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Innovation is this duo’s cup of tea

Staff Reporter
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Girls from Davangere make waterproof ink from used tea leaves

Inked it:Bhargavi N. Sarode and Himabindu T.V. won an award for their innovation at IRIS National Fair 2012 in New Delhi recently.
Inked it:Bhargavi N. Sarode and Himabindu T.V. won an award for their innovation at IRIS National Fair 2012 in New Delhi recently.

In a tea-obsessed nation, used tea leaves have just found another use. Two students of Amrita Vidyalayam in Davangere have come out with a waterproof ink derived from the decoction of used tea leaves, an innovation that won them recognition at a national science event held in New Delhi recently.

Bhargavi N. Sarode and Himabindu T.V., both Class VII students, won a special award in chemistry at the Institute for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS) National Fair 2012. The award was sponsored by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.

The duo took Himabindu’s brother seriously when he suggested that ink could be derived from a tea decoction. Excited at the prospect of making ink at home, they set out with their experiments and finally arrived at a combination that yielded best results.

“Steel wool is soaked in vinegar for three days, after which the solution is filtered. Hydrogen peroxide is added to this, as well as the tea decoction, which is the main ingredient. This is kept aside for 3-4 hours as the ink slowly settles at the bottom,” Bhargavi told The Hindu . Surprisingly, chemistry is not her favourite subject, and that hasn’t changed despite the accomplishment.

“I prefer Biology,” she added.

Nagendra Sarode, Bhargavi’s father, said he was proud of his daughter and grateful to the school for its support and encouragement.

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