Cordova businessman creates own disinfectant to help community
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It may not seem like too long ago that shelves at stores were cleared of all cleaning products after panicked pandemic shopping. In rural communities, this panic severely strained the supply chain and left many communities without a way to battle the coronavirus with disinfectant, for weeks.
One businessman in Cordova saw the supply of cleaning products disappear off of the shelves at his store within a matter of days.
“The big problem was that we were running out of disinfectants. We just couldn’t get them. We were out of bleach immediately. We were out of pretty much anything in our cleaning aisle that had anything to do with sanitizing or cleaning, products,” says David Roemhildt, owner of Alaska Marine and Ace Hardware in Cordova.
Roemhildt was on a business trip in Sitka looking at a piece of equipment when he came across a machine that would change the trajectory of the pandemic in his rural community. It’s called Aquaox and the technology created in the Netherlands can make disinfectant out of three simple ingredients: regular tap water, salt water brine, and electricity.
“It takes the sodium chloride from the brine and the H2O from the water and it runs that solution between a cathode and an anode rod and so one is positively charged and one is negativity charged and this is where the machine does the magic,” says Roemhildt
The result of the magic produces hypochlorous acid which is a strong but safe disinfectant that can be used in hand sanitizer stations, foggers and simple spray bottles
Romehildt decided that the community couldn’t go on without it, so he bought a machine and started making disinfectant out of his marine store.
The store supplies many community facilities including several schools as well as rural stores. Roemhildt says he has plans to branch out post-pandemic to the entire state.
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