USW chemists join the fight against coronavirus

Nurses USW hand sanitiser resized

NHS nurses take delivery of USW hand sanitiser


A team of chemists from the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science are working together to make hand sanitiser during the coronavirus pandemic.

Emily Wood, Gareth Williams, David Noakes, and Stacey Huish have been busy in the laboratory making the hand sanitiser with surplus alcohol (ethanol and propanol), following recipes on the World Health Organisation’s website.

An essential tool in the prevention of transmitting coronavirus, the team have produced 30 litres so far. The sanitiser has been bottled up and distributed to Princess of Wales Intensive Care unit, Nuffield Health hospital, Aberdare police station, Merthyr local school hub, Pontypridd local school hub, Pontypridd care home, and Hollies care home in Cilfynydd, so far. The intention is that the bottles are pocket-sized so that the key workers can keep it on their uniform.

The recipe involves adding alcohol to hydrogen peroxide, glycerol, and water. Once bottled the product must sit for three days to ensure that all the bacteria has died off.

Emily Wood, Technical Demonstrator, said: “The idea came from Suzanna Kean, Academic Manager, and we were more than happy to help.

“The plan is to distribute 100ml bottles to key workers as well as some 2 litre bottles that they can refill.”

USW hand sanitiser