The 58th Shriram Institute Founder Memorial Lecture was delivered by Prof. Pramod Kumar Garg, Head, Department of Gastroenterology, AIIMS, Delhi on ‘Improving Human Health through Biomedical Research: Future Beckons Us’ on April 26, 2024.

Research & Development

Herbal Products

Material Science Division is actively involved in the area of herbs with medicinal value and economic benefit.

The R&D areas include:

  • Formulation development
  • New product development

Major R&D Projects:

  • Retention of color fastness in henna cones on storage
  • Phytoremediation of arsenic in ground water
  • Extraction process for hypericin from hypericum plant

Several projects related to the quality evaluation of herbal products are being actively pursued by the Drug and Pharmaceutical section of Biology Division of SRI.

Renewable Resources

In view of the excessive utilization and continuous depletion of petroleum reserves, SRI is involved in the development of products based on renewable natural resources as substitute of petroleum derived products. These include:

  • Organic active extraction
  • Bio-diesel
  • Eco-friendly composites
  • Bio- degradable fibers/ polymers
  • Natural mordants for dyeing with natural dyes

Major R&D Projects

Some of the projects based on renewable sources undertaken by SRI include:

  • Anti-oxidants from natural source
    SRI has successfully isolated natural antioxidant gum guaiac from Guaiacum officianale plant. Antioxidant effectiveness of isolated gum guaiac in fats/oils was found comparable with commercial antioxidant.
  • Epoxidised oil from plant seeds Epoxidised oil was extracted from seeds of Vernonia plant. This naturally epoxidised oil can be used as plasticizer/stabilizer in PVC based compositions replacing synthetically produced epoxidised soyabean oil.
  • Cardanol from cashew nut shell liquid
    A distillation process has been developed to recover 90% cardanol, which is light in color and does not darken upto one month.

Radiation Based Technologies

Irradiation technology finds applications in processing of food, agriculture products, healthcare and cosmetic products, crosslinking of wires and cables, and modification of polymers for various end use.

Major R & D Projects

SRI has worked on following radiation-based technologies:

  • Shelf-life enhancement of fruits
    Optimization of gamma radiation doses for shelf-life enhancement of apples has been carried out. Irradiation increases shelf-life by delaying the ripening process.
  • Detoxification of aflatoxin in peanuts
    Toxic aflatoxin metabolites which are carcinogenic are found in peanuts. Irradiation of peanuts by UV and gamma rays has been able to detoxify the aflatoxin.
  • Epoxy based composites by electron beam curing process
    Glass fibre-Epoxy composites with superior mechanical & thermal properties have been developed for automobiles and aircraft applications.
  • Wood polymer composites
    Wood polymer composites based on inferior wood species have been developed with properties comparable to or better than teak.
  • Remediation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) 
    Polychlorinated Biphenyls found in oil, capacitors and paint scrapings of old ships have been radiolysed by gamma irradiation.
  • Surface coating formulations for wood laminates
    The high performance electron beam curable surface coating formulation for wood, wood laminates/boards based on 100% solid acrylate offer superior combination of properties leading to versatility of performance.
  • Treatment of city sewage by radiation
    Effect of gamma radiation treatment on sewage was studied. Reduction in microbiological load (BOD and COD) in waste sewage was achieved by gamma irradiation. Improvement in the settling time of waste was also observed.
  • PVC compounds for wire and cable industry
    Crosslinking in PVC compounds was achieved using gamma irradiation. Crosslinked PVC compound was found to have good thermo-mechanical properties.
  • Colouration of Gem-stones
    Different colours in gem stones were achieved by exposing them at various radiation doses.

Waste Utilization

Plastic Waste

The rapid rate of industrialization and urbanization has led to increasing amount of industrial as well as municipal waste, which poses great difficulties in its disposal. Keeping in view the environmental hazards associated with the plastic, there is an urgent need to develop eco- friendly ways for utilization of such type of waste.

SRI has successfully developed various ecofriendly ways for utilization of plastic waste which include:

  • Process Engineered Fuels (PEFs) from plastic wastes
    Process engineered fuels with different calorific values have been developed from plastic and agri wastes, which may be used in boilers, furnaces and kilns.
  • Road Construction
    Composition comprising bitumen, concrete and plastic wastes were developed for road construction having better properties than the conventional bituminous road.
  • Value Added Products
    Plastic furnitures made from waste material with good durability and aesthetics have been developed.Polypallets developed at SRI were found excellent substitute of wood pallets for stacking of sacks.

Agro Waste

SRI has been undertaking projects for utilization of various agro wastes. Some of the projects undertaken are:

  • Precipitated silica from rice husk ash
    Rice husk ash poses environmental problem during disposal off. SRI has developed technology to make silica from this waste material.
  • Microcrystalline cellulose from ground nut shell
    The shells of peanuts are useless and are environmental hazard. SRI has successfully developed a technology for making microcrystalline cellulose from this waste.

Industrial Waste

Lot of industrial waste is generated in processing and production industries which poses environmental problem. SRI has been undertaking projects for value addition in an environment friendly way. Some of the projects undertaken in this field are:

  • Ordinary portland cement from flyash
    Flyash is considered to be a potential environmental hazard during disposal. This has been successfully used in cement compositions without impairing the performance of the cement.
  • Tiles from ceramic fiber waste
    Waste ceramic short fibers creating environmental problem are used to make antistatic floor tiles with good aesthetics.

Facilities Available

Instrument Laboratory

SRI has a wide range of state of the art equipment for characterization of polymers, which includes:

  • Thermal Analysis Instruments
    • Differential Scanning Calorimeter 910/TA 2100
    • Modulated Differential Scanning Calorimeter TA-2910
    • SDT-2960 Simultaneous DTA-TGA
    • Heat Distortion and Vicat Softening Point Apparatus
  • Instruments For Rheological Properties
    • Rheocord-RC-90 Torque Rheometer
    • Mixer Module
    • Extruder Module with Single and Conical Twin Screws
    • Haake Rotaviscometer RV-12 & RV-30

Pilot Plant

SRI has a rich pilot plant facility housing various processing equipment, which include:

  • Polymer Processing Equipment
    • Injection moulding
    • Extruder with pelletizer
    • Pipe extrusion line
    • Compression moulding
    • Scrap cutter & grinder
    • Two roll mills for rubber/plastic compounding
    • Polymer dispersion kneader with online pelletizer
    • High speed plastic blender
    • Agglomerator
    • Dispersion kneader
  • Others
    • Adhesive coating machine
    • Ball mill
    • Stainless steel / Glass lined reactors
    • Vacuum impregnation unit

Technologies Available For Commmercialization

  • Technology for the production of cling film for packaging applications.
  • Plastic wares for biotechnological research.
  • Cross-linkable compositions based on PVC & PE by EB irradiation for high performance wires and cables.
  • Technology for the manufacture of low cost disposable sanitary napkins.
  • Water based adhesive for tyre retreading.
  • Ceramic fiber insulated laminated board for interior application.
  • Technology for road marking paint.
  • Technology for glue stick.
  • Process for colorless, orderless lanolin
  • Dental cement
  • Blood bag
  • Bone cement
  • Vaginal Speculum
  • Hot melt adhesive for book binding

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