with everyone wearing tight fitting efficient masks
  • These masks are available
  • The cost is nominal

Everyone can be wearing highly efficient masks within weeks. This includes commercial designs plus DIY braces for medical masks. These DIY accessories e.g. three rubber bands can be eliminated over time as commercial options are amply available.

Here are the important facts and considerations

  • When transmitter and recipient wear masks with a Fitted Filter Efficiency (FFE) of 90%, the combined efficiency is 99% and only 1% of the virus could be inhaled. Virus inhalation risk is 70 times less than with poor fitting cloth masks and 20 times less than with loose fitting medical masks.
  • FFE 90 masks are the equivalent of a 99% lockdown.
  • COVID is transmitted in small aerosols. If the emitter is wearing a FFE 90 mask the load falling on surfaces is reduced by 90% making surface transmission even more unlikely.
  • With FFE 90 masks we return to normal activity and the pandemic ends.

Fast Track FFE 90 Program Objectives

  • Immediately change every general mask mandate to specify efficiency. A nonspecific mandate is the equivalent of saying every football player should wear head covering.
  • Create Safe Bubbles which can only be accessed by FFE 90 wearers.
  • Require Safe Bubble operators to insure each entrant is properly wearing his FFE 90 mask.
  • Do not wait for proactive government initiatives. Let the Safe Bubble operators (Schools, Fitness Centers, Churches, Malls, etc.) lead the way.
  • Encourage Comfortable Attractive, Tight Fitting, Reusable (CATER) masks suppliers to increase production rapidly.
  • Guide those who cannot afford or acquire CATER masks to properly wear medical masks with a brace which insures a tight fit.

Fast Track FFE 90 Program Elements

  • Build on initiatives such as the ASTM 20/50 and EU equivalent
  • Utilize the free CATER Mask Decisions (CMD) to provide a forum for those with important information to convey
  • Quantitative, Qualitative, and Cursory Fit testing needs to be expanded. This can be evolutional and should not delay implementation.
  • The benefits of creating Safe Bubbles should be explained to every major building or transportation operator.
  • Programs can be implemented with the help of associations such as ones representing fitness centers, high schools, churches etc.
  • Governments can be a guiding force but we should not wait until they can be fully vested.

The mask should be viewed as a medical device but with the added burden of being an acceptable article of clothing. Those who can afford CATER masks will want them. The DIY brace is equivalent of using a shirt as a tourniquet on the battlefield.  It is not ideal but it will save lives.

The FFE 90 Mask initiative will be discussed in an open forum on January 21 at 10:AM central standard time.  Data will be displayed which is on the  CDM site.  If you have a contribution which should be considered, it can be added in one of the Daily Alerts prior to the forum.   

You can register through the CATER Mask Decisions Website

For more information contact Bob McIlvaine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     January 2021

Huge Changes in the Filter and Filter Media Markets

Any forecasts for filter and filter media revenues are likely to be outdated within months. The reason is that major changes are taking place in the industry at an unprecedented rate. Drivers include

  • The coronavirus pandemic
  • Wildfires, drought, and global warming
  • Nationalism replacing international cooperation and trade
  • New fibers and media
  • Opportunities in gas phase removal for particulate filters
  • Process and safety justification of higher filtration efficiency
  • Water reuse
  • The campaign to eliminate coal fired power generators
  • Cost of recovery of oil from shale
  • Single use systems for biopharmaceuticals

There is presently a shortage of MERV 13 filters as buildings try to comply with COVID regulations. The MERV 13 media can also be used in many other applications. Meltblowns, nanofibers, other non wovens and membranes are all competing options in a number of gas and liquid applications.


This graph prepared a few months ago may be made obsolete due to a safe bubble initiative which could result in billions of people wearing highly efficient masks. This would make the short term mask market the largest segment in the history of filtration.

There is the possibility to actually suck the CO2 out of the air using the Drax concept and possibly even shale fracturing with CO2 generated from biomass combustion.

A new class of inexpensive ambient air and liquid monitors allows measurement of individual toxic elements such as cadmium. This in turn drives the market for more efficient filters to eliminate these elements in the environment.

There are major changes in geographical activity as well as market shares for the suppliers and end users. Who would have predicted the problems of GE and ExxonMobil or the rise of Sinopec who in just eight weeks became one of the world’s largest meltblown suppliers.

Suppliers of filters and media are challenged to identify the low hanging fruit which needs to be immediately picked but also the high insect free fruit which ultimately result in the largest profits.

McIlvaine has a way to clear the fog and obtain the latest insights on the market. An hour long webinar shows participants the size of any of the markets they select.

This is accompanied by an explanation of the geographical, process, and regulatory drivers. Discussion among participants is also encouraged 

The cost of the webinar is offset by discounts when any of the market reports are purchased within the following 90 days.

For more information on the webinars contact Bob McIlvaine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 847 226 2391

Information on specific market reports is displayed under markets at

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     December 2020

Holistic Plan to Battle COVID Now

Office buildings, schools, gyms, and other facilities can be immediately reopened with the right holistic COVID game plan.

Companies such as Johnson Controls, Daikin, Mann + Hummel along with many others have the weapons to fight a full scale battle against COVID. The challenge is to use all the weapons with a holistic approach.  Presently the strategy is more like one used by Iran against Iraq. Just keep sacrificing ill equipped soldiers  until  the war is won  despite the costs. Here are the weapons available.

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Every military manual advises that people win wars. Providing people with inefficient cloth masks when they could be wearing TE 90 masks is comparable to swords vs M6 rifles.  If everyone is wearing a TE 90 mask then only 1% of the virus is transmitted.

