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College faculty evolves eco-friendly process for treating effluents

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Commendable work: Lecturers S. Senthil Kumar and M. S. Mohamed Jaabir in Biotechnology Lab at Jamal Mohamed College in Tiruchi.
Commendable work: Lecturers S. Senthil Kumar and M. S. Mohamed Jaabir in Biotechnology Lab at Jamal Mohamed College in Tiruchi.

Special Correspondent

Presented at the international conference earns acclaim

TIRUCHI: An eco-friendly process for safe disposal of effluents from the dyeing industry has been evolved by a research team of the Department of Botany of Jamal Mohamed College in Tiruchi.

A scientific evaluation of the laboratory level research was presented by S. Senthil Kumar, a research scholar, the only person from India, at the international conference ‘Biogeomon 2009’ in Helsinki, Finland, last week. Biogeomon was the sixth international symposium on ecosystem behaviour, organised jointly by the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) and the Finnish Environment Institute in association with the Czech Geological Survey, Villanova University (USA), the University of Reading (UK), the Geological Survey of Finland and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Mr. Senthil Kumar along with his two other team members – M. S. Mohamed Jaabir, lecturer in Biotechnology and R. Ravikumar, Professor in the Department of Botany – had presented that the textile industry discharged huge volumes of untreated dye effluents into the river systems and other water bodies, especially in Tirupur, Perundurai, Erode and Karur belt in Tamil Nadu, contaminating the groundwater.

He pointed out that the dye industry effluents was also posing a great threat to farming operations. At present reverse osmosis was the only alternative but an expensive solution to be implemented by small scale industries with massive maintenance cost.

The research team undertook a study to change the quality of water discharged by the dyeing industry and chose to select bacteria from the solid wastes from the dumping yards of the textile units. A research conducted on the soil samples from solid wastes revealed 24 different bacteria that were capable of removing the colour and other unpleasant qualities like odour from the effluents.

The study revealed that three organisms could perform at the best level enabling an achievement of up to 97 per cent of removing the colour from the effluents and these three organisms were further identified based on the advanced molecular biological techniques.

Mr. Senthil Kumar and his team which tested the effect of the treated and untreated effluents on the cultivation of paddy and other agricultural crops found that the effluents treated through the research process could be utilised for successful irrigation of agricultural crops.

Mr. Senthil Kumar was one of the eight international participants who received the Metla (Finnish Forest Research Institute) fellowship worth 1,750 Euros for his research on this economic and environment-friendly solution for the treatment of effluents from the dyeing units in Tamil Nadu.

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