CLSU Initiates Nano Enhanced Alcohol and Hand Sanitizer Production Amid COVID-19 Threat
Author: Maria Adrielle S. Estigoy | Date Published: 03/20/2020 10:53:56 am

As a response to the COVID-19 situation, where it also brought to the dwindling source of ethyl alcohol also known as ethanol  in the market due to panic buying, the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) researchers produce local ethanol and hand sanitizer using nanotechnology.

Led by Dr. Juvy Monserate, head of the CLSU Nanotechnology R&D Facility, the research team initiated the production of the nano enhanced alcohol and sanitizer. According to Dr. Monserate, the alcohol and sanitizer that they have produced both contains nanoparticles infused with turmeric extract. According to the study of Ghaffari, et.al., 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 inhibiting the spread of COVID-19.

With regards to the production of the nano enhanced alcohol, the bioethanol produced by the College of Engineering and the Affiliated Renewable Energy Center, led by their Dean, Dr. Victorino Taylan, and their Director, Dr. Marvin Cinense, respectively, was reconstituted to obtain 70% ethyl alcohol. The protocol in producing the ethanol was shared by the Mariano Marcos State University President, Dr. Shriley Agrupis as part of a previous R&D partnership between the two SUCs.

Moreover, to sustain the production of bioethanol as required by the University for the mass production of nano enhanced alcohol, Dr. Cinense shared that the team needed only five to seven days including fermentation weekly. To jumpstart the production, it is good to note the collaboration among the different Centers of the 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.

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

“These efforts are really service-oriented where it intends to provide the frontliners – doctors, nurses, military personnel, and anyone providing services in the grounds, with alcohol, sanitizer and mask, to serve as a weapon to fight COVID-19,” Dr. Fe Porciuncula, Vice President for RET expressed. She also said that this is one of the immediate responses of the university to prevent the spread of COVID-19 knowing that CLSU in itself is a big community already.

All of the endeavors are being supported by the dynamic CLSU president, Dr. Edgar Orden who emphasizes 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.

“To ensure viability, the products will indeed be subjected to third party analysis and confirmation before it will be released for commercialization,” Dr. Monserate said.

For inquiries, you may contact Dr. Juvy Monserate at 0917-148-5214 or email him at juvymonserate@yahoo.com.

*Dr. Juvy Monserate is a Chemical Engineer and holds a PhD in Material Science and Engineering, with extensive training and experience in Nanotechnology. The nanotech research team is also composed of licensed chemists from the CLSU’s Department of Chemistry.