Tea & banana waste used to develop non-toxic activated carbon
A team of scientists have used tea and banana waste to prepare non-toxic activated carbon, which is useful for several purposes like industrial pollution control, water purification, food and beverage processing, and odour removal.
The newly developed process avoids usage of any toxic agent for synthesizing activated carbon, thus making the product cost-effective as well as non-toxic.
The processing of tea generates a lot of waste, generally in the form of tea dust. This could be converted to useful substances. The structure of tea was favourable for conversion to high-quality activated carbon1. However, conversion to activated carbon involves use of strong acid and bases, making the product toxic and hence unsuitable for most uses. So a non-toxic method of conversion was needed to overcome this challenge.
Dr N. C. Talukdar, Former Director, Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Guwahati, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India and Dr Devasish Chowdhury, Associate Professor, used banana plant extract as an alternative activating agent for the preparation of activated carbon from tea wastes.
Oxygenated potassium compounds contained in the banana plant extract help in activating the carbon prepared from tea waste.
An Indian Patent2 has recently been granted for this.
The banana plant extract used in the process was prepared by traditional way and is known as Khar, which is an alkaline extract from the ashes of burnt dried banana peels. The most preferred banana for this is called ‘Bheem Kol’ in Assamese. Bheem Kol is an indigenous variety of bananas found only in Assam and parts of North East India.
To make khar, first, the peel of the banana is dried and then burnt to make an ash out of it. The ash is then crushed and made into a fine powder. Then using a clean cotton cloth, water is filtered through the ash powder, and the final solution that we get is called khar. The natural khar which is extracted from banana is called ‘Kol Khar’ or‘Kola Khar’. This extract was used as the activating agent.
Patent2 Details: A PROCESS FOR PREPARATION OF ACTIVATED CARBON FROM TEA WASTE, Patent number 377645
(from left) Dr. Manash Jyoti Deka, Dr. Devasish Chowdhury, Dr. N. C. Talukdar
Activated carbon1: a form of carbon having very fine pores: used chiefly for adsorbing gases or solutes, as in various filter systems for purification, deodorization, and decolorization.
Patent2: A Patent is a statutory right for an invention granted for a limited period of time to the patentee by the Government, in exchange of full disclosure of his invention for excluding others, from making, using, selling, importing the patented product or process for producing that product for those purposes without his consent.
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|What is Patented||An invention relating either to a product or process that is new, involving inventive step and capable of industrial application can be patented. However, it must not fall into the categories of inventions that are non- patentable under sections 3 and 4 of the Act|
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It should have inventive step or it must be non-obvious
It should be capable of Industrial application.
It should not attract the provisions of section 3 and 4 of the Patents Act 1970
|Term of Patent||The term of every patent granted is 20 years from the date of filing of application|
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