NUEBG produces alcohol for NWU employees

NUEBG produces alcohol for NWU employees

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the dwindling supply of disinfectants and sanitizers, the Northwestern University Ecotourism Park and Botanic Gardens (NUEBG) has produced its own 60%-80% ethyl alcohol hand rub for NWU employees.

With the initiative and authorization of NWU EVP/VPA Prof. Ma. Liza S. Nicolas, Mr. Michael Calaramo, Head of the NWU Ecosystem Management and Development Office (EMDO), led the EMDO-Biological Diversity Research Unit in mobilizing their expertise in the formulation and production of an ethyl alcohol.

According to Mr. Calaramo, the alcohol produced by the university is effective, fragrant, hypoallergenic, and provides a comforting after-rub feeling.

“We have more than a week-long trial and we have produced five gallons of raw ethyl alcohol from 20 kilos of initial sugar, mainly from black plum or duhat, and other pulpy fruits. However, raw ethyl alcohol smells like petrol, so in order for it to have a pleasant smell and good texture, we distilled it again to eliminate the esters and aldehydes then infused with aromatic hands and flower. In terms of effectivity, it is effective since there is precision in organic chemistry and applied physics,” he stressed.

The ethyl alcohol is called “NUEBG Botanicals” since the fruits used for the fermentation and the flowers used for the scent are carefully handpicked from the Northwestern University Ecotourism Park and Botanic Gardens located in Payas, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte. The alcohol is also processed at the NUEBG laboratories.

At the moment, the EMDO is taking employee surveys that assess the overall quality of the alcohol. The results will be the basis for its further production.

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