Cost-effective agro-waste leather to substitute toxic synthetic products

PTI | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: 14-03-2023 10:24 IST | Created: 14-03-2023 10:21 IST
Cost-effective agro-waste leather to substitute toxic synthetic products
Representative image Image Credit: Flickr
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Aimed at providing an alternative to animal and synthetic leather, a central institute here has commercialised an innovative technology to manufacture such products from eco-friendly substitutes like mango peels and banana stems.

The technology to develop leather from agro-waste in a cost-effective manner was commercialised by the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST), an official release said here.

''The leather sheet developed from mango peels, banana stems, pineapple wastes, cactus, water hyacinth, corn husks, and rice related wastes, costs half that of the synthetic and animal leather. Also, the new product has a smaller carbon footprint'', the release said.

The synthetic leather involves toxic chemicals, making it a huge environmental hazard besides its high consumption of energy and water during processing.

This is among three milestone agreements signed on the transfer of technologies developed by scientists at NIIST, it said.

The tie-ups with government and private organisations were formalised in the presence of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Director General Dr N Kalaiselvi and CSIR-NIIST Research Council Chairman Prof Javed Iqbal and CSIR-NIIST Director Dr C Anandharamakrishnan at a function at Bhatnagar Auditorium at the institute here on Monday.

The pacts, inked at the ongoing 'One Week One Lab Programme' (OWOL) at the institute, also included NIIST's collaboration for indigenous development of thermal-plate components for the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE)-DRDO and a transfer of technology for sustainable management of pathogenic biomedical waste into soil additives.

NIIST's agro-waste leather substitutes have the capacity to effectively replace 30-50 per cent of the synthetic chemicals in the existing leather available on the market.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Monday with Streekaya Services Pvt Ltd.

''The final product from agricultural residues has shown strong tensile strength, a perfect finish, good water-retention properties, temperature resistance, and stability compared to other existing synthetic and animal leathers. The product has a shelf life of more than three years'', the release said.

Its eco-friendliness makes agro-waste leather substitutes a better counter to the synthetic variety, which has a booming market valued at USD 30 billion in 2020 and likely to hit USD 40 billion by the end of this decade. As for the second agreement, NIIST will provide technological support to Al-SiC MMC thermal management components that are currently imported and used by ADE-DRDO, Bangalore in Flight Control Computers of Light Combat Aircraft and other fighter aircraft. CSIR's Dr Kalaiselvi handed over the product to Defence Research and Development Organisation.

CSIR-NIIST, in collaboration with ADE-DRDO, indigenously developed Al-SiC thermal plate component by liquid metal squeeze infiltration technique matching the thermal properties of the imported component. It will contribute in a big way towards import substitution and the national mission of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' in the country's strategic sector.

Further, NIIST tied up with Bio Vastum Solutions (BVS) to give the Kerala startup a technology for spontaneous disinfection and immobilization of pathogenic biomedical waste into soil additives. This system, with its inherent antimicrobial activity, is capable of disinfecting both liquid and solid waste in a complete solidification process.

The treated waste can be disposed of as non-regulated medical waste, subject to regulatory approval.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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