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IIT-G joins hands with Japan institute for international symposium
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Oct 13 - Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Guwahati, in collaboration with the Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT), will organise an international symposium on ‘Advances in Sustainable Polymers (ASP-19)’ from October 14 to October 18 at the KIT, Matsugasaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.

ASP-19 is the fifth international symposium of the ASP series following ASP-17 (held in Guwahati in 2017), ASP-16 (held at Kyoto in 2016), ASP-15 and ASP-14 (both held in Guwahati).

The aim of the symposium is to provide a platform to researchers to share recent state-of-the-art advances in the area of sustainable polymers.

The symposium will include plenary lectures and invited lectures on recent advances in several aspects of sustainable polymer-based technologies.

ASP-19 will also host three bilateral symposia as a part of the symposium. They are on ‘Industrial Forum – Bio-based Materials Developed by Worldwide Industries’, the Second India-Nepal-Japan Trilateral Joint Symposium and the IITG-KIT Joint Symposium.

Talking about the significance of the symposium, Prof Vimal Katiyar, coordinator, Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Polymers (CoE-SusPol) of IITG, said, “ASP-19 will provide ample opportunities to discuss global environmental pollution caused by regular synthetic plastics and pave the way for the effective utilisation of sustainable polymers. Eminent scientists working in the field of biodegradable plastics worldwide will deliver their keynote addresses on the recent advancements in the fields of biopolymer extraction, bioplastic synthesis, characterisation, processing, biodegradable polymer nano-composites and finally their applications to fabricate useful commodity products. It is noteworthy to mention that various companies practising biodegradable plastics are also venturing in this edition of ASP.”

Sustainable polymers are plastic materials, which have been developed from renewable biomass, and thus cause no harm to the environment, either during production or during disposal.

These polymers are environment-friendly and can be recycled without causing any adverse effects to the producers, consumers or to the surroundings.

Sustainable polymers are derived from biological sources like plants, algae and different waste products, saving the biosphere from further pollution, and help in maintaining the health and economy of the environment, Katiyar said.

Sustainable polymers are gaining major impetus in the contemporary context of massive pollution caused by polymers derived from unsustainable resources like petroleum or natural gas, which are hard to break down and continue to exist for hundreds of years in the environment, he added.

“With the current global emphasis on environmental sustainability, there is a keen interest in developing sustainable polymers and related technologies that are eco-friendly and sustainable. In this regard, significant research efforts are being undertaken across the world and sustainable polymer-based research is rapidly emerging as a field with considerable promise and potential, and such a conference comes at an opportune moment for researchers in the field to share ideas and developments,” he added.

Apart from IIT-Guwahati and KIT, the symposium is supported by Kansai Branch, the Society of Fiber Science and Technology, Japan, Mille-Feuille Structure Materials, Unitika Shusei-kai, the Society of Polymer Science, Japan, and Research Committee on Fundamental Fiber Science, the Society of Fiber Science and Technology Japan.

The plenary speakers of the event include Prof Gert-Jan Gruter of Avantium CTO/the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Prof Ramani Narayan of Michigan State University, the USA, Prof Amar Mohanty from the University of Guelph, Canada, Prof Swaminathan Sivaram, Honorary Professor and INSA Senior Scientist IISER, India, and Prof Katja Loos of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

CoE-SusPol, under the aegis of IIT Guwahati, first organised the ASP series of conference in 2014. Since then, IIT Guwahati has played a leading role in organising symposium in collaboration with various other institutes working in the area of bioplastics across the world.

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