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IIT Guwahati Establishes Facilities to Develop Conventional Plastic

IIT Guwahati has established the NRL-Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Materials Translational Facility on Bioplastics which aims to produce conventional plastics and develop alternative solutions

Aysha Anam
IIT Guwahati establishes Facilities to Develop Conventional Plastic. (Photo Courtesy: IIT Guwahati)
IIT Guwahati establishes Facilities to Develop Conventional Plastic. (Photo Courtesy: IIT Guwahati)

The NRL - Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Materials Translational Facility at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati is dedicated to developing environmentally friendly and sustainable plastics. They aim to create alternative materials that have comparable performance properties to traditional plastics while being cost-effective to produce. This is important because it allows for a smooth transition from conventional plastics to sustainable alternatives. The center's focus on translational research ensures that scientific discoveries are effectively translated into practical applications. By doing so, they contribute to the development of bioplastics that are not only eco-friendly but also meet the functional requirements of various industries.

Prof. Parameswar K. Iyer, Officiating Director, IIT Guwahati, said, “Such holistic technological advancement in the area of biodegradable plastics through industry support is a one-of-its-kind initiative in the country. We are hopeful that the industries will use the available knowledge base to speed up further commercial activities in the compostable plastics sector, as the current plastic problem needs to be addressed without further delay.”

Prof. Vimal Katiyar, Coordinator, NRL-Center of Excellence for Sustainable Materials, and, Dean, Research and Development, IIT Guwahati, said, We, at IIT Guwahati, are targeting to utilize bamboo as the main raw material for production of biodegradable plastics and related products, and once adopted, it will lead to significant industrialisation in the region.”

“We have worked on various technologies related to compostable plastics and these technologies are open for the industries,” added Prof. Katiyar.

Biodegradable Facilities at IIT Guwahati

The recently established Translational Facility on Bioplastics at IIT Guwahati houses the first biodegradable plastic production pilot plant along with several processing facilities for various biodegradable plastic products such as compostable cutlery, carry bags, plastic containers, and glasses, among others, using customised film packaging line, injection molding, cast sheet line and thermoforming products line. These facilities will help in sensitizing the industries throughout the country to gain initial know-how for developing commercial production facilities to cater to the need of a sustainable society.

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