By showcasing the value added products made from water hyacinth, a startup became the centre of attraction at the agriculture fest VAIGA 2018 at Thekkinkadu ground in Thrissur.
'Ecoloop 360', a startup based at Government Engineering College Barton Hill in Thiruvananthapuram came up with various products like crafts, bowls, plates, paper, painting canvas, egg trays, briquettes etc. made from water hyacinth.
Water Hyacinth is a threat to the backwaters as it reduces the amount of oxygen in the water. In Kerala, water hyacinth is seen mainly at Alappuzha, Aakulam, Vellayani and Kuttanadu.
The entire part of this water weed can be converted into useful products such as briquettes, an alternative biofuel for traditional firewood. Unlike other fuels, briquettes are carbon neutral and does not emit harmful sulphur gas.
'Ecoloop 360' and Centre for Research on Aquatic Resources headed by Dr. G. Nagendra Prabhu at SD College Alappuzha together projected the scope of product designs using water hyacinth.
Ardra S. Nair, Greeshma M. R. and Abhijith S., post-graduates in Translational Engineering, are the master brains behind this startup. They cooperate with the state government in a mission to revive lakes. As the first step, they plan to rejuvenate Aakkulam lake in Thiruvananthapuram.