Peter Tonge, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry, is leading the initiative with the support of Dr. Xinxin Yang and Dr. Shabnam Davoodi. Dr. Yang is a research scientist in the lab of Nicole Sampson, distinguished professor of Chemistry and dean of the College, and Dr. Davoodi is a post-doctoral student in the Tonge lab. The team made 17 gallons of hand sanitizer on Tuesday, March 24, the first day of the call for help, and are in the process of making more.
The hand sanitizer is being produced in the Department’s six general chemistry labs; the labs are large and promote social distancing with two people working in each lab at a time.
The containers and water used in the production process are sterile; the hand sanitizer is packaged in 4-liter plastic containers and as such, are easy to distribute and use.
The Department is ordering an additional supply of raw health-grade materials in order to continue production.
“A big shout-out to the entire Department of Chemistry who sourced the materials from approximately 30 different laboratories in less than an hour after receiving the request; reviewed the WHO protocols being followed, and to Drs. Yang and Davoodi for their willingness to step up to the bench,” said Nicole Sampson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.