How to make hand sanitizer?

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this might not be the right place but i had to skim some wiki articles that had a lot of organic chemistry in them so that's why i chose it.

i want to make hand sanitizer. ideally lots of it, cheaply and simply.

this of course led me to research how isopropanol is made (by steam cracking light hydrocarbons at low temperatures to produce propylene which then undergoes indirect or direct hydration). any details (or directions for where to find them) someone could give me on either of these two processes would be appreciated.

then the isopropanol should be combined with a thickener (some sort of gel). what i can't figure out is what gel actually is because all the sites i've seen are how-tos for making some sort of particular gel (eg hair gel). one site suggested grinding up vitamin c tablet using a mortar and pestle and that makes sense to me; that it's just lots of fine particulate matter suspended in some solution. am i correct?

i don't expect anyone to devise an industrial process for me but i would like some hints for finding out the particulars of such an industrial process.
 

turbo

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Don't bother with gels, etc. Combine 90% isopropyl alcohol with water 50:50. Put it in a spray bottle or two and leave them near your sinks. That will take care of you personally.

If you are thinking of butting heads with J&J and other giants, you'll never be able to overcome their economies of scale and effective distribution networks. They'll eat your lunch.
 
Don't bother with gels, etc. Combine 90% isopropyl alcohol with water 50:50. Put it in a spray bottle or two and leave them near your sinks. That will take care of you personally.
well 6:9 because you want 6:10 in the final solution but good idea anyway.
If you are thinking of butting heads with J&J and other giants, you'll never be able to overcome their economies of scale and effective distribution networks. They'll eat your lunch.
it's not that i want compete here in america, but that i want to bring it to under-served countries in africa, where readily available hand sanitizer would go a long way toward stymieing the spread of bacterial disease.
 

turbo

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it's not that i want compete here in america, but that i want to bring it to under-served countries in africa, where readily available hand sanitizer would go a long way toward stymieing the spread of bacterial disease.
In that case, it's best that you keep your sanitizer purely liquid, so that distribution and packaging can be as simple as possible. No gels, no squeeze-tubes, etc. KISS.
 

turbo

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Better yet, ship the isopropyl alcohol to Africa and combine it with water and cheap re-usable packaging there. No sense in shipping water.
 
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well 6:9 because you want 6:10 in the final solution but good idea anyway.


it's not that i want compete here in america, but that i want to bring it to under-served countries in africa, where readily available hand sanitizer would go a long way toward stymieing the spread of bacterial disease.
What quantity do you require?
 
Better yet, ship the isopropyl alcohol to Africa and combine it with water and cheap re-usable packaging there. No sense in shipping water.
the thing is that i imagine isopropanol by itself is expensive to ****; it makes more sense to manufacture it in country.
What quantity do you require?
i have no idea? 4oz x 3 million per... week? so ~ 3 million gallons per year
 
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the thing is that i imagine isopropanol by itself is expensive to ****; it makes more sense to manufacture it in country.


i have no idea? 4oz x 3 million per... week? so ~ 3 million gallons per year
Is there funding for such a project?
 
Is there funding for such a project?
not yet? like i said i'm not looking for someone to do this for me but for information that would enable me to do it on my own. that way i could decide if it's feasible or not.
 
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not yet? like i said i'm not looking for someone to do this for me but for information that would enable me to do it on my own. that way i could decide if it's feasible or not.
Have you ever used the sample shampoo packets in a hotel? They hold a little more than a ketchup package and have a tear away spout - ideal for a gel. The package might work for if you could find someone to manufacture it.
 
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Also, are you planning to use it for applications beyond hand wash?
 
Also, are you planning to use it for applications beyond hand wash?
i don't want them to be distributed in disposable packages because that adds to the cost; my calculations were for 1 refill of one of those sanitizer dispensers for week.
 
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When you talk about steam cracking light hydrocarbons, you're talking about an industrial process. Alcohols like isopropanol (i-PrOH from now on) are used on a massive scale in industry, so I see no reason why you would have to manufacture your own. Even cosmetic and personal care companies do not manufacture their own isopropanol! That would be ludicrous.

There are other alcohols besides i-PrOH that would work for sterilization. Ethanol works fine. In fact, if you want to, you can add a small amount to water to make it potable (but if you add too much and it will be a party). More than that, it can be produced from plant sources. If there is no intention of drinking it, possible contamination with Methanol wouldn't be as big of a problem and simplifies production. In any case, you may want to add some denatonium bromide to further discourage people from ingesting it.
 
Would it not make sense to ship iodine salts instead? You could combine them to purify water, steralize wounds, and avoid some thyroid disease.
 

turbo

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If there is no intention of drinking it, possible contamination with Methanol wouldn't be as big of a problem and simplifies production. In any case, you may want to add some denatonium bromide to further discourage people from ingesting it.
Not true. Methanol is a risk, even through skin exposure. It's nothing to fool with.
 

chemisttree

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You could use one of the Carbopol polymers as a thickener. One is even sold as an alcoholic solution. Ethanol. The polymer is in the acid form and in that form forms a latex. Neutralize it with a little base like triethanolamine and the latex unfolds producing a gel. It's how thickened hand detergent and hair shampoo is made.

Use Ultrez-21. A recipe can be found http://www.lubrizol.com/Household/HandCare.html" [Broken]
 
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chemisttree

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I'm sorry, did I kill this thread? If so, I want credit!
 
I'm sorry, did I kill this thread? If so, I want credit!
If by kill you mean answer, I'm impressed. I spent about 15 minutes jsut reading about this polymer family... it's pretty cool. If I didn't think I'd hurt myself, I'd buy some to try and make homemade napalm in a squirt gun, just to scare the pant's off some folks (not with gasoline of course).
 

chemisttree

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Yes it is interesting stuff. You will notice that the Lubrizol site that I pointed to has a recipe for your own version of GoJo hand cleaner (waterless hand cleaner example).

If you're out of work and want to make a bit of money, this is a good (not great but OK) business to get into. Check the price on waterless hand cleaners and do something else to make it better. Call it tool cleaner and sell it that way. The stuff has triethanolamine or triisopropylamine in it which are very nice anticorrosion agents. The silicone compound leaves a water repellent behind. Leave out the humectant, lower the water content and increase the limonene for a great tool cleaner/anti-rust agent.

Carbapol is a great product line, IMO.
 
Yes it is interesting stuff. You will notice that the Lubrizol site that I pointed to has a recipe for your own version of GoJo hand cleaner (waterless hand cleaner example).

If you're out of work and want to make a bit of money, this is a good (not great but OK) business to get into. Check the price on waterless hand cleaners and do something else to make it better. Call it tool cleaner and sell it that way. The stuff has triethanolamine or triisopropylamine in it which are very nice anticorrosion agents. The silicone compound leaves a water repellent behind. Leave out the humectant, lower the water content and increase the limonene for a great tool cleaner/anti-rust agent.

Carbapol is a great product line, IMO.
Jokes about napalm aside, I can see that this is an impressive product. I don't need the work, but it might still be some fun to play with. I'm not sure that people who loved them once ever grow out of "chemistry sets", and this is a beauty.

I admit, even before napalm or anhydrous ammonia, I thought about making a "cooling gel" along the lines of anti-sunburn ointments, but more generalized. This could be very useful for compounding a number of things when you get right down to it: industrially it must be a boon.
 

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