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Updated: August 13, 2012 11:33 IST

CCRI tipped for nanotech research

R. Ramabhadran Pillai
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Prof.Alcides Lopes Leao, College of Agricultural sciences, Sao Paulo State university, brazil. Photo: By Arrangement
The Hindu Prof.Alcides Lopes Leao, College of Agricultural sciences, Sao Paulo State university, brazil. Photo: By Arrangement

The basic research for making revolutionary products from coir fibre using nanotechnology has been conducted at College of Agricultural Sciences of Sao Paulo State University in Brazil.

A nano-cellulose project which could change the fortunes of the coir industry is set to emerge shortly in Kerala.

The basic research for making revolutionary products from coir fibre using nanotechnology has been conducted at College of Agricultural Sciences of Sao Paulo State University in Brazil.

Dr. Alcides Lopes Leao, a professor at the laboratory of Solid Residues and Composites in the college, who arrived in Kochi to participate in the ongoing coir tech exhibition here, told The Hindu in an interview that preliminary talks were held with the head of the Central Coir Research Institute (CCRI), Alappuzha, for a collaboration with the international project in Brazil.

The research project is being taken up with aid from Canada and a few other countries.

Beneficial

A UN subgroup is planning to fund the commercial production of nano material based on the research. India and other countries in Asia, where coir fibre is available aplenty, could join the project and benefit immensely, according to him.

One of the focus areas of the project is production of nano materials developed from coir fibre. These materials could be used for making high value items such as tooth implants.

Unlike the materials currently available in the market, the implants would be flexible and hence help protect the roots of a tooth, he said.

Eco-friendly

The product trials were conducted on animals; trials on humans are in progress. The nano-cellulose developed from fibre can be coupled with bioplastics to produce environment-friendly products such as furniture, according to him.

“My personal view is that a lot of research can be done at CCRI. They have necessary equipment for carrying out such work,” he said.

Dr. Leao said the new material was developed last year and hoped that commercial production of high value items could be launched next year.

The research has helped Brazil in finding a way to reduce biowaste such as coconut husk.

“The local municipality has been finding it difficult to dispose of the coconut husk which people throw away after consuming tender coconut water.

“Nano-cellulose products based on fibre developed from banana leaves are also undergoing tests,” he said.

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