Canadian Consulting Engineer

Rare earth pilot plant retrofitted to produce hand sanitizer

April 20, 2020   By CCE

Geomega Resources

The company’s pilot plant has separated neodymium, dysprosium and cobalt in-house, but is now turning its focus to hand sanitizer. Photo credit: Geomega Resources.

Geomega Resources, a rare earth magnet recycling developer working with consulting engineering firm Hatch, is retrofitting its pilot plant facility in Boucherville, Que., to produce hand sanitizer for hospitals that urgently need it during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

A team led by the company’s chief technology officer (CTO), Pouya Hajiani, proposed and evaluated the idea of manufacturing hand-sanitizing liquid at the location, which is part of a National Research Council (NRC) facility. They were able to achieve approvals from Health Canada and a natural product number (NPN) to use a formulation recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The plant modifications are currently being finalized.

Beyond hospitals, the company plans to dedicate 20% of its hand sanitizer production to local long-term care homes and other charities that are helping vulnerable people during the pandemic. Its local suppliers have assisted in the transition.


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