School’s sanitiser solution: if you can’t buy it, make it

Bayfield High School pupils Tony Lin and Melanie Hall prepare to make sanitiser in a science lab...
Bayfield High School pupils Tony Lin and Melanie Hall prepare to make sanitiser in a science lab fume cupboard. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
After being unable to source a constant supply of sanitiser, Bayfield High School pupils have taken the matter into their own hands and started using the school’s chemistry laboratory to make their own.

Principal and chemistry teacher Mark Jones said the school had been unable to source sanitisers locally or quickly amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and a critical shortage was looming.

So he asked the school’s head of science, Geoff Burn, if it was possible to solve the problem in-house.

The answer was ‘‘yes’’, and now pupils in the chemistry department are making the school a supply, following a recipe from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Mr Jones said the chemistry team was making the WHO’s recommended hand-rub formulations in a fume cupboard (a ventilation device designed to limit exposure to hazardous or toxic fumes, vapours or dusts) and was creating sanitising wipes for each classroom, to be used for wiping down surfaces and keyboards.

The supply is being refreshed daily.

‘‘The shortages are not something we could have foreseen, but a bit of chemistry know-how is helping us solve the problem.’’

He said the bonus of the initiative was pupils were getting a taste of the real-world applications of chemistry.

‘‘It’s always wonderful to use chemistry for practical purposes.’’

 

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

 

Comments

How do we get some?

A great example set! Well done you guys :)

The inspiration is in the hands of those with the knowledge to solve problems.
Imagine, just for a moment, converting 'breath testing' and/or drug testing technology into something that detects virus's.
Imagine then that it was available to all households. Then imagine that those households could do a daily check on themselves. Then imagine that test is linked 'online' to immediately identify where viruses are propagating. Future outbreaks could very easily be contained and save economies and lives.
Now there's a homework project........*winks*

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