Sudbury·Audio

Laurentian University hand sanitizer project produces hundreds of bottles for campus use

A team of people at Laurentian University says it all started with giving Sudbury police a hand — a batch of hand sanitizer, that is. Chemistry professor Eric Gauthier says the school decided to branch out after making and supplying police with the disinfectant when the pandemic first started.

'Supply chains are tight right now for PPE supplies. Why not make our very own?'

Paul Guérin, a technologist at Laurentian University, helps prepare disinfectant for use. Ahead of the phased return of on-campus activity, the school has produced 500 bottles of hand sanitizer, in-house, including the labels. (Supplied/Laurentian University)

A team of people at Laurentian University says it all started with giving Sudbury police a hand — a batch of hand sanitizer, that is.

Chemistry professor Eric Gauthier said the school decided to branch out after making and supplying police with the disinfectant when the pandemic first started.

During the past three months, they have have produced 500 more bottles of hand sanitizer in house, including the label on the bottles. The one-litre containers will be used in classrooms, lecture halls, and hallways throughout Laurentian University's grounds.

"This project, from obtaining the licensing from Health Canada, to bottling the final product, would not have been possible without the involvement of a group of dedicated individuals," Gauthier said.

Laurentian University head of procurement, Ray Coutu, organized the effort to harness the LU community's collective know-how to create a similar project. 

"Supply chains are tight right now for PPE supplies. Why not make our very own? Everyone worked together to achieve a common goal. During these extraordinary times, this is rewarding," Coutu said.

Gauthier said it's not the kind of work he's used to doing.

"That's the nice thing for a change. It's less abstract, it's more concrete, so it keeps me out of the house a little bit. That's a nice change these days."

The recipe is fairly simple, he said, but getting the isopropyl alcohol and glycerine was difficult at first.

LU says they'll continue to produce the disinfectant, as long as there is a need.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a real run on things like toilet paper...and of course hand sanitizer. But with problems, come solutions. A team of people at Laurentian University decided to make their own hand sanitizer... After a professor got a call from the police. Eric Gauthier is a chemistry professor at Laurentian. He spoke with CBC's Jessica Pope. 6:00

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