MMSU initiates alcohol production amid COVID-19 crisis
By KARLA AURIA S. GALEON
As an added precautionary measure against COVID-19, MMSU is producing its own 70% ethyl alcohol from dehydrated alcohol, an output of the National Bioethanol Research and Innovation Center (NBERIC) headed by President Shirley C. Agrupis, for distribution to the MMSU community.
According to Dr. Roque A. Ulep, a chemical engineer and NBERIC project leader, the process involves the fermentation of sugar, with the help of yeast, to yield ethanol. The ethanol is then distilled and added with water to come up with the desired concentration of 70% alcohol.
A demonstration workshop will be conducted by the NBERIC team so that MMSU personnel will learn how to ferment their own ethanol from sugar. After, the fermented ethanol will be turned over to the NBERIC for purification and distillation. The project is called “Asukal Mo, Alcohol Mo."
According to Dr. Ulep, ethyl alcohol is preferable to isopropyl alcohol as the former has greater toxicity and safer for use as disinfectant.
As of the moment, 200 liters of 70% ethyl alcohol from nipa is awaiting distribution to the MMSU community. (StratCom)