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FNCA 2008 Workshop on Application of Electron Accelerator
- Radiation Processing of Natural Polymer -
27 - 31 October 2008
The 2008 FNCA workshop on Application of Electron Accelerator - Radiation Processing of Natural Polymers - was organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan and the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA). It was executed by the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) and Nuclear Safety Research Association (NSRA) of Japan in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The workshop was attended by experts on application of electron accelerator and radiation processing of natural polymer from FNCA participating countries namely: Bangladesh (1), China (5), Indonesia (1), Japan (5), Malaysia (2), the Philippines (1), Thailand (1) and Vietnam (1). In addition, IAEA/RCA Project Lead Country Coordinator (PLCC) from the Philippines and experts representing RCA/Non-FNCA member countries namely India (1), Pakistan (1) and Sri Lanka (1) also participated in the workshop.
- Outline of the Workshop
Dr. Sueo Machi, FNCA Coordinator of Japan, and Dr. Junxin Zhang, Project Officer of CAEA, gave welcoming addresses. They hoped that this workshop and open seminar would be useful and informative and he also expected the participants to formulate concrete and specific project plan for 2009 to 2011 through active and constructive participation. After the welcoming address, Dr. Machi delivered a talk on “Highlights of FNCA Activities for Sustainable Development in Asia”. In his speech, it was reported that 11 on-going projects and 1 study panel of FNCA have been implemented successfully and has brought tangible outcomes.
Dr. Kume, FNCA project leader of Japan, presented the status of Application of Electron Accelerator for the FNCA EB projects Phase 2, focusing on radiation processing of natural polymers. Since this workshop is the last meeting of the three-year project (2006-2008), it is requested to evaluate the progress of projects on radiation degradation of polysaccharides for plant growth promoter and radiation crosslinked hydrogels for medical and water absorbent.
Ms. Abad, IAEA/RCA Project Lead Country Coordinator (PLCC) from the Philippines, presented one of their ongoing projects entitled “Radiation Processing Applications for Health and Environment” which is being participated by 14 member states. In a meeting held by all participating members of RAS 8/106 and representatives from FNCA in Bangkok, Thailand in 2007, proposals have been made regarding a possible collaboration between RCA and FNCA.
The final presentation of this session was delivered from Dr. Wenyan Zhao of China Isotope and Radiation Association (CIRA). In his presentation of the status of radiation processing in China, he explained that the irradiation facility has been increasing rapidly and the throughput became threefold in the past ten years.
<Open Seminar on Application of Electron Accelerator/ Exhibition>
The open seminar on “Application of Electron Accelerator” was held in the afternoon of the first day of the workshop. Around 90 participants came from industries, universities, research institutes and members of FNCA Workshop.
First of all, Mr. Wei-lun Miao, Local Governor of Jiashan County, and Dr. Hongije Xu, Director of Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, delivered a welcome address, followed by 9 presentations.
Dr. Namba, Director General of Takasaki Advanced Radiation Research Institute, Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), attracted the audience with presenting the remarkable result of the study on the collection of rare metals from hot spring using grafting technology, broadcasted on TV recently.
An exhibition that consisted of posters and product display was also held and participated by Bangladesh, China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
<Session 1. Country Report>
A total of 11 country reports and one RCA report on recent progress, R&D and commercialization activities on radiation processing of natural polymers were presented by 8 countries including 3 RCA countries.
Dr. Khairul, Director of Radiation Processing Technology Division Malaysian Nuclear Agency, introduced the field trial study on the application of radiation degraded chitosan as plant growth promoter and plant elicitor. He reported that the rice seeds under oligo-treatment has shown high growth rate.
Then, Ms. Aranilla, Science Research Specialist of Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), reported the phase 2 activities in the semi-commercialization project of PVP-carrageenan hydrogel. She introduced some current activities such as testing the capability of the newly constructed pilot plant.
<Session 2. Activities and Achievement of IAEA/ RCA>
The experts of IAEA/RCA countries including India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka have delivered their report on development activities on radiation processing of natural polymers. Also Ms. Abad enumerated the activities under the IAEA/RCA RAS 8/106 entitled “Radiation Processing Applications for Health and Environment”. She reported on the progress of research activities in 14 member countries as well as on some regional training courses.
<Session 3. Discussion 1: Hydrogel for Wound Dressing and Other Medical Applications>
Dr. Kamaruddin, Manager of Radiation Modification of Polymer Group, Malaysian Nuclear Agency, deliverd the lead speech for this session's discussion. It was reported that Korea and China have already commercialized their wound dressing and it is pre-commercialized in the Philippines.
He insisted that the cooperation among Member States can lead to its commercialization, and also expected to form a interest group in which experiences and technology know- how could easily be transferred if needed.
<Session 4: Discussion 2: Hydrogel for Super Water Absorbent Used in Agriculture>
Dr. Yoshii, Coordinator of Industrial Cooperation Promotion Department, Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), reviewed the current research status of hydrogel as super water absorbent used in agriculture.
The commercially available Sky gel is a chemically crosslinked poly-acrylic acid with absorption characteristics of 100ml / 1g dry gel and with a keeping period of 2-3 years. The proposed alternative is with the use of radiation crosslinked carboxy-methyl cellulose or starch grafted poly-acrylic acid