Professor Promotes Eco-Friendly Disinfectant to Improve Maine's Supply Chain
June 01, 2021
Among other things, the pandemic has shown us the importance of sustaining an eco-friendly disinfecting system to help communities during a crisis. A recent CleanLink article titled, "Professor Receives Award to Produce Environmentally-Friendly Disinfectant,
" recounts an ongoing process that is aimed at improving Maine's local supply chain through the production of eco-friendly disinfectants.
In 2020, William DeSisto, a University of Maine Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, was part of the team that would distribute 3,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to healthcare facilities in Maine. After seeing firsthand the consequences of medical supply shortages, he worked in tandem with Biddeford-based Maine Manufacturing Partners and municipal wastewater treatment facilities to perfect a disinfecting technology that could boost local supply without adding to the waste of environmental resources. Their efforts recently earned them $374,752 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), which uses CARES Act funding to support different programs aimed at improving the response against the COVID-19 threat. The final goal centers around implementing a system to keep a steady local supply of disinfectants powered by salt, water, and electricity.
DeSisto's research currently focuses on a new production approach that would increase Maine's capacity to generate hypochlorous acid and eventually deliver eco-friendly disinfectants to all parts of the state. "It's a versatile product that can be used in a wide range of applications — medical settings, hospitality, agriculture, even wastewater treatment — but it has a relatively short shelf life, hence the value of developing local production infrastructure," he says. Regarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an effective disinfectant against SARS-CoV-2, hypochlorous acid is produced through the technological process of Electrolysis. The result is a disinfectant that has 80 times the sanitizing power of bleach and can be safely used to remove suspended aerosolized virus particles in enclosed spaces.
You can read the complete article here: Professor Receives Award to Produce Environmentally-Friendly Disinfectant