Sandia National Labs tests local distillery’s hand sanitizer during shortage

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Sandia National Laboratories has tested distillery-developed hand sanitizer and confirms that it meets all federal requirements for distribution.

Following a shortage of hand sanitizer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Santa Fe’s Wayward Sons Craft Distillery changed its operations to produce their own hand sanitizer they called Elbow Bump. The distillery then worked with Sandia to test and confirm the product meets standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as the World Health Oganization.

“They needed someone with a technical background to help them figure out how to make this product and test its effectiveness,” said Sandia chemist Jessica Kruichak in a press release. “Because there has been a shortage, it’s humbling that I was able to help them with that.”

Kruichak and Sandia analytical chemist Curtis Mowry were able to provide technical consulting and resources to help Wayward Sons determine the right quantities of materials for the hand sanitizer and whether the creation of the product could be scaled up while maintaining its effectiveness. While the WHO and the FDA distributed guidelines for making the sanitizer, Kruichak said producing it wasn’t a straightforward process.

Kruichak, Mowry and Wayward Sons co-owner Byron Rudolph had to research materials as well as differing alcohol proofs in order to make sure combinations would work. Kruichak also said that she studied how to denature alcohol which involves the addition of chemicals that then make the alcohol unfit for human consumption.

Donations of Elbow Bump hand sanitizer have been made to food banks, shelters and medical organizations. The distillery has also exceeded their sales expectations as stores in New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Texas, and Missouri have also placed orders.

Sandia was able to work with Wayward Sons through the New Mexico Small Businesses Assistance program that matches Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratory with small businesses who are in need of technical assistance. The program allows businesses access to the laboratories’ expertise at no cost to them.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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