Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford is now home to a machine that makes hypochlorous acid that is used to help disinfectant rooms and buildings during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
SWOSU was made aware of the machine by the Custer County Emergency Management Office, and the equipment was supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the Oklahoma Emergency Management Office.
SWOSU is serving as a manufacturing site. When salt water is electrolyzed, it produces an anolyte solution that consists of water, chloride salt and Hypochlorous Acid (HOCI). SWOSU Administration and Finance Vice President Brenda Burgess said HOCI is a powerful oxidant that is effective against invading bacteria, fungi and viruses and can be used in healthcare, food safety, water treatment and general sanitation.
HOCI, unlike chlorine bleach, is 100% safe and non-irritant. If it gets on a person’s skin or eyes, it will not burn; yet it is 70-80 times more efficient at killing microbial pathogens than chlorine bleach.
Burgess said the downside to HOCI is that it does not have a long shelf life, less than 60 days.
The university is serving as a distributor of the product for western Oklahoma. The product can be used by anyone. IBC tanks/totes are available now at the Clinton Public Schools Administration Building (580.323.1800), Clinton Fire Department (580.323.2298) and Elk City Fire Department (580.225.0500). Weatherford Fire Department (580.772.5345) will have the product available by Monday, December 14. These places should be called first to make sure staff is available. There could be additional locations soon.
For material safety sheets or additional information, email Custer County Emergency Director Mike Galloway at email@example.com or call 580.331.9536