By: Khairul Anuar Muhamad Noh
SERDANG, March 31 - A group of researchers from the Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has taken the initiative to produce more than 700 hand sanitisers using aloe vera gel formulation to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Head of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Razif Harun, said the production of hand sanitisers at the Materials and Characterization Laboratory, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering ensued once the country was hit by the COVID-19 virus infection and when hand sanitisers became increasingly difficult to obtain in the market.
“Other than the aloe vera gel, the product contains ionic liquid, pure alcohol and natural essential oils such as lavender, lemon, peppermint and tea tree oils. These oils are added to the mixture as it has the potential to fight bacteria, germs and prevent infection.”
“This product by UPM is suitable for public use. It has been tested at UPM lab and has proven to disinfect, and it complies with the World Health Organization (WHO) standards.
“Our team managed to produce 703 bottles of 30ml and 50 bottles of 300ml. The total production was based on demand and availability of raw materials.
“However, for the time being we have discontinued production operations as the allocations and facilities have been fully utilised. If there is an interest by any outside parties who wants to commercialise this product, we welcome the cooperation as it requires greater allocation, full time staff and bigger facilities,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, UPM, Prof. Ir. Ts. Dr. Nor Kamariah Nordin, said the group's effort was able to at least reduce the demand for hand sanitisers which is lacking in the local market.
She explained the production group consisting of lecturers, research officers, executive officers and assistant engineers from the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. They are Associate Professor Dr. Norhafizah Abdullah, Dr. Dayang Radiah Awang Biak, Dr. Mohd Yusof Harun, Shafizah Masuri, Nurhazirah Ismail, Norhasliza Hasan, Adli Nazri Mohd Kassim, Maslinda Abdullah and Norisham Abdul Wahab.
"The product is not for sale, but it is more for internal use within the campus, especially at the central areas around the Faculty of Engineering, such as at the office counters and elevators, as the first precautionary measure for faculty members," she added.
She further added that there are internal requests for the product which is not for commercialisation purpose from the Association of Administrators, UPM (PPUPM), Development Office and Asset Management (PPPAUPM) and UPM staff. - UPM
Date of Input: 02/04/2020 | Updated: 02/04/2020 | hairul_nizam
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