HALBAN To reduce garbage in our environment, a group of five GUtech students has invented a bioplastic injector molding machine that can produce biodegradable plastic. “The aim of the project is to reduce the use of non-recycled plastic which causes environmental damage,” explained Ghadeer Al Lawati, Process Engineering Student at GUtech. The team comprising Ghadeer Al Lawati, Manar Al Hamdani, Samira Al Subhi, Tejaz Janardhan, Wafa Al Akhami won the 3rd place in the 7th Engineering Students Exhibition held recently in the College of Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University. Their project was supervised by Prof. Dr. Najah Al Mahanna, Head of the Engineering Department at GUtech. 45 different teams from twelve universities in Oman participated in the Students Exhibition.
“The competition required an idea that adds something new to the industry while expressing both our engineering and entrepreneurial skills. With our idea we want to avoid harming the ecosystem. We proposed an alternative starch based biodegradable plastics that is renewable and can be recycled by adding plasticizer,” said Ghadeer. The students’ project was split into two stages. Stage one relied on producing biodegradable plastics using a type of corn that has a fast growing rate thus not competing with food resource. “By then adding plasticiser we gave it the thermoplastic characteristics and allowed it to be recycled,” she said. In stage 2 the aim was to construct a small injector molding machine in order to change the amount of plastics obtained in the first step. The student teams’ future ideas are to produce a high quality bioplastic product and to promote the invention in the plastics industry in Oman and abroad.