Mintek is producing over 600 litres of hand and surface sanitisers to use and distribute to staff. This following low supply of sanitisers because of an increase in demand.Sanitisers were produced in the controlled laboratory environment in the Advanced Materials Division and then production was scaled up by the Hydrometallurgy Division. Products were packed and labelled in accordance with the national guidelines in 500ml, 1ltr, 2.5ltr and 5ltr bottles. Production of sanitisers is expected to increase to be further distributed to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE). Dr Mabel Coyanis, principal scientist in the Advanced Materials Division, said that Mintek hand sanitiser was produced according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended formulation, with a composition of ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, and glycerol.
“The preparation of sanitisers is not something new for Mintek, as the formula for surface sanitising is of critical use within the laboratory environment. The addition of glycerol to the hand sanitiser product is intended as a skin care moisturiser.”Some of these were distributed to staff to take home prior to the national lockdown while others continue to be used in various locations throughout the Mintek campus by essential services staff on duty. With a daily foot traffic of around 700 including full time staff, visitors and contractors, Mintek could not keep up with the excessive consumption considering the suppressed supply at the same time keeping up with maintaining hygiene standards.