DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – Iowa Prison Industries (IPI) has produced hand sanitizer for the state of Iowa.
On March 16, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) offered the governors office to help procure ethanol and glycerin for hand sanitizer if there was a need and IPI reached out saying they had be directed to start making hand sanitizer.
As they started, there were numerous regulatory, logistical, and supply issues to overcome, so IPI sourced necessary materials and began producing hand sanitizer on March 24.
The first load of ethanol was supplied by Absolute Energy of St. Ansgar, Iowa. They also provided technical guidance to IPI.
The glycerin came from Western Iowa Energy which is a biodiesel plant in Wall Lake, Iowa. It was then upgraded from “crude” grade to the appropriate purity for hand sanitizer by a third party.
Templetion Rye supplied the distilled water.
The hydrogen peroxide was sourced from a Des Moines-based chemical supply company.
IRFA helped source and provide funding for the ethanol and glycerin supplies, along with the proper denaturant that is added to ethanol for use in hand sanitizer.
Additional loads of ethanol have been provided by Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs, and from Green Plains, Inc., which has plants in Shenandoah and Superior, Iowa and other states.
Reynolds’ office, along with Iowa’s federal offices, helped work with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in clarifying the agency’s emergency guidance for hand sanitizer production.
These actions provide the opportunity for Iowa’s ethanol producers to supply products for this need as long as all the FDA requirements are met.
As of April 8, IPI has produced more than 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer. Assuming a typical dose of hand sanitizer is around two milliliters, this would be equal to more than 18.9 million doses.
The product is being distributed by the state, free of charge. Deliveries have been made to:
- Iowa Veteran Homes
- Nine Department of Corrections facilities
- Eight Judicial districts
- Childcare facilities
- The rest is being distributed by the State Emergency Operations Center(SEOC) to entities across Iowa as needed
IPI is currently producing around 4,500 gallons, or roughly 8.5 million doses of hand sanitizer a week.