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IIT Guwahati researchers have developed a low-cost method to produce psychoactive drugs and anti-aging compounds from various agricultural resources.

According to a media report, the wide range of agricultural resources include camellia sinensis, citrus fruits and peels especially orange peels, berries, ginkgo biloba, parsley, pulses, tea, sea buckthorn and onions.

The technology has been developed by Prof. Mihir Kumar Purkait, head of the Centre for the Environment and Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering along with VL Dhadge, an M.Tech student.

This process doesn’t require any organic solvents as used commercially in the industry and so, can cut down the production cost and price drastically.

The report quoted Prof. Purkait as saying that technology is exclusively pore/particle size-based pressure-driven membrane separation process.

Prof. Purkait said the water extracts of the plants/fruits/leaves mentioned above at optimum operating conditions are passed through specially-made cascade membrane units of fabricated with appropriate molecular weight cut off (MWCO) membranes capable of separating targeted flavonoids selectively.

He added, “Permeate and retentive part from appropriate membrane unit is then fridge dried to get the powdered product.”

The report further quoted Prof. Purkait as saying that they have synthesized stimuli responsive smart membrane for the selective separation and purification of targeted compound from the mixture of plants or leaves or fruits extract in simple water.

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