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Asturias starts the production of hydrogel for cleaning hands and surfaces against Covid-19

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04.06.2020

Asturian companies have joined forces to manufacture hydrogel to disinfect hands and surfaces, a product that is essential in the fight against Covid-19. The initiative is financed by the EDP Foundation, which will provide more than 40,000 euros to produce 15,000 litres of hydroalcoholic gel. The Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of the Principality is coordinating this new project, which is due to start producing the gel this week.

The idea to produce hydrogel originated from the company Metrohm DropSens, but it is an altruistic group project, which Auxquimia and Asturquimia have joined, providing their facilities and ingredients to make the product. This disinfectant will be manufactured thanks to the economic support of EDP, which will cover the costs of purchasing ethanol and isopropanol (essential components in the compound), additional materials and transport.

The companies have joined forces so that this product can reach the personnel who need it in a selfless manner. Initially, the hydrogel will be manufactured for law enforcement agents and forest rangers. The Ministry of Rural Development, Agriculture and Fisheries will be responsible for facilitating distribution to these sectors.

However, work is underway to ensure that it can also be used by health personnel. This is being done in two ways. On the one hand, the promoters of the initiative have contacted a pharmaceutical company to carry out production at its headquarters, and thus get the product accredited for use by healthcare personnel. And, on the other, the possibility of dispensing the alcohol to the Pharmacy of the Central University Hospital (HUCA) is being looked at so that it can directly manufacture the hydrogel it needs.

The team, which is coordinated by Pablo Fanjul of Metrohm DropSens, is confident that all the material needed will arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday, so that the first full-scale batch can be delivered by the end of the week. In principle, the idea is to bottle the gel in one litre bottles or containers of between 5 and 10 litres. The first samples of the disinfectant (about 200 litres) have already been delivered to the Rural Development department as a pilot test.  

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