In Jharkhand, Dr Prasenjit, a professor of Botany, has developed a technique to make organic fertilisers and medicines from water hyacinth. A professor at Kumar Kalidas Memorial (KKM) College in Pakur district claimed that the method would make chemical-free fertilisers available cheaper and conserve the environment as the presence of water hyacinth reduces the oxygen extent of the water body.
What Is Water Hyacinth?
Water hyacinth is the world's most enormous aquatic weed. It is an invasive plant as one pair of it could multiply up to 48,000 times in a season. The methanation caused by it directly impacts global warming and hinders fishing activity. Methanation is the process of conversion of gases such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide to methane through hydrogenation.
The professor said that the most effective form of controlling water hyacinth is handling it physically, which requires a colossal workforce, but it again gets decomposed.
He said, "My research is focused on controlling it through utilisation, for which it is converted into raw material and used for making organic compost," quoted The New Indian Express.
How Does It Work?
Dr Prasenjit explained the process and said that after extracting the hydrolyte from a water body, it is diced into small pieces and placed layer by layer in a pit of measurement 5 x 5, adding cow dung slurry, powdered superphosphate and urea in it.
The professor said that two vertical holes are created by placing two bamboo poles for aeration and better decomposition. Then the pit is covered with mid for approximately 70 days. After the decay, almost 2-3 tonnes of organic fertiliser are produced, which is significantly cheaper than chemical-free fertilisers available in the market.
Development & Benefit Of Technique
Dr Prasenjit innovated the technique while pursuing a Doctorate in Science (DSc) under the supervision of Science Dean (retired) Dr Jyoti Kumar of Ranchi University, which has now applied for its patent.
The professor said that the research was initiated in 2014 and concluded in 2017, and the technique would benefit the crops as well as improve soil fertility.
Dr Kumar said, "While doing DSc, Dr Prasenjit found water hyacinth would cause a big threat to the environment in the coming days as it grows very fast. Therefore, it was decided to chalk out a solution to control it," as per the publication.
He added that the product is ready for trial after the chemical analysis of the product at the laboratory of the Institute of Forest Productivity in Ranchi city.