University begins large scale production of sanitiser
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The University of Wolverhampton’s School of Pharmacy and School of Engineering are working to assist local NHS Trusts and the local authority during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Academics and technicians have been producing surface and hand sanitiser in their laboratory facilities at the city centre campus in Wolverhampton, helping to combat the short supplies of the anti-viral cleaner.
Dr Matthew Palframan and Dr Mark Hewitt from the School of Pharmacy made a trial batch of the sanitiser for use in the University before the lockdown was imposed. Since then, they have been working alongside Dr Amin Dhir of the School of Engineering’s Chemical Engineering department to upscale the quantities being produced, as well as adopting the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s methodology for making sanitiser, made available to laboratories around the world via their website.
The WHO recipe uses Ethanol, Isopropyl, Glycerol and Hydrogen Peroxide to make an effective anti-viral agent and the University team has been using its existing supplies of materials to manufacture a simple sanitising liquid strong enough to effectively kill the COVID-19 virus on both hard surfaces and on hands.
The team has produced over 100 litres of sanitiser in 24 hours which are ready for transport, and will need decanting once they reach their new homes to be used effectively.
Dr Colin Brown, Head of the Wolverhampton School of Pharmacy, said: We’re excited to be able to begin producing sanitiser to a high specification on such a large scale. It’s a testament to the hard work of the team to be able to adapt to the WHO process and work across multiple disciplines to respond to the needs of the NHS Trusts and our front-line care workers. We plan to continue production, and get more ingredients as they become available so that we can continue supporting our community.
The University is currently working with local NHS Trusts, local council and healthcare providers to distribute the new supplies of sanitiser.
Professor Nazira Karodia, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Regional Engagement, who is co-ordinating the University’s community response to COVID-19, said: “This is the first of many batches of sanitiser the University will manufacture and donate, and I’m proud of the wide range of projects colleagues in the University are launching to combat this virus.
“The academic and technical skills being used are world class.”
The University is actively looking at other ways to contribute to the fight against the pandemic and has provided a new ‘super lab’ at Alderley Park, Cheshire, with an advanced PCR machine for testing for COVID-19 as well as donating PPE, including gloves, safety goggles and clinical waste bags to local NHS Trusts and a hospice and using its School of Pharmacy and School of Engineering to produce hand and surface sanitiser for front line staff and members of the community who are volunteering.
The University has also made student accommodation available at its Walsall Campus for NHS Trust frontline staff – they are due to move in following the Easter Bank Holiday. We have offered the use of 133 rooms for doctors, nurses, midwives and paramedics. NHS Trust staff from New Cross Hospital have also been offered the use of student accommodation in Liberty Heights in Wolverhampton and local police will be using rooms in accommodation at City Campus.
Seven postgraduate students studying for PhDs in Pharmacy and Public Health at the University of Wolverhampton have joined front-line staff to help the fight against COVID-19. The seven independent prescribing students who are studying in the School of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing are supporting the NHS and are based in GP clinics, community pharmacies and hospitals around the region and in London.