CSU makes own hand sanitizer amid COVID-19 pandemic

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — It’s one of the most crucial, but also most difficult, things to find right now.

So, members of the Mycobacteria Research Laboratories, at Colorado State University, decided to make their own hand sanitizer.

It initially started as a lifeline for the university’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which was down to its last few bottles of hand sanitizer.

“Initially we used central receiving’s alcohol supply to obtain our first drum of ethanol.  We used chemical supply companies to obtain the glycerol and the hydrogen peroxide,” said CSU Microbiology professor Karen Dobos.

Dobos is also the Director of Research Integrity and Compliance Review Office for the university.

She says the first 40-liter bottle was produced in a lab at the Infectious Disease Research Center.

But they quickly realized the demand outweighed the supply, and production capacity.

“I got a phone call from my former graduate advisor, Karen Dobos, that CSU was running dangerously low on hand sanitizer and asked if I’d be able to help,” said CSU Alumni Charlie Hoxmeier, who is the co-owner of Gilded Goat Brewery.

Hoxmeier reached out to another CSU Alumni, Jason Hevelone, who owns the Copper Muse Distillery.

He says the Copper Muse Distillery already produces ethanol as part of their distillation process.

“He’s providing the ethanol for the hand sanitizer,” said Hoxmeier.  

“CSU is providing some of the other ingredients that we need.  And then Gilded Goat is formulating the batch and doing quality control to make sure it’s up to WHO and FDA standards—and then delivering to CSU as much and as often as we can,” he added.

Since both businesses have stepped in, the production rate has increased 275 percent, allowing CSU to distribute to additional campus facilities.

Most of those went to the veterinary teaching hospital, the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, Health Services, CSU Services, CSU Receivin, and Agricultural Research Center, and Housing and Dining services,” said Dobos.

They’ve also started making other high-demand products, like disinfectant sprays and wipes.

“It’s important that we also support the local community that we’ve benefited so much from Fort Collins.  We’re working right now to see if we can support the local healthcare centers and nursing home environments in Larimer County and the surrounding area,” Dobos told FOX31.

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