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UTPB chemistry department makes hand sanitizer for first responders

The chemists calculated a formula from WHO recommendations and performed trials until satisfied with the results.

ODESSA, Texas — The UTPB chemistry department isn't letting the COVID-19 pandemic keep it from helping those in need.

It can be crucial for first responders to have hand sanitizer on hand, but with it in high demand it can be hard to find it on store shelves.

Dr, Milka Montes, Chemistry Department Chair, and one of her students set to work on making their own formula to help give back to the community.

Mikayla Rodriguez, an undergraduate student at UTPB, began working with her professor to calculate a formula based on recommendations from the World Health Organization.

Like most scientific endeavors, the process was one of trial and error. It took Montes and Rodriguez three trials before they had a batch they were fully pleased with on April 16.

Over the weekend the sanitizer was donated to the UTPB Police Department. The chemists say they have another batch ready to go when needed and will continue to produce more.

“I am thankful for having the resources and support here at UTPB to contribute, and I am proud to be part of this Falcon Family, said Dr. Montes.  

It’s an awesome experience being able to work closely with such an amazing chemist and mentor who is helping me prepare for my future academic and career endeavors,” said Rodriguez. 

While store shelves are void of toilet paper, paper towels, and the hottest commodity: hand sanitizer, UT Permian Basin's chemistry department is mixing up their own solution. "One of the biggest...

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