University of Alberta chemists making hand sanitizer to help fight COVID-19

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Hundreds of litres of hand sanitizer is being produced by a group of chemistry professors at the University of Alberta looking to do their part in fighting the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Rik Tykwinski, one of the professors, said the team got together after seeing posts from Wayne State University in the U.S. doing a similar initiative. The Alberta team has already created 200 litres from a recipe distributed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is hoping to make more.

“The ingredients are extremely simple. It’s basically ethanol, glycerol, which is just a softening agent, think of hand lotion or aloe, and then there’s a small amount of hydrogen peroxide,” said Tykwinski. “It’s safe, it’s useful, not dangerous but at the same time it’s dangerous enough to the virus.”

The WHO guideline makes sure the sanitizer has the right amount of alcohol and it is safe to be used anywhere in the world.