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Web Exclusive | June 2019

Wellgro-Jayalakshmi’s sorbent, high-tech wipes

Wellgro United in collaboration with Jayalakshmi Textiles, Aruppukottai-based company from Tamil Nadu in India has released indigenously developed biodegradable oil sorbent and industrial high-tech wipe. Seshadri Ramkumar from Texas Tech University, USA has worked with the two Indian companies in developing the green product.

Greater awareness of plastic pollution, more importantly, the release of micro plastic beads from synthetic products such as kitchen wipes has put pressure on textile and nonwoven companies to replace synthetics as much as possible in single-use wipes. The two Indian companies have partnered and worked closely with Dr Ramkumar in launching the product to the marketplace.

Most of the commercial oil sorbents today are polypropylene based meltblown and thermal bonded products that can release micro plastics into the environment. The wipe released is highly biodegradable and will be devoid of polypropylene, making it a unique product to solve important environmental problems.

Aruppukottai-based Jayalakshmi Textiles is a successful cotton spinning entity with 70,000 spindles and is an established presence in the cotton sector. Chennai-based Wellgro United is specialised in value-added industrial textile products such as oil absorbents.

“We have used our experience in manufacturing cotton products to develop probably the first ‘Made-in India,’ biodegradable oil absorbent wipe. The collaboration with Wellgro United has enabled us to focus our attention on industrial textile products,” stated Shanmugam Velmurugan, general manager of Jayalakshmi Textiles. “Wellgro United is excited to work with Jayalakshmi Textiles and Texas Tech University’s Professor Seshadri Ramkumar to release the first indigenously manufactured biodegradable oil absorbent wipe,” stated Nambisrinivasan of Wellgro United.

Dr Ramkumar has been advocating the concept of diversification in the Indian conventional textile sector to develop technical textiles with minimum additional investments. The launch of biodegradable high-tech wipe is a good example to showcase the successful collaboration between a spinning industry and a high-tech start-up.

Textile sector needs the infusion of ideas to develop technical textiles. “Jayalakshmi Textiles has focused on its textile strength, to launch a value-added industrial product,” stated Rengasamy Mohankumar of Jayalakshmi Textiles, who has been involved in the product development.
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