materials science

Sign Of TheTimes

I suppose it is a sign of the current state of affairs that I spent a little time yesterday gathering the supplies necessary and then making several bottles of hand sterilizer.

I mixed equal amounts of Everclear 151 proof grain alcohol with 70% rubbing alcohol, then added Carbopol 941 polyacrylic acid as the gelling agent, about two spoonsful per pint.  My Carbopol had hardened into a block so I needed to toss a nugget into a mortar bowl and pulverize into a powder with the pestle.

I added the Carbopol powder slowly through a strainer for better dispersion into the mixing bowl with the stirrer going just enough to move the materials (alky, the distilled water portion, and the powdered gelling agent) around for about ten  minutes to fully hydrate the powder, then let it sit.  Since it acts by gelling only the water the gelation was quite slow, several hours, since the water portion of the solution was only around 1/4.  This was actually very helpful as I could then decant the slightly-thickened-but-still-gelling liquid into the dispensers.

This morning I have three dispensers sitting on the dining table with the contents looking perfect, two 4 oz. bottles to carry in our pockets and one 8 oz. jar for use wherever.  I also refilled my spout top dispenser in the barn, which I will not use much now that the water is turned back on and I can wash my hands with soap and water.

Stay isolated and safe in this time of martial law, er, mandatory house arrest, er, whatever, folks.  (“A rose by any other name…”)