The world’s need for essential medical supplies has never been greater than during the coronavirus pandemic. To ensure medical manufacturers have the raw materials necessary to continue and increase their output, staff at our production facilities are working hard under enhanced safety conditions to keep supplies of vital raw materials flowing.
Many of the materials we produce at our chemical plants in Europe help keep doctors and nurses supplied with the equipment they need:
Specialty alcohols for respirators: Respirators help to protect health care workers as they create a barrier against airborne pathogens. Some of the highest quality respirators are manufactured using ExxonMobil’s Exxal™ 8 branched alcohol as a key raw material. Exxal™ 8 alcohol is produced at the Rotterdam Chemical Plant (NL), based on feedstock from the Fawley Chemical Plant (UK). ExxonMobil is working to keep up with demand and ensure supplies are flowing to those in need.
Plasticizers for protective gloves: JayflexTM DINP plasticizer is used to produce protective vinyl gloves. These are currently in high demand in the healthcare sector, but they are also important to others, such as those working in the cleaning sector.
As part of our response to the fight against coronavirus, we have been producing products to help customer demand in unexpected ways. Our Jayflex™ MB10 plasticizer (derived from Exxal™ 10 alcohol made at our plant in Rotterdam), is a key ingredient in vinyl flooring. One of our Jayflex MB10 customers, a major flooring manufacturer, has recently supplied and installed the flooring for a large exhibition hall in Madrid to help convert it into an emergency hospital for coronavirus patients. Vinyl floors are very suitable for use in hospitals as they are easy to keep hygienic.
Specialty alcohols for cleaning products: Branched alcohols like Exxal™ 10 and Exxal™ 13, produced by ExxonMobil at our plants in Rotterdam (NL) and Baton Rouge (US), are key to produce high quality surfactants for detergent formulations – particularly the kind used to clean hospitals. The coronavirus outbreak has led to a great need for these alcohols, which we are working night and day to supply.
Polymers for medical packaging and tools: From pill containers to sample bottles and dispenser devices, medical packaging made from polypropylene (PP) resins produced at our chemical plant in Gravenchon, France, can withstand sterilization techniques.
Polymers for surgical gowns, face masks and shoe covers: ExxonMobil’s Vistamaxx™ performance polymers are used to make key items of protective medical clothing. They enable better comfort and fit of face masks and surgical gowns by adding softness and elasticity – essential at a time when personal protective equipment (PPE) may be worn for many more hours than usual.
Polymers for syringes: Syringe tips, tubes, seals, gaskets and grips made from Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) are tougher than their predecessors and stay sealed longer in harsh environments, defending against moisture and contamination.
By introducing social distancing and other protocols designed to protect our employees and contractors, we have been able to keep many of our production facilities fully operational and even significantly increase production of the products in highest demand. We are playing our part in enabling essential equipment to continue to be manufactured, so that we can help protect the doctors and nurses who protect us.
Please note, images are for illustrative purposes and do not show the exact items manufactured from ExxonMobil’s products.