Birmingham Uni scientists are converting their labs into hand sanitiser factories

They managed to make over 1,000 bottles in just two days

As the coronavirus continues to hit the UK, Birmingham Uni have transformed the science labs at the university into hand sanitiser factories.

A team of technicians working at the university’s (CTL) are producing essential hand sanitisers for Birmingham’s social care workers.

The Birmingham Tab can reveal that the university within two days had produced 70 litres of hand sanitiser in more than 1000 bottles.

Emma Melia

Emma Melia, Director of Operations at the UOB’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, told The Birmingham Tab: “Our technicians have been asked by Public Health England to help produce hand sanitiser for social care workers who are working with the vulnerable and elderly but are running short of supplies.”

The appeal for more hand sanitisers occurs after 28 deaths of COVID-19 in the West Midlands and over 300 deaths in the whole of the UK.

Melia also told The Birmingham Tab: “We have gathered our supplies across campus of Isopropyl Alcohol, Ethanol, Hydrogen Peroxide and Glycerol to make hand sanitiser in line with the World Health Organisation’s guidelines and we are working rapidly to get the first batches out.”

Melia also appeared on BBC Midlands Today to discuss the university’s efforts in assisting with the coronavirus outbreak.

Andy Schofield, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, told The Birmingham Tab that he was pleased with the quick progress the university had made. “It was amazing how my colleagues rallied around so quickly to help,” Schofield said.

“Many of our staff at the University are very directly involved in the fight against this virus – from medics speeding up clinical trials to bioscientists tracking the genetics, but for the rest of us it was liberating to find something practical we can do to make a difference.”


Schofield also said he was glad the university had the facilities to help: “We are also fortunate to have world class facilities, such as our flagship Collaborative Teaching Laboratory, in which we train students in chemistry, chemical engineering, and wider engineering disciplines.”

The Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) at the university where the hand sanitisers are being made, was opened by 2016 Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart in May last year.