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85748 Garching

26.03.2020

Help in times of Coronavirus – High-purity water from FRM II for disinfectants

Delivery of ultrapure water Delivery of ultrapure water Delivery of ultrapure water in front of the Michaeli pharmacy in Moosburg a. d. Isar. From left: Michael Wüst (Director THW Freising) and Manfred Danner (Freising District Fire Chief). © Manfred Danner

Delivery of ultrapure water in front of the Michaeli pharmacy in Moosburg a. d. Isar. From left: Michael Wüst (Director THW Freising) and Manfred Danner (Freising District Fire Chief). © Manfred Danner

The Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) supports the fire departments and the Technische Hilfswerk (THW) with the production of high purity water for surface disinfectants. The ultrapure water production facility at FRM II currently has sufficient capacity, as the reactor is on a maintenance break.

On the site of the FRM II in Garching, the THW filled the first large container with 800 litres of ultrapure water on Tuesday, 24.03.2020 and brought it to the Michaeli pharmacy Moosburg a. d. Isar for further processing. That same evening, the pharmacy mixed the disinfectant and filled it into smaller containers. The THW’s logistics vehicles ensure prompt delivery to hospitals.

In order to produce about 1,000 litres of surface disinfectant, 700 kg alcohol (97 % by volume) and 300 litres ultrapure water are required for dilution. The finished surface disinfectant thus contains the usual alcohol content of 70 % by volume.

Special circumstances require special action

Filling the ultrapure water Filling the ultrapure water The first large container is filled with 800 litres of ultrapure water at FRM II. From left: Heiko Ludwig (FRM II) with Carina Wüst and Stefan Huber (THW). © Manfred Danner

The first large container is filled with 800 litres of ultrapure water at FRM II. From left: Heiko Ludwig (FRM II) with Carina Wüst and Stefan Huber (THW). © Manfred Danner

In order to ensure that in times of the coronavirus pandemic, vital disinfectants are available in hospitals and for registered doctors in sufficient quantities, exemptions were granted. For example, the main customs offices were instructed that, with immediate effect, pharmacies which are authorised to manufacture pharmaceuticals under pharmaceutical law may use undenatured alcohol (ethanol with 97% by volume) for the manufacture of disinfectants tax-free – with official approval from 4 March 2020.

This also applies to the Michaeli Pharmacy in Moosburg a. d. Isar. It is currently producing this required surface disinfectant for the hospital in Freising with the ultrapure water of FRM II. In terms of disinfectants and face masks, a state of emergency already exists here.

Further deliveries from FRM II are planned

This large quantity of disinfectant will probably last a week at most, according to District Fire Commissioner Manfred Danner and THW operations manager Michael Wüst. If the further supply is not ensured, they will start working again next week.

The Research Neutron Source and the THW are in constant exchange via the FRM II reactor operator and Freising District Fire Commissioner Manfred Danner. Since this week, the District Administrator of Freising, Josef Hauner, has appointed Manfred Danner as Local Operations Manager according to Art. 6 BayKSG in the district of Freising for the cross-organizational coordination of the emergency forces until further notice.

MLZ is a cooperation between:

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