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Tea, banana waste can improve your life; Indian scientists tell you how

The newly discovered technique avoids using hazardous agents in the production of activated carbon, making the product both cost-effective and non-toxic.
 

Tea banana waste can improve your life Indian scientists tell you how gcw
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New Delhi, First Published Oct 13, 2021, 4:13 PM IST
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A group of Indian scientists created non-toxic activated carbon from tea and banana waste, which might benefit industrial pollution management, water purification, food and beverage processing, and odour elimination. The newly discovered technique avoids using hazardous agents in the production of activated carbon, making the product both cost-effective and non-toxic.

Tea manufacturing creates a lot of trash, most of which is tea dust. This has the potential to be turned into valuable chemicals. Tea's structure proved ideal for converting to high-quality activated carbon. However, converting activated carbon entails the use of strong acids and bases, which makes the result hazardous and hence unsuitable for most applications. To address this problem, a non-toxic technique of conversion was required.

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N. C. Talukdar, former director of the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology in Guwahati, and assistant professor Devasish Chowdhury employed banana plant extract as an alternate activating agent in the production of activated carbon from tea waste.

The oxygenated potassium molecules included in banana plant extract aid in the activation of carbon from tea waste. The banana plant extract utilised in the procedure was made traditionally and is known as khar, an alkaline extract made from the ashes of burnt dried banana peels. The best banana for this is 'Bheem Kol,' an indigenous kind of banana found in Assam and northeast India. To manufacture khar, the banana peel is first dried and then burned to create ash. After that, the ash is crushed and ground into a fine powder. The water is then filtered through the ash powder using a clean cotton towel, and the resulting solution is known as Khar. As the activating agent, this extract was utilised.

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According to the IASST team, the utilisation of tea as a precursor for the production of active carbon is because the carbon atoms in tea are conjugated and have phenolic bonds. It was also said that it improves the quality of activated carbon when compared to other carbon precursors.

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