Chemical

IIT Guwahati develops economical process to create psychoactive drugs from agricultural resources

The technology was patented and developed by Prof. Mihir Kumar Purkait, Head, Centre for the Environment, and Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering along with his MTech student VL Dhadge.

  • By ICN Group | October 27, 2020

IIT Guwahati researchers have developed a low-cost membrane technology to produce psychoactive drugs and anti-aging compounds from wide range of agricultural resources.
 
The technology was patented and developed by Prof. Mihir Kumar Purkait, Head, Centre for the Environment, and Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering along with his MTech student VL Dhadge.
 
The membrane technology produces psychoactive drugs and anti-aging compounds from wide range of agricultural resources like camellia sinensis, citrus fruits, and peels especially orange peels, berries, ginkgo biloba, parsley, pulses, tea, sea buckthorn, and onions.
 
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.
 
While explaining the process about how the technology works, Prof. Mihir Kumar Purkait, said, “The developed technology is exclusively pore/particle size-based pressure driven membrane separation process.”
 
“The water extracts of the above-mentioned plants/fruits/leaves at optimum operating conditions are passed through a specially made cascade membrane units of fabricated with appropriate molecular weight cut off (MWCO) membranes capable of separating targeted flavonoids selectively,” he said.
 
“Permeate and retentive part from appropriate membrane unit is then fridge dried to get the powdered product. We 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,” the professor added.
 
The patented membrane based green technology has enormous scope to replace existing costly organic solvent-based techniques and can be used for continuation mode of operation in industrial scale.
 
India is the largest consumer (20% of the global production) and second largest producer of camellia sinensis. Worldwide, there are very few manufacturers of flavonoids produced using solvent-based techniques having less purity (40-80%) and high price.
 
It has been estimated that the global market for flavonoids is expected to reach about 412.4 MT by 2022 from 347.8 MT in 2017 reported in the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India’s Import-Export current statistics.
 
The developed technology will support the Make in India initiative of the Government of India by producing these compounds in the country and will also help create job opportunities in agriculture sector of the country, stated the institute.
 
 

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