FGCU came to standstill as soon as corona virus lock down was announced. But the chemistry department has been working day in and out under the able guidance of organic chemistry professor, Dr. Arsalan Mirjafari. They all are working to provide sanitizers to the entire campus.
Dr. Arsalan Mirjafari has his research students with him who are in unison working to prepare hand sanitizers that is extremely important during this pandemic. They have produced in all 44 litres of the substance around 11.6 gallons of hand sanitizer) till now. They have been receiving supply donations from the FGCU chemistry department.
Dr. Mirjafari was motivated to make use of his lab during the pandemic as they faced shortage of hand sanitizer on store shelves. It was becoming difficult to restock the sanitizer dispensers on campus. The scarcity compelled him to take this as a responsibility. He said that he is from Northwest of Iran where people have been using nature-made hand sanitizers for centuries. So he wished to recreate the formula here and now when it is most needed.
The mixture is inspired by kolonya, an antiseptic native to Iran and includes floral or citrus ingredients and contains at least 80% alcohol that wards off harmful bacteria effectively. This antibacterial can combat SARS-CoV-2, HIV, and hepatitis B and C viruses.
The team found ethanol, peroxides, clove oil, carboys and cylinders in their labs that are used to synthesize the hand sanitizer.
The project will go on till the resources last and now it has become a challenge to find active ingredients in bulk.The lab management working with FGCU’s emergency management team is trying their best to provide ingredients to Mirjafari’s team.