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“Brewing” hand sanitizer

Danish whisky distilleries and others heard the call for help from the health sector for more supplies of protective equipment.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

A unique collaboration was established in al haste when the Danish whisky and gin producer, Nyborg Destilleri, quickly changed their production of “alcohol to drink” into alcohol which can be used to produce the much in demand hand sanitizer.

But where to get the needed raw material? Using their network they contacted several breweries.

Carlsberg immediately responded and offered both logistic help with transportation as well as tank load of Somersby wine base, also Royal Unibrew offered raw material and the needed tank transport capacity as their alcohol free beer can also be used to distil alcohol.

Novo Nordisk donated ethanol from their factory in Kalundborg, another needed ingredient in the final production Jyllands Posten reported.

To Jyllands Posten the CEO, Tørk Eskild Furhauge, said yesterday that:

“The raw material is perfect as we can distil it (editor’s note: to alcohol) without any kind pre brewing process. We will start with Fynsk Forår beer and later this week we will continue with the wine base from Carlsberg.”

Everything will be shipped to Gundal Care in Billund, where the final production of hand sanitizer will be made, bottled and sent to the Danish hospital sector.

Gundal Care has produced protective and cleaning equipment to the medical sector since 1989.

The idea to produce alcohol at distilleries is not invented here, other countries have been doing the same.

The unique and quick cooperation came after a letter was sent from the Danish Medicines Agency, Lægemiddelstyrelsen, to the Danish Brewery Association who passed on the call for help to their members.

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“It has been an intensive week with many phone calls and mails but it is great to see that we are now succeeding in getting the first batch of alcohol into production in an efficient cooperation between many different companies, from several sectors as well as the public authorities, who needed to give the necessary authorisations and permissions very quickly,” say CEO, Tørkild Eskild Furhauge, in a press release from Naturfrisk Group, the owner of Nyborg Destilleri.

Nyborg Destilleri expects to be able to produce 1,000 litres of 90 % alcohol a day, enough to cover 24 hours of hand sanitizer in a Danish hospital, they are planning to improve their production capacity to the double.

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