Chemical Solutions invests $1.1M to produce organic disinfectant
Yabucoa-based Chemical Solutions, LLC acquired the rights to manufacture in Puerto Rico hypochlorous acid, an organic, water-based disinfectant that combats virus and bacteria, and is 99% effective, company officials announced.
After months of negotiations and through a $1.1 million investment, this new manufacturing line will catapult Chemical Solutions into the international market, making it the seventh plant in the world with the technology and stable formula to manufacture the product for Puerto Rico, the US mainland, Latin America and the Caribbean, José Mercado-Sustache, company president, said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to see the development of our companies from a new global perspective,” said Mercado-Sustache, a chemist, who added that the new product line will give his company the opportunity to export.
“This alliance with RusEco, a company based in Mexico, puts a spotlight on the expertise that Puerto Ricans have in the manufacturing sector,” he said.
The new product, which will initially be sold under the EcoChem brand, is an antibacterial disinfectant and organic sterilant for universal use. Its active component is hypochlorous acid, with a concentration of 0.25%, which is activated using electrochemical technology, so it does not contain abrasive, corrosive or toxic chemicals.
In addition, it can be used near humans, animals and food, as the product is safe for the environment, the company noted.
The new manufacturing line represents a growth of 28% for his company, as well as the creation of 20 direct and 35 indirect jobs, Mercado-Sustache said.
“We want to share the opportunity with other companies to grow with us, giving them the option of making the product for private labels, both locally and in the Caribbean and the US mainland,” he said.
The disinfectant has federal certifications including from the National Science Foundation, which conducts independent studies on innovative products and services to ensure that they meet public health and safety standards, and the Organic Material Review Institute, a nonprofit that determines what inputs can be used in organic production and processing under the US Department of Agriculture.
Chemical Solutions began operating in 2013 in Mercado-Sustache’s parent’s garage, from where he began to manufacture and package degreasers, coolants and multipurpose cleaners for the automotive industry under the Bazooka brand, whose formulas he created.
A year later, he moved into a 1,600 square-foot warehouse to keep up with demand. Next, he decided to enter the personal consumption product market and developed the EcoChem brand, dedicated to the manufacture of ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, hand sanitizers and scrubbing liquids, among others.
“I had been working for other companies for more than 20 years, but I couldn’t have full control of the formulas that I created. With the support of my family, I launched myself fully and bet on my knowledge,” he said. “Thankfully, we’ve continued to grow despite all the economic challenges our island faces.”