The Department of Chemistry in association with the Research Council of Al Ameen College Edathala conducted a seminar on the topic “A Green Approach in Research: Importance of Biopolymers for Sustainable Development” by Dr. Sreekala MS, Associate Professor School of Chemical Sciences and Joint Director, International and Inter-University Centre for Nano Science and Nano Technology, IIUCNN, and School of Nano Science and Technology, Mahatma Gandhi University Kottayam. The talk was conducted on January 10, 2023, in the seminar hall. The programme was inaugurated by our beloved principal, Dr. Cini Kurian. The seminar was organized to encourage research thirst among our BSc Chemistry students. All the staff and all our students attended the session.
She discussed the green approach to research. She also argued the importance of biopolymers for sustainable development since polymeric materials have had a boom in the global industry over the past two decades because of their adaptability, durability, and value. However, most of the synthetic polymers are of petroleum or coal origin, which makes them incompatible with the environment since they cannot be recycled. A solution to the above problem is the search for biological resources for the development of biopolymers that include starch, cellulose, chitosan, gelatin, etc. Biopolymers are organic polymers that are produced by different biological organisms. In nature, biopolymers can be found in large amounts. They are biodegradable and have no negative effects on the environment; therefore, they might be favourable soil-improvement materials. She discussed various bioresources for the preparation of polymers and an alternative to synthetic polymers, which is the biopolymer. The main feature of it is its biodegradability and competitiveness compared to current material costs. In this sense, various investigations are aimed at decreasing the amount of plastic waste and manufacturing products in a less aggressive environment. She had a clear discussion on the above aspects.
She discussed the brief history of polymeric materials and advancements made in the field for the development of biopolymers using a green approach for sustainable development. She also discussed the various methods adopted for greener synthesis, which is a need in the current research field. 60 students attended the seminar.
Finally, the session was open for a discussion about the relevance of chemistry in the current scenario, and the students clarified their doubts. She also gave an idea about the different chemistry-related career opportunities and the different fields for their higher studies. 80 students attended the session. The seminar was very interactive, and the speaker answered many queries raised by the students. The students were enlightened by the programme.