A team of researchers from the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Kochi, has been selected for the fourth National Award for Technology Innovation (Runner Up) in the field of Polymer Science and Technology.
As per the communication received from the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India, the award is given for their work on Upgradation of Treated Rubberwood Using FRP Sheathing for Fishing Boat Construction.
Leela Edwin, principal scientist and head of Fishing Technology Division is the team leader. Others in the team are P Muhamed Ashraf, Nikita Gopal, M Ajith Peter, A Sreeja, Saly N Thomas and B Meenakumari. The award will be presented at a function to be organised in New Delhi.
CIFT had earlier established that rubber wood, an agricultural byproduct, when subjected to appropriate preservative treatment,is an alternative to conventional timbers for construction of small fishing canoes. The present innovation showed the effectiveness of Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) sheathing in protecting the preserved rubber wood without any biological degradation and prevents the leaching of chemical constituents of the wood preservative into the aquatic environment.
This was proved through studies conducted on the aquatic environment and the biota which established the eco-friendliness of the technology. Thus the FRP sheathing makes the use of treated wood environmentally safe. The economic viability was acknowledged by the fishermen who carried out the extended field trials as the FRP sheathed rubber wood canoe were practically maintenance free and had a life more than that of the conventional canoes.