The Chicago Park District has had no more luck tracking down hand sanitizer than anyone else. So it’s making its own, with an assist from the state’s farmers.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) has helped secure the raw materials needed for the sanitizer, as recommended by the World Health Organization, including isopropyl alcohol, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide and purified water. If you’re wondering how the ISA fits into this, glycerin is the main byproduct derived from the production of biodiesel, itself made from soybeans grown in Illinois.
“We’re neighbors helping neighbors because, at the end of the day, we’re all in this together,” John Lumpe, ISA chief executive officer, said in a statement.
The hand sanitizer — all 600 gallons in production — will be used by Park District staff and other essential workers. The first batch has already been distributed.
The Park District actually has a longstanding relationship with the ISA. Biodiesel made from recycled soybean oil is used to fuel equipment including the district’s lawnmowers, beachcombers and refuse haulers.