Fungai Lupande Mash Central Bureau
Bindura University of Science Education has scaled up production of alcohol and non-alcohol sanitisers to 2 000 litres a day using standard formulas approved by the World Health Organisation.
Vice Chancellor Prof Eddie Mwenje on Thursday invited the COVID-19 provincial taskforce to tour the manufacturing unit in Bindura.
The WHO guidelines have sanitisers largely based on alcohol, isopropyl alcohol in normal non-emergency situations, but prefer ethanol in emergencies and when tax regulations allow.
Hydrogen peroxide, another simple germ killer and glycerine are added to minimise skin irritations. Water makes up the difference. It works swiftly on coronaviruses as they dissolve in alcohol, and can be washed off in soap.
Prof Mwenje said the university’s alcohol based sanitisers have an 80 percent ethanol content, but non-alcohol sanitisers are made for people with allergies.
“The university had been producing sanitisers and detergents for the past five years. The product can be ordered by companies. We have containers ranging from 100ml up to 20 litres,” he said.
“The major ingredients are ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, distilled water and glycerine. We are able to produce 2 000 litres per day. We have enough ingredients that we can produce 10 000 litres now.”
Prof Mwenje said the university was ready to commercialise its detergent and sanitiser enterprise.
“This has become a mini industry and students on industrial attachment will be involved in the production, packaging and selling of the product,” said Prof Mwenje.
“We have been getting students from biology and chemistry to do the testing and quality assurance.”
Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Monica Mavhunga was happy that the province is contributing through the production of sanitisers, which is the main element in ensuring that people cannot contract the disease from contaminated hands.
She assured the university that her office would give the necessary support.