Projects Supported By Science Foundation

Development of Natural Mosquito Repellent

A collaborative project by Dharmsinh Desai University & GSFC Science Foundation has developed a mosquito repellent liquid formulation and vaporizer containing natural Essential oils. The wick, a porous stick which carries the repellent liquid to the high-temperature zone, is made up from the cost-effective material which is available in abundance. The main objective of this system is to make an efficient assembly without any side-effects with ingredients as natural species only and each Essential oil has its own benefit, where developed liquid formulation can be used in many ways.

Production of Lysine from Caprolactam

The project carried out by the Microbiology Department of The MS University of Baroda, Vadodara and sponsored by Science Foundation aimed at attempting biosynthesis of lysine from E –caprolactam by investigating the mechanisms and the factors affecting /regulating the lysine biosynthesis from E –caprolactam. A rapid cultivation and a biotransformation based procedure were adopted. Such a novel approach reduced the overall fermentation cycle period to a considerable extent and can increase productivity. l –lysine was shown to be formed through such a biotransformation based process.

Environment Friendly Value Added Products from Industrial and Agro-Wastes

A collaborative project was taken up with the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited, Vadodara to identify and develop eco- friendly products from industrial/ agro-wastes. Wastes such as fly–ash and phosphochalk were identified & selected as major industrial solid wastes for study under the project. Phosphochalk is a solid waste from Gypsum based Ammonium Sulphate plant of GSFC while fly ash is an industrial solid waste from coal-based thermal power plant of Ahmedabad Electricity Company (AEC), Ahmedabad. Phosphochalk mainly contains calcium carbonate while fly ash has silica and aluminum oxides. These products have potential applications in building materials.

GSFC Science Foundation Chair at DDIT, Nadiad

GSFC Science Foundation had established a Chair at the erstwhile Dharmsinh Desai Institute of Technology (DDIT), Nadiad, now known as Dharmsinh Desai University (DDU) The objective of establishment of such Chair was to supplement the regular education of the undergraduate and postgraduate students by inviting Visiting Professors in Chemical Engineering from renowned & reputed chemical engineering institute/ universities, to increase liaison with R&D institutes and to conduct academic workshops/ seminars for furtherance of technical knowledge in the subject field. Special lectures in the fields of thermodynamics, reaction engineering, catalysis, nanotechnology, petroleum & petrochemical engineering etc. have been arranged.

Development of Biodegradable Hydrogel Project

The hydrogel is cross-linked polymeric materials capable of absorbing water several hundred times of their own weight. Literature reveals that there are two types of Hydrogel products so far developed. The widely used Hydrogel is a synthetic acrylic based polymer. The other kind is a polymer grafted starch based product.

The objective of the project was to develop a biodegradable Hydrogel from selected starch/carbohydrate for the agronomical application. In order to make Hydrogel biodegradable, starch-like carbohydrate material should be used as major raw material for its synthesis. One simpler route was chosen for the development of biodegradable Hydrogel under the project sponsored by the Science Foundation to the Ahmedabad Textile Industries Research Association (ATIRA). A number of products were developed by changing the ratio of starch and the reactive base polymer synthesized specifically for this purpose. Maize starch was selected for this development. Attempts were also made to synthesize different base polymers and modifications of starch to some extent were also done prior to its reaction with the reactive base polymer.

Newly developed hydrogels with 60-65 % starch/modified starch in them show water holding capacity of 30-40 times of their weight in raw water and 45 to 60 times their weight in deionized water.

Kotar (Ravine) Land Development Project

The basic objective of the Project was to develop a model block for demonstration to use Kotar land, ravine wasteland, for productive purpose and environment protection through tree plantation of economic importance. The total project area was 18.04 acres of which 9.37 acres was a leveled / plain land and 8.67 acres was a Kotar land.

The project was taken up with the following objectives :
  •     To convert the ravine wasteland into a green belt.
  •     To develop a demonstration model exhibiting the practices of environment control, water management, and agriculture

Since the initiation of the project, a total number of 16500 plants of different species were planted on plain, kotar and sloppy land. Out of the total number, about 13286 trees were of Teak variety. About 460 plants like Neem, Babul were naturally grown. The other variety consisted of Goras-Amali, Pendula, sevan, Baval, Neem, Date Palm, Kasid, and Nagol& Pendula. Few varieties of the medicinal plant were also grown. The plantation was carried out in a phase-wise manner covering the terrace or flat areas as well as sloppy areas. Other varieties like Bamboo, Ketki, Aloe Vera and cactus were planted along the boundary line to basically check the infiltration of animals. A demonstration recharge well model was installed in the low lying area to collect the stormwater and augment the groundwater conditions. Both soil & water samples were collected at a regular interval to assess the change in the water quality. Also, an initiative to measure the rate of soil erosion was attempted and weekly records were maintained.

Environment Vision 2027 for State of Gujarat

With State making rapid strides towards achieving overall prosperity through the sectoral growth cycle, its impacts both positive & negative need to be weighed not only for course correction but also for taking up timely remedial measures.

Impacts of climate change world over imply an urgent need for strategizing remedial measures and policies to cope up with the future adversaries.

In view of above, Science Foundation has taken a lead in the preparation of a vision document involving subject experts, academia, industrialists etc. encompassing their views & suggestions touching upon basic issues, corrective measures, current flaws, policy remediation and need for new policies. Vision document will be submitted to the Govt. officials for necessary action & implementation.

Municipal Solid Waste Characterization and its Assessment for Fungal Bioremediation

Under this project study taken up by The M S University of Baroda, Vadodara, the objectives to first collect, separate and carry out compositional analysis of municipal solid waste from dumping sites, followed by a screening of different fungi(mainly anaerobic) to identify the potential biodegrading fungal strain. After identifying the fungal strain, assessment of biodegradability of municipal solid waste especially plastics under simulated landfill composting conditions will be carried out in the laboratory and finally, enzymatic degradation of Municipal solid waste by the potential fungi will be characterized and evaluated.