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Specialty Chemicals

Global sanitizer capacity ramps up again

by Alex Scott
April 10, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 14


Chemical firms around the world are adding yet more production of hand sanitizer and sanitizer raw materials in an effort to meet unprecedented demand in the face of COVID-19. Huntsman has begun manufacturing multi-ton quantities of sanitizer in McIntosh, Alabama, using isopropyl alcohol (IPA) supplied by LyondellBasell Industries. Shell Chemical is increasing production of IPA at plants in Pernis, the Netherlands, and Sarnia, Ontario, and asking customers that use the alcohol for nonmedical purposes to delay orders. The firm says it will donate 2.5 million L of IPA to the Dutch health-care sector and a further 125,000 L to Canada. Dow plans to make hand sanitizer at five sites across the globe for more than 800,000 225-gram bottles. Clariant has started producing 2 million L of hand sanitizer per month in Gendorf, Germany, with ethanol supplied by CropEnergies. Lubrizol is increasing output of a polymeric thickening agent to enable production of an additional 1 billion bottles per month of hand sanitizer. BASF has modified production processes at sites in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the US to enable it to make tens of thousands of liters of hand sanitizer.

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