A piece of paper produced from betel nut husk Credit: R Lalnuntluangi of St. Paul’s Higher Secondary School

Aizawl: Students of St Paul’s Higher Secondary School in Aizawl have come up with innovative idea of producing paper from areca (betel nut) husk.

The cellulose from the husk is being extracted to make paper

One of the students involved with the project, R Lalnuntluangi, said, “We have reached a stage where each family must contribute towards waste management. Uncontrolled disposal of waste have led to landslides, and pollution of air and water. We must find a way to recycle our waste.”

The team members with their invention

As Mizoram is high in consuming betel nuts, students of St Paul’s Higher Secondary School have come up with the idea of utilising the husk of the nut, which is otherwise thrown as a waste. Under the supervision of Reginal Institute of Paramedical and Nursing School (RIPANS), Mizoram Food Processing, Research and Training Centre (MFPRTC) and science scholars from Mizoram University, they started the initiative of converting the husk into paper.

In this project, they have proved that there is cellulose in the husk and when extracted can become a useful component in paper making. If this project becomes successful, they are hoping that a whole betel nut can be put to use without any waste — the nut for consumption and the husk as paper.

Extracting cellulose from the husk

The students are also hopeful that this project is only a stepping stone to utilise the husk for bigger purposes other than paper.

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