The device costs Rs.85,000

The Central Coir Research Institute (CCRI) has developed a mobile coir fibre extraction machine, which is expected to help overcome the shortage of coir fibre in Tamil Nadu.

Addressing a press conference after a demonstration for the coir industry, Coir Board chairman Mr. V.S. Vijayaraghavan said, “the machine, priced at Rs.85,000, would be used on an experimental basis for around a month before being launched commercially.”

Several advantages

Compared to other fibre extraction machines available in the industry, the new machine has several advantages, including its weight of 250kg as against the 1,500kg of the conventional machines.

The larger, stationary machines would cost Rs.10 lakh and could be used by large-scale coir units while the new one, would be beneficial to small-scale coir units apart from having no environmental side-effects.

With procurement of coconut husk for extracting fibre being an issue in the industry, the mobile machine would help solve that dilemma to a major extent, the chairman added.

Faster retting

The CCRI had also developed a process to carry out faster retting of green husk fibres by spraying a bacterial cocktail named Coirret on the fibres and keeping the treated fibres wrapped for 48 hours.

The process was zero effluent and saved time compared to the existing methods which took at least 72 hours.

For dry husk fibres, another zero effluent process by which a combination of a conditioner and EDTA acid would be sprayed on the fibres was also developed, Mr. Sharma added.

The Coir Board had initiated steps for renovation of 56 de-fibering mills in the State.

Continous supply

Tenders would soon be invited for work on two of the units, both in Palakkad district. The Board had also initiated steps to ensure supply coir fibre from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to meet the requirements of the local industry, added Mr. Vijayaraghavan.