Quantitative NMR (qNMR) for the rapid determination of methanol contamination in ethanol-based hand sanitizers
Methanol is toxic to the body and can cause blindness, nervous system damage, and death when a small amount is ingested or absorbed into the body. Hand sanitizers containing 60-80% ethanol are safe and effective at disinfecting the hands if soap and water are not available. Methanol is a common contaminate in ethanol production and has a similar odor to ethanol, but low cost production of ethanol can lead to significant methanol contamination. Also, methanol can be intentionally added to boost the percent alcohol content in hand sanitizers, thus making them more appealing to unsuspecting consumers, especially during pandemic events. This project will investigate the feasibility of using qNMR for the rapid determination of methanol contamination in ethanol-based hand sanitizers. qNMR is an ideal method because very little sample prep is needed, only a small sample size is required, and analysis time is rapid compared to other techniques.
Creative Arts and Research Symposium