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Distilleries in Nevada look to produce hand sanitizer using hooch

Reports confirm that Nevada distilleries are utilizing ethanol and other chemicals for making hand sanitizer, a product witnessing considerable demand at the time of a global coronavirus pandemic. Ethanol, a key ingredient used by distilleries that can also kill germs, is combined with chemicals like aloe vera to create the sanitizers.

Many distilleries in the state are unable to produce liquor owing to the countrywide shutdown coerced by COVID-19. Hand sanitizers could be an important product segment to cater to a growing market. Subsequently, Ferino, Seven Troughs, Verdi Local Distillery and some others seem be boosting up sanitizer production.

Seven Troughs had apparently already begun making sanitizer and reported an output of about 175 gallons in the previous week. Most of this production will be directed towards first responders and Renown Hospital. According to owner Tom Adams, the distillery is operating 24 hours a day to make ethanol for Renown.

Sanitizer is made from ethanol in combination with hydrogen peroxide and glycerol. The CDC website informs that a minimum of 70% alcohol content in a solution is effective at disinfecting. Tom Adams said that the World Health Organization also provides guidelines for producing hand sanitizer. The distiller never though they would be making something to supply to the healthcare system.

Nevada had reported 621 cases of coronavirus and 10 resulting deaths as of Saturday, 28 March. In general, COVID-19 leads to mild or moderate symptoms for most people, including cough and fever which can be treated in 2-3 weeks. It can however lead to serious illness, like pneumonia or even death, in older population and for people suffering from existing health problems.

Some Nevada distilleries have laid off employees as all non-essential businesses come to a halt throughout the state. While distilleries are looking towards the production of hand sanitizer to sustain business operations and serve the community, a problem being faced by them is obtaining supplies like plastic and glass bottles, required in the distribution of the product.


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Pankaj Singh

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