News about a new finding

Nichi-In jointly with Vivekananda Institute of Algal Technology

finds a new application for Skygel

Press meet to announce a new finding through Joint research

Sitting L>R: Mr. Yoshikuni Hasegawa, Swamiji Shri Satyapriyanandaji, Mr. Toshihide Shindo; Standing L>R: Dr Samuel JK Abraham, Prof. V Sivasubramanian, Dr. VV Subramanian & Mr. Raghavan.


After Prayer by the students of the Sanskrit Dept and Benediction by Swamiji Shri Satyapritananda (Secretary, Vivekanada College),

Dr. VV Subramanian (Principal) gave welcome address.


Dr Samuel JK Abraham (Director, Nichi-In) explained about the chronology of the association till today's developments with VIAT (Vivekananda Institute of Algal Technology) and insisted the need for institute-industry interaction as well as technological collaborations. Followed by that Prof. V Sivasubramanian presented about the Skygel, its advantages as well as the new application of it is bioremediation.


From M/S TS Merry Clone Co Ltd, a Japanese company with expertise in Plant tissue culture who are also using similar materials based research in Japan, Mr Toshihide Shindo (Managing director), and Mr Yoshikuni Hasegawa (Technical Director) visited the institute on that occasion and were present in the press meet. Mr Shindo insisted the importance of combined usage of  technology and traditional wisdom to solve the environmental problems to preserve the earths environment for the future generations.


Vivekananda Institute Algal Technology (VIAT) and Nichi-In Bio Sciences (P) Ltd have invented a new application of a polymer in (Algal) Phycoremediation (bio-remediation).

 VIAT (Vivekananda Institute of Algal Technology), a research unit of Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith, jointly with an Indo-Japan joint venture firm M/S Nichi-In Bio Sciences (P) Ltd, has invented a new application of a polymer in Phycoremediation. Phycoremediation is the cleaning of polluted water mainly from industrial effluents using Algae (micro organism) so that the polluted water can be re-used or disposed in an environmental friendly manner. This invention is a breakthrough, which is likely to save the cost of the industries for such water treatment and above all eco-friendly. This is the result of an ongoing collaborative research started in July 2005 between the two.


SKYGEL - a break through discovery by Prof. Mori Yuichi et al of Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, is known for its water conservation property as it swells to 200 times its volume upon absorbing water and keeps giving it to the plants when mixed with soil. This has been approved by the Japanese government for roof gardens and horticulture. This is very suitable for plant cultivation in places with water scarcity. Studies have shown that regular watering may not be necessary for lawns as well as water irrigation frequency can be reduced in horticultural usage, when the cultivation is done on soil mixed with the Sky Gel.

 In the new invention made this time, it has been found that Sky Gel can be used for micro algal cultivation and maintenance.  Sky Gel’s efficacy in enhancing bio-remediation of industrial effluents was also studied by VIAT. In water treatment, for example to treat acidic water from a polluted source, lots of buffering material such as caustic soda is added to reduce the acidity. In phycoremediation, instead of such chemicals to treat water, algae are added to the polluted water which will increase the pH t to reach normal status thus saving lots of cost which is usually spent on the chemicals. Now in this research we have found that the presence of Sky Gel in the culture medium supports better growth of algae and also for a longer period when compared to conventional laboratory techniques under practice. As regards to bio-remediation of industrial effluents with algae (PHYCOREMEDIATION) the presence of Sky Gel, even at very low concentrations in the effluent, facilitates better growth and bioremediation resulting in a better water treatment in terms of both quantity and quality. VIAT recommends the usage of Sky Gel in microbial cultivation and maintenance and also for bio-remediation.

 Other salient features of this Collaboration and the Skygel:


1The Sky gel can function for a period of 4 Years in the soil. Sky Gel mixed with soil is gradually decomposed by ultraviolet rays and the microorganisms, it becomes carbon dioxide and water and it can be disposed of same as normal soil. It has been proved to be environmentally friendly.


2. Sky Gel can be used with many kinds of fertilizers (liquid type, granulated type etc) and several kinds of agricultural chemicals and herbicides.


3. For the past one year research have been going on in three subjects viz.,

 (i) Biodegradation of polymers (ii) Stability of HYMEC membrane under Indian aquatic conditions and (iii) Application of SKYGEL in cultivation of microbes and in bio-remediation of effluents and waste waters. The first two projects are nearing completion and waiting for the approval of scientific community. The results with Sky Gel are very interesting and have lots of economic importance were presented in the recently concluded National Symposium on Algal Bio-diversity and its role in bio-remediation (23rd to 25th  September,  2006) at Chennai and was appreciated by the scientific and industrial community.

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