ExxonMobil boosts production of raw materials for medical masks, gowns and hand sanitizer

IRVING, Texas – ExxonMobil said today it has increased production of critical raw materials for masks, gowns and hand sanitizer used by medical professionals and first responders leading the efforts to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic.

News April 15, 2020

ExxonMobil boosts production of raw materials for medical masks, gowns and hand sanitizer
  • Specialized polypropylene monthly production increased by 1,000 tonnes; enough to make 200 million masks or 20 million gowns
  • Isopropyl alcohol monthly production increased by up to 3,000 tonnes; enough to make 50 million bottles of hand sanitizer
  • ExxonMobil lending expertise to redesign and manufacture reusable masks, shields

The company has increased its capability to manufacture specialized polypropylene, used in medical masks and gowns, by about 1,000 tonnes per month, which is enough to enable production of up to 200 million medical masks or 20 million gowns.

Monthly production of isopropyl alcohol – a key ingredient in many disinfectant and hand sanitizer products – has been increased by 3,000 tonnes, which is enough to enable production of up to 50 million 4-ounce bottles of medical-grade hand sanitizer.

“We’re increasing our manufacturing capabilities to meet this critical need to help keep doctors, nurses and first responders healthy and safe,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “Our team has been working around the clock, applying our engineering and technical know-how and working with our customers to make this happen. We’re committed to doing our part to support the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The additional polypropylene will be made at sites in Baytown, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Singapore and help meet high demand for other critical hygiene and health care items. Production of isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, is being maximized at the company’s site in Baton Rouge.

Meanwhile, the company is supporting development of innovative new products to help in the pandemic response. Working with the Global Center for Medical Innovation, ExxonMobil earlier this month announced multi-sector and joint-development projects to rapidly redesign and manufacture reusable personal protection equipment, such as face shields and masks, for health care workers.
As part of that effort, ExxonMobil is applying its deep knowledge and experience with polymer-based technologies, in combination with the center, to facilitate development and expedite third-party production of safety equipment that can be sterilized and worn multiple times.

The center is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a new face mask design, which features a replaceable cartridge system that includes a filtration fabric. When approved, production will begin immediately and could produce as many as 40,000 ready-to-use masks and filter cartridges per hour.

Given the unprecedented global pandemic, isopropyl alcohol and polypropylene are being prioritized at chemical manufacturing facilities; however, ExxonMobil anticipates it will continue to meet its contractual commitments to manufacture other chemical products.

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Cautionary Statement: Statements of future events or conditions in this release are forward-looking statements. Actual future results, our production capacity, the development, implementation and results of new technologies, including efficiency gains and emission reductions, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ExxonMobil’s business and results, could vary significantly depending on a number of factors including the supply and demand for oil, gas, and petroleum products and other market factors affecting oil, gas, and petroleum prices; the outcome of government policies and actions, including actions taken to address COVID-19 and to maintain the functioning of national and global economies and markets; the ultimate impact of COVID-19 on people and economies; the outcome of further research and testing; the development and competitiveness of alternative technologies; the impact of company actions to protect the health and safety of employees, vendors, customers, and communities; actions of competitors and commercial counterparties; the ability to scale pilot projects on a cost-effective basis; political and regulatory developments including actions that may favor certain types of technologies over others; the outcome of commercial negotiations; and other factors discussed under Item 1A Risk Factors in ExxonMobil’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and set forth under the heading “Factors Affecting Future Results” on the Investors page of our website at exxonmobil.com.

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