Kanpur's National Sugar Institute develops Nanosilica particles using fly ash from Sugar factories
National Sugar Institute (NSI), Senior research fellow, Shalini Kumari, under the guidance of Dr Vishnu Prabhkar Srivastava and Professor Narendra Mohan has developed a new technique for the production of ‘Nanosilica particles’ with the help of boilers in the sugar factories. Currently, fly ash is used for is landfills and considered one of the major sources of pollution.
85% of Nano Silica particles to be generated from ash
There are multiple stages of acid, alkali and heat treatments and the intermediate product of sodium silicate is treated with a surfactant and butanol to get the final product.
Shalini said, "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 Nanosilica particles from ash."
The scientists have filed for the patent and will also present an overview of the technique at the Annual Convention of the sugar technologists association of India on July 28-29 in Goa. Once the technique is approved, NS particles will be made available in the market at a cheaper rate as compared to the current price at ₹700-1000 per kg.
What are Nanosilica Particles?
Nanosilica also called quartz dust or silica dust is characterized by high SiO2 percentage. NS particles is a 'quasi-essential' plant nutrient, regulating various physiological functions such as fertilization, germinative development, photosynthesis, and drought tolerance. Additionally, the product is used to reduce the volume of cement. Synthesised NS particles can also be utilised as absorbents to clean wastewater.
Application of Nanosilica particles?
Nanosilica particles can be utilised in rubber production, paints, lithium, batteries, as an absorbent in pollution treatment, in biotechnology and biomedical application and as nano crop fertilizers. It plays an essential function in improving seed germination in plants.