Finding new uses for aquatic weeds in India

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In India, efforts are underway to find new uses for water hyacinth, a maligned aquatic plant.

At the Centre for Research on Aquatic Resources (CRAR) at SD College, G. Nagendra Prabhu and students are working to develop value-added products from the weed. Since its formation in 2011, CRAR has developed nearly 40 pulp-based products from hyacinth, including art canvases, disposable tableware, and fish feed.

“Aquatic weeds are like slow poison. They cause a great amount of biodiversity loss. But they too have their uses,” Prabhu adds.

Separately, Kerala’s Ecoloop360 is working on making biomass briquettes for industrial and household applications. The product is particularly targeted for replacing sawdust briquettes brought up from Tamil Nadu, founder Abhijith S, tells The Hindu.