Indian scientists have found a way to use agricultural waste in many applications.
- Researchers from the Centre of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing (CIAB), Mohali have developed Lignin-based nanocomposite that has potential commercial value.
- They have found that the lignin nanomaterial can be used as an additive in coating and packaging materials.
- Lignin is a complex organic polymer found in almost all dry plants including crop reduces and barks of trees.
- It is rich in polyphenols with antimicrobial properties.
- This lignin is generated in post-harvest residue, in paper and pull industry in huge quantities. All this go waste every year.
- Also, the practice of burning post-harvest waste is leading to environmental pollution.
- With the new nanomaterial, all agro-waste can be converted into a value-added material thereby reducing pollution and giving an extra income to the farmers.
- The research team used gold-silver nanoparticles and lignin as the matrix material.
- They developed the composite material using green and reproducible techniques. This involves a single-step method using lignin as the sole source for reducing, capping and stabilising the nano-agents.
- After assembling the composite, they have tested for antimicrobial quality of the material. The lignin-nanocomposite retained its antioxidant and antimicrobial qualities.
- As per the researchers, the material has excellent microbial targeting by the mechanism of reactive oxygen species production and membrane disruption of microbial cells.
- Currently, the researchers are finding a way to scale-up production and reduce production costs.
Burning of agriculture waste is a huge problem in the country. The new innovation when scaled will definitely help in reducing the waste and bringing the much-needed relief from air pollution to the cities like Delhi. Also, it has an added advantage of farmers getting additional income and thus will be acceptable to them to use agri-waste for productive use.