CLSU produces local ethanol, hand sanitizer using nano tech

SCIENCE CITY OF MUNOZ (PIA) — Researchers from Central Luzon State University (CLSU) produced local ethanol and hand sanitizer using nanotechnology.

This is CLSU’s response to scarcity of those products in the market following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that led to the declaration of State of Public Health Emergency and enforcement of a Luzon Enhanced Community Quarantine.

“The alcohol and sanitizer that we have produced both contains nanoparticles infused with turmeric extract. In a study on the use of zinc oxide nanoparticles as nanomedicine, the mixture could kill the H1N1 influenza and the SARS viruses which are both a family of the coronavirus. Thus, applying such to surfaces could be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19,” CLSU Nanotechnology Research and Development (R&D) Facility head Juvy Monserate said. 

Bioethanol produced by the College of Engineering and the Affiliated Renewable Energy Center were reconstituted to obtain 70 percent ethyl alcohol needed in the production of the nano enhanced alcohol.

The protocol in producing the ethanol was shared by Mariano Marcos State University President Shriley Agrupis as part of a previous R&D partnership between the two state universities.

“To sustain the production of bioethanol as required by the university for the mass production of nano enhanced alcohol, our team needed only five to seven days including fermentation weekly. To jumpstart the production, we collaborated with different Centers of CLSU Research, Extension and Training (RET) Program as they have received molasses and yeast from other centers such as Small Ruminant Center, Philippine Carabao Center at CLSU and the Ramon Magsaysay-Center for Agricultural Resources and Environment Studies,” Affiliated Renewable Energy Center Director Marvin Cinense shared.

Aside from the production of alcohol and sanitizer, the research team was also able to come up with a washable mask using nano fiber as a filter. 

“These efforts are really service-oriented where it intends to provide the frontliners including health workers and uniformed personnel with alcohol, sanitizer and mask to serve as weapons to win the fight against COVID-19,” CLSU Vice President for RET Fe Porciuncula said.

In a statement, CLSU President Edgar Orden emphasized the very importance of providing solutions to COVID-19 situation through S&T.

He also supports the eventual commercialization of the nano enhanced alcohol, sanitizer and washable face mask so that these can be mainstreamed in the market and made available for anyone interested to buy, subject to adherence to standards and requirements, rules and regulations set forth by the Food and Drug Administration. 

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