Room air purifiers and HVAC systems have to be designed around mask quality and practice. If one is eating or drinking the mask is not protective. To avoid the necessity of wearing masks all day the individual can be less restricted when in an area with few intruders, laminar air flow and efficient filters.

The concept can be likened to a pharmaceutical cleanroom with different levels of  particle removal.  Here are the U.S. and ISO ratings.

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The wearing of masks would be a function of the measured rating in the area.  McIlvaine has recorded presentations on ways to measure and control air quality in each area. Particles and CO2 are good parameters. The number of people in an area can also be continuously monitored.

In a pharmaceutical cleanroom there will be ISO 3 biological safety cabinet in an ISO 7 space.  This space may also contain  ISO 5 isolators. The building would be maintained at ISO 9 or better and might have several ISO 7 areas each of which contains more efficient sub space.

In an office building the lobby could be maintained at ISO 9 with everyone wearing TE-90 masks 100% of the time. The elevator can be kept at ISO 5 but with everyone wearing TE 90 masks due to the close quarter contact with new people.

The upper floors could be maintained at ISO 9 but with some space meeting ISO 7 and others meeting ISO 5. Mask wearing would be a function of the actual continuously monitored CO2, particulate, and number of people.

Lunchroom eating areas and special conference rooms would be maintained at ISO 5 and masks could be removed while eating or drinking or making a presentation.

Daily developments on all the weapons to fight COVID are available in the McIlvaine  Coronavirus Technology Solutions.

 A free service relating to masks is available  To register and receive multiple alerts per week Click here. To start using CATER Mask Decisions: Click here

Details on programs to pursue these market opportunities can be provided by Bob McIlvaine 847 226 2391 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     December 2020

Valve Market Research for the Low Hanging and High Fruit


In a series of webinars hosted by Bob McIlvaine and McIlvaine specialists the participants can view some of the 80,000 forecasts, hundreds of process analyses, market shares for 300 companies and discuss trends and opportunities. 

The McIlvaine Company can provide unique insights based on 46 years of analysis of all flow control products for the range of processes. Fast growing niches are identified e.g.

  • Smart valve opportunities including adding actuators
  • Butterfly valves for closed biopharmaceutical systems
  • Knife gate valves for new Indian FGD systems
  • Valves in processes to replace ash ponds
  • Valves for CO2 sequestration processes
  • Shale fracturing with CO2
  • Impact of large Chinese valve purchasers such as Sinopec

Market shares and product comparisons can be provided as per the following examples

The webinars can be conducted with or without access to Valves: World Markets

For more information on the webinar series contact Bob McIlvaine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  847 226 2391

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     December 2020

The Pandemic is Like a Football Game Where the Head Covering is a Life and Death Decision

Most of  the regulations  now require wearing of masks. But this is like saying every football player must wear a head covering. The difference is that the risk of death is much greater by wearing a less protective mask than it is a less protective helmet.  It is therefore of highest importance to wear an efficient tight fitting mask.


ASTM is taking a big first step by preparing to create standards based on 20% and 50% efficiency. These proposed standards communicate the important parameters and the methods by which the level of protection is achieved. This work and the ASTM 50 rating can be used for what might be called the ASTM 50 plus rating.  One of the plus ratings would be CATER 95.  It would use all the tools and protocols set up by ASTM but be able to demonstrate not only the high efficiency but also the tight fit with various face sizes.

CDC could provide information on reliable fit testing procedures for  public masks. They can include use of the same qualitative and quantitative fit testing technologies required for industrial and medical use.  But they would also provide advice on frequency of testing and generic testing by mask size.

CATER mask suppliers with five different mask sizes are in a better position to provide low leakage masks than are suppliers with just two sizes. At one level suppliers should provide  leakage results through detailed testing of each different size mask when applied to appropriate  face sizes. This should include talking, walking, bending etc.  (Practical Performance Tests on sample test subjects).

Most masks are worn in such a manner that air leakage is as much as 40% of the total exhaled. The biggest challenge will be to create a system which keeps leakage below 10%. If both emitter and recipient have leakage limited to 10 % the net virus transmission is only 1%.  Rating of net efficiency (capture efficiency less leakage) will be useful. There are CATER 95 masks with 95% efficiency and an average of 4% leakage for a net efficiency of 91%.

The concept of CATER 95 bubbles is being proposed. If everyone entering this bubble has a CATER 95 or better mask then the school, fitness center, or office building in the bubble could operate normally. 

It is proposed that fit testing for the public be accomplished by one of the following

  • Existing industrial fit testing services with mobile vans or on site measurement capabilities
  • New groups of fit testers such as physical therapists at fitness centers
  • Retail stores who can sell masks and provide fitness testing and advice
  • Schools and large institutions
  • Local fit testing centers (could be the fitness center or retail store)

It is further proposed that there be limitation of entry to the bubble based on some sort of proof (if only visual) that the individual is wearing a properly fitted CATER 95 mask.

In the Alert yesterday we provided details on the fitness centers and how they could reopen and even generate extra revenue from fit testing. We are forecasting that CATER Mask sales will be greater than gym shoes, hoodies, or for that matter any other clothing item. 

So the department store with a shoe section to help customers obtain the right shoes could generate more revenues by helping people choose the right mask.

The background information with information on standards, performance of masks, media, and coatings is supplied in Click here

Consulting services on taking advantage of this potential are available. Bob McIlvaine can answer your questions at 847 226 2391 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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