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Local effort produces hand sanitizer for front-line workers

Published on

Cathy Dobson

A co-operative local effort has produced 135 litres of hand sanitizer for front-line staff at Bluewater Health and other at-risk workplaces.

“We’re happy to do it and we’ll make a couple more batches if we get another donation of isopropyl (alcohol),” said Nathan Colquhoun, co-owner of the Refined Fool Brewing Company, which worked with Lambton Collage and Praxair on the project.

The brewery began receiving requests for sanitizer in March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but needed partners to make the first batch.

Refined Fool doesn’t distill, but Lambton College has a small distillation unit and offered to help, said Colquhoun.

Praxair donated 100 litres of isopropyl alcohol, the main ingredient, and Refined Fool’s head brewer got to work.

Matt Barnes made a liquid that was about 20% alcohol, then shipped it to the college where distillation converted it to greater than 70% alcohol, the strength required to kill the virus.

The sanitizer is bottled in two-litre growlers usually filled with beer.

“About half went to Bluewater Health and we divided the rest up for The Inn of the Good Shepherd, Bluewater Methadone Clinic, Sarnia Police, Sarnia Fire Rescue and the Bluewater Bridge Authority,” said Colquhoun.

“We’re currently following up a lead for another donation of isopropyl so we can make more.

“We’re trying to meet as many requests as we can.”

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