3rd Edition of

Chemistry World Conference

June 14-15, 2023 | Online Event

Chemistry 2023

T Nilanthi Fernando

Speaker at Chemistry World Conference 2023 - T Nilanthi Fernando
National Engineering Research and Development Centre (NERD Centre), Sri Lanka
Title : Development of ecofriendly materials from pre-treated agro plant residues for industrial applications and environment preservation


Most agricultural residues such as cornhusks, bagasse, sugar cane leaves, guinea grass are widely available agro plant residues in the world. Those materials are known as lingo cellulosic materials also. Lignocellulosic plant materials are a matrix of hemicelluloses wrapped around long chains of cellulose encased by lignin. Pretreatment methods are necessary to remove or alter the lignin from plant residues. The Alkaline Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) pretreatment is an effective pretreatment that can be performed at room temperature and atmospheric pressure for pretreating of agro plant residues. The pretreated agro plant fibers are used for processing of eco materials due to having various advantages over synthetic polymers such as low-cost, availability, and biodegradability. On the other hand, sustainability is the new trend in today’s world to overcome the causes that occur due to widespread environmental disruption. Thus, modern building constructions need to minimize negative impacts of conventional practices by replacing and experimenting with sustainable materials. The use of pre-treated fiber as a reinforcement material has many competitive advantages such as providing adequate stiffness; strength and bonding capacity to cement-based matrices for substantial enhancement of their flexural strength etc. In addition, pretreated agro plant residues are also used as raw materials for developing Super Absorbent Polymers (SAPs) with high biodegradability for different applications in agriculture. In the agricultural field, SAPs are used for increasing the water available in the growth medium with enhanced water holding capacity that enables the plants to survive longer under water stresses. One method of manufacturing biodegradable SAPs is graft polymerization of cross-linked polysaccharide and acrylic acid under irradiation. Applications of irradiation techniques for processing of SAPs are environment friendly and energy serve compared with conventional heating. Commercial usage of these sustainable materials instead of conventional materials, in construction industry and agriculture related industries, would definitely create a clear path in improving peoples’ life style while reducing environmental disasters. Thus, it will lead to have more economical benefits, specially during the recession periods and better socio-environmental values to lives on earth.
Audience take away:

  • Effective method of pre-treatment for pre-treating of available agro plant residues
  • Characterization of pre-treated fibers
  • Processing of some building materials using pretreated fibers for industrial applications and environment preservations
  • Processing of Super Absorbent polymers  using pretreated fibers for agricultural  applications


Dr Nilanthi Fernando studied at the Faculty of Engineering Technology, the Open University of Sri Lanka as Bachelor of Technology Engineering degree in the specialization of agricultural engineering in 2009 and PhD in 2017. She is a member of Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka and chartered engineer at the Engineering Council of Sri Lanka. She has more than 30 publications with SCI (E) journals. She has been awarded such patents for her research and development activities. Currently, she has been working as Senior Research Engineer at National Engineering Research and Development Centre of Sri Lanka since 2019 to date. Applications of radiation energy for processing of productions for agricultural sector, sustainable materials processing and Agricultural engineering are her research interest areas.