ExxonMobil modifies Louisiana operations to manufacture hand sanitizer

(Courtesy ExxonMobil)

ExxonMobil Corp. has reconfigured manufacturing operations in Louisiana to produce medical-grade hand sanitizer for donation to COVID-19 response efforts in Louisiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.

This follows the company’s announcements that it would boost production of materials for personal protective equipment (PPE) and also work with the Global Center for Medical Innovation, on joint-development projects to rapidly redesign and manufacture reusable PPE.

ExxonMobil’s COVID-19 response includes designing and constructing a new automatic filler for quart-sized sanitizer bottles to accelerate operations.

Initial production of 160,000 gallons of medical grade sanitizer—enough to fill nearly 5 million 4-ounce bottles—is being distributed to medical providers and first responders. Additional donation locations are planned.

“The ingenuity and dedication of our employees to develop a consumer-ready product in record time demonstrates ExxonMobil’s commitment to help those in need during the global pandemic,” Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation, said in an announcement. “We’re focused on keeping our people and communities safe while supporting frontline responders and meeting customer needs.”

(Courtesy ExxonMobil)

ExxonMobil has increased monthly production of isopropyl alcohol—a key ingredient in sanitizer—by about 3,000 metric tons at its chemical manufacturing facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To produce, package and distribute hand sanitizer, the company purchased additional ingredients and modified equipment in Baton Rouge and at a lubricants plant in nearby Port Allen, Louisiana.

“To stand up an entirely new process and supply chain in a matter of weeks, while maintaining ExxonMobil’s high standards for safety and quality and in compliance with FDA requirements is truly remarkable,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company.  The new manufacturing process upholds all safety requirements and the consumer-ready product meets FDA standards.

To enhance safety, ExxonMobil plant personnel package the sanitizers outdoors. The new manufacturing process upholds all safety requirements and the consumer-ready product meets FDA standards.

Earlier this month, ExxonMobil announced the increased production of isopropyl alcohol, which is enough to enable monthly production of up to 50 million 4-ounce bottles of sanitizer. The company also increased its capability to manufacture specialized polypropylene, used in medical masks and gowns, by about 1,000 metric tons per month, which is enough to enable production of up to 200 million medical masks or 20 million gowns.

ExxonMobil is also participating in a technology collaboration with the Global Center for Medical Innovation to rapidly redesign and manufacture reusable personal protection equipment, such as medical face shields and masks.