MARAMAG, Bukidnon (PIA)–Due to the increasing demand for disinfectants in the province as people brace for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) upsurge, a team of faculty researchers from Central Mindanao University (CMU) has produced 113 liters of hand sanitizers and distributed them to Bukidnon hospitals and government offices.
Dr. Melania Enot, director of CMU’s Natural Products Research and Development Center (NPRDC), said they made the alcohol-based sanitizers using the recommended formulation of the World Health Organization.
The sanitizers contain 80 percent alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, double distilled water, and glycerol.
However, as the existing raw materials from their laboratories are depleting, the team is now fermenting and distilling sugarcane molasses to produce ethanol.
Rainear Mendez, a chemist from Natural Science Research Center (NSRC), said they received two barrels of molasses from Bukidnon Sugar Milling Co., Inc. (Busco) after they reached out for donations.
He said they also asked Busco’s advice in creating a large-scale distillation unit as the university’s distillation systems are not designed for large-scale production.
As of April 2, the team has distributed sanitizers to Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center, Bukidnon Provincial Hospital (BPH)-Maramag, BPH-Manolo Fortich, Impasugong Municipal Hospital, CMU Hospital, and some hospitals in Valencia City.
CMU also shared it to the Provincial Governor’s Office, Provincial Veterinary Office, Municipal Agriculture Office-Impasugong, San Isidro Parish, Barangay Dologon, and to the frontliners in Maramag and Valencia checkpoints.
The research team is composed of researchers and associates from Natural Science Research Center (NSRC) headed by Dr. Gina Barbosa; Food Research Development Center (FRDC) headed by Dr. Queenie Ann Curayag; Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory (SPAL) headed by Prof. Myrna Pabiona; Chemistry and Biology departments; Agricultural Engineering Department headed by Prof. Emy Reyes; Prof. Ailene G. Ang; Dr. Joy Jamago; and Tuklas Lunas Development Center headed by Dr. Reggie Y. Dela Cruz.
Aside from hand sanitizers, volunteers of the university were also making face masks and face shields.
CMU suspended classes and work from March 16 until April 10.
As of April 6, there is no confirmed coronavirus case in the province but there are 44 persons under investigation and 1,274 under monitoring. (CMU/PIA10)