An Invited Lecture on ‘Agricultural straws to composites & extraction of pectin from mangoes’ by Dr. Avtar Matharu, from university of York, U.K. was organized by Department of Chemistry, Manav Rachna University. Dr. Matharu is presently working as Acting Director, Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, University of York, U.K.
Dr Meenakshi S. Khurana, Dean(Academics) welcomed the guest with a bouquet. Dr. Sangita Banga, Dean (Students Welfare), Dr. A. K. Gupta, Proctor and Dr. Megha Mittal, HOD (Chemistry) presented a sapling to the guest as a token of the Green Initiative by Manav Rachna Group. Dr. A. K. Gupta, Professor, Department of Chemistry gave a brief about the purpose of Dr Matharu’s visit to India and he also introduced him to the audience.
Dr. Matharu started the lecture by explaining the difference between brown and green chemistry and the five Ps as the principles for sustainable development which can be symbolised by the 5 Olympic rings. He addressed the problem of pollution caused by burning of wheat straws in agriculture fields and amendment of which can be done by de-waxing the straws and chipping them using aqueous silicates and forming a wood block which can bear large weights. These composite boards can have multiple applications.
He also talked about the acidic and microwave assisted extraction of pectin from mango peels which is mainly used for thickening of fat free mayonnaise. The conclusion of the session included the talk about exhaustive tea leave waste and its use to remove heavy metal ions such as Cu, Ni, Au & Cr from solution.
The lecture was indeed very enriching which motivated PG students for finding their research problems and gave an immense knowledge to undergraduates as well as to the faculty. At the end, a vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Megha Mittal, HOD (Chemistry).