NSI gets success in producing another value added product from waste of the sugar industry

National Sugar Institute, Kanpur got success in producing another value added product from the waste of the sugar industry. Ms. Shalini Kumari, Senior Research Fellow, working under the guidance of Prof. Narendra Mohan and Dr. Vishnu Prabhakar Srivastava has developed technique for producing “Nano Silica Particles” from fly ash of the boilers in sugar factories. This fly ash at present is generally used for land fill and considered as source of pollution too.

Looking to the silica content in fly ash from boilers which use bagasse as fuel in sugar factories, we have been working on this project from last two years and now got the breakthrough in developing the low cost technology, said Director, National Sugar Institute. Nano Silica Particles have wide applications in paints, lithium batteries, as adsorbent in pollution treatment, in bio-technology & bio-medical application and as Nano fertilizer for crop improvement. Looking to the market price of Nano Silica Particles as Rs. 700-1000 per kg., a cheaper option shall be available from sugar factories now.

Explaining the technology, Ms. Shalini Kumari said, “there are multiple stages of acid, alkali and heat treatments and the intermediate product of sodium silicate was then treated with a surfactant and butanol to get the final product. It took time to standardize the process parameters, particularly, temperature, dosage of various chemicals and pH so as to get the highest possible yield of about 80-85% of Nano Silica Particles from ash.

To confirm the product, we have carried out structural analysis of the product using, Scanning Electron Microscopy, X-ray Diffraction Analysis and Fourier Transform Infra-Red Analysis etc. said Dr. Vishnu Prabhakar Srivastava. Looking to the quantity of bagasse used as fuel, the quantity of such ash may be as high as 1.0-1.5 million metric tonnes per annum and hence the potential of producting Nano Silica Particles from this ash may be to the extent of 0.2-0.3 million metric tonnes per annum, he added.
We are in the process of filing a patent for the technology developed and will also present an overview of the technology during the forthcoming Annual Convention of The Sugar Technologists Association of India to be held on 28-29th July 2022 at Goa.



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