Mangaluru Teens Use Traditional Fruit to Make Eco-friendly Rubber, Win International Medal

It all started in 2016 when as students of Indraprastha Vidyalaya, Aman and Nachiketh, presented a project at the regional competition of the Indian Science and Engineering Fair.

Using “Bimbli” (scientific name: Avaherro Bilimbi) juice as a natural coagulant, the boys took the fruit, ground it and extracted its juice. Then, they took a one-litre tray of rubber latex and added 60 ml of the juice to it.

The results showed that “bimbli” sped the process of coagulating rubber latex by ten hours. While it usually takes formic acid close to 16 hours for the process, it took the fruit extract only six hours. Apart from cutting down the time by ten hours, a quality analysis of the rubber sheets also showed that they were of superior quality compared to the regular sheets manufactured using formic acid.

The two presented their work in ISWEEEP (International Sustainable World Energy Environment Engineering Project Olympiad). This was hosted by Harmony Public Schools in Houston, Texas, USA, from 3-8 May 2017 and clinched the silver medal.

At the 70th Republic Day celebrations, Aman and Nachiketh were presented with the “Bal Shakti Puraskar Award” in the field of innovation by President Ramnath Kovind.

These boys emphasise that you don’t need special talents, but you need to be passionately curious.

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