Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks produce hand sanitizer for Fairbanks hospital

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) COVID-19 has caused a nationwide shortage of hand sanitizer. The Fairbanks Memorial Hospital is having trouble finding sanitizer and the university incident response team asked the chemistry department if they could help.

Arianna Demmerly, the laboratory manager at the UAF Department of Chemistry pours newly made hand sanitizer into a bottle to deliver to FMH. (John Dougherty/KTVF)

"We were asked to take some of the supplies that are donated by various departments and researchers on campus and produce hand sanitizer," said Emily Reiter, the Laboratory Coordinator at the UAF Department of Chemistry

Reiter said that they had ingredients on hand to produce hand sanitizer. Once they began the project, other departments and researchers also donated supplies so that they could make more.

Once they got all the supplies, they were able to quickly begin making the hand sanitizer. Reiter said that they can make a batch in 20 or 30 minutes, and should be able to produce a few gallons a day. Reiter said that how much they can make depends on when they run out of supplies, but they currently have enough to make over 100 gallons.

“We will be able to provide the hospital what they need until they can get their supply chain back in place," Reiter said.

She said that being able to do this is rewarding. "To be able to use our supplies and our facility to do this makes us feel validated. It's fantastic to be able to do that," said Reiter.

They have already made and bottled their first batch and are currently waiting on labels before they can deliver to the hospital.

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