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Web Exclusive | February 2017

Eco-friendly nonwoven mats

A South India-based maritime services company has launched environmentally friendly and biodegradable nonwoven oil sorbents.

There has been a recent incident of oil spill on the shores of Bay of Bengal in India at Ennore port affecting the marine life and the pristine beaches of Marina, in Chennai, India. In the early morning hours of January 28th, an LNG tanker ship and a petroleum tanker collided at Ennore port resulting in spill. Reports indicate that this may have affected the marine life, resulting in dead turtles and oil-laden hatchlings washed ashore.

To aid the clean-up activities, government agencies and NGOs are working diligently. A Chennai based maritime company; NAVTEK has come-up with a timely solution and has used its environmentally friendly absorbent nonwoven mats at the spill site. NAVTEK has been in the works for some months now to refine their technology and has launched its product, which is much environmentally friendlier than synthetic polypropylene mats. They have 100 per cent biodegradable nonwoven mats and oil sorbents in their product basket.

NAVTEK tested its product at Ennore port. T S Rangarajan, Vice President-Technical of NAVTEK said, he personally evaluated the product on the oil spill site. “Our mats absorbed the oil instantaneously.” According to Rangarajan, the mat was able to absorb minimum 10 times its weight of oil in first shot of soaking. This ties in well with their earlier tests, which were carried out according to international standard by a third party accredited laboratory.

Companies like NAVTEK are contributing to Prime Minister Modi’s “Make in India,” effort by manufacturing and marketing Indian made products to solve global problems. According to NAVETK, they are also exploring international markets for their products, as well.

By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

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