NIT-K to develop technology to make geocell products from jute

Under the MoU signed with National Jute Board, the Board has awarded the NIT-K a three-year research project with ₹48 lakh grant

Updated - March 27, 2023 10:44 am IST

Published - March 24, 2023 09:37 pm IST - MANGALURU

National Institute of Technology-Karnataka (NIT-K) at Surathkal, near Mangaluru.

National Institute of Technology-Karnataka (NIT-K) at Surathkal, near Mangaluru.

The National Institute of Technology - Karnataka (NIT-K), Surathkal, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Jute Board, under the Union Ministry of Textiles to develop a technology to make geocell products from jute and standardise them for various engineering applications. Under this MoU, the Board has awarded the NIT-K a three-year research project with ₹48 lakh grant, a release from the NIT-K said on Friday, March 24.

According to Sreevalsa Kolathayar, the Principal Investigator of the project who is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the NIT-K, the project proposes among engineering applications to help improve the durability of roads, prevent potholes and improve the stability of slopes to prevent land slips, using jute in the form of cells.

The commercially available polymer-based geocells are costly and not readily available in rural areas and small towns. This navigates towards inventing an eco-friendly, cost-effective cellular confinement product that satisfies engineering strength requirements. Jute is a natural material that is plentifully available in India. Almost 85% of the world’s jute cultivation is concentrated in the Ganges Delta. It is high time to explore its diverse applications and widen its usage in the form of different products.

Centre for Water Resource Development and Management (CWRDM), a unit of Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment and Kerala Highway Research Institute (KHRI) are collaborating agencies of the project and Birla Jute Mill (a unit of Birla Corporation Limited) is the industry partner, the release said.

Recently, Mahadeb Datta, Deputy Director of the Board, while delivering a lecture on civil engineering applications of jute geotextiles at the NIT-K, said that the jute geocell proposed by NIT-K is one of its kind and will find extensive applications and massive usage once the technology is developed and transferred to the industry. Dr. Sreevalsa added that the wide use of jute for infrastructure projects would pave the way for achieving UN sustainable development goals, particularly SDG #9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) and SDG #11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), the release added.

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