Assam: IIT-G develops low-cost tech to produce anti-ageing compounds
The Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT-G) has developed a low-cost membrane technology to produce psychoactive drugs and anti-ageing compounds from a wide range of farm resources including citrus fruits, berries, tea, pulses and onions.
“The technology, patented and developed by Mihir Kumar Purkait, head, Centre for Environment, and Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Guwahati along with his M. Tech student V L Dhadge, does not use any organic solvents,” a statement issued here by the institute on Tuesday, said.
“The developed technology is exclusively pore/particle size based pressure-driven membrane separation process. The water extracts of plants/fruits/leaves at optimum operating conditions are passed through specially made cascade membrane units of fabricated with an appropriate molecular weight cutoff membranes capable of separating targeted flavonoids selectively,” Professor Purkait said.
“Permeate and retentive part from appropriate membrane unit is then fridge dried to get the powdered product. We have synthesised stimuli-responsive smart membranes for the selective separation and purification of targeted compounds from the mixture of plants or leaves or fruit extracts in simple water,” he said.
Unlike commercially available techniques which use costly organic solvents like chloroform, acetone and acetonitrile, the technology developed by Professor Purkait does not require any costly organic solvents and uses only water.
“Hence, the cost of the process and price of pharmaceuticals thereon is much cheaper than that of existing solvent-based separation techniques. The patented membrane-based green technology has enormous scope to replace the existing costly organic solvent-based techniques and can be used for continuation mode of operation in industrial scale,” the statement said.