Staff Reporter

The technology will help cut down cost by 50 per cent

Bengalgram husk, redgram seed husk and tamarind fruit shell powder used for treatment Laboratory tests successfully removed dyes from waterPilot project needed to test the commercial viability of the technology

KURNOOL: Agriculture waste is found to be an effective alternative to activated carbon in removing toxic elements from water.

A group of research scholars under the guidance of M.C. Somasekhar Reddy, professor of Chemistry of GPR Engineering college here carried out various experiments with agriculture waste and effectively removed dyes from water.

One of the scholars, V. Nirmala, was awarded doctorate degree for her thesis, 'Application of Low-cost Agriculture Waste In Treatment of Water and Wastewater' by Sri Krishnadevaraya University. Dr. Reddy said several scholars attached to him were working on the same theme using different materials for water treatment.

Encouraging results

Agriculture waste like bengalgram husk, redgram seed husk, bengalgram fruit coat and tamarind fruit shell powder were employed in treatment of water. The material was grounded to the size of 53 microns and diluted in the water which absorbed coloured substances of the water.

The results in the laboratory conditions were encouraging and it was proved that agriculture waste materials could be used as alternative to activated carbon to remove all basic dyes from water. Dr. Reddy said the material could be equally effective for eliminating metals and toxic organs from the water, which was yet to be proved.

Source of income

He explained that the team chose dyes as its target impurity because removal of coloured substances from water was a difficult job when compared with other impurities. He said if agriculture waste material was used for water purification, the cost would go down by 50 per cent as the materials were available in abundance in the district. Also, it generates additional income to farmers. A pilot project was needed to test the technology for commercial viability. He said experiments were on for the utility of banana peel, orange peel and neem leaves in the department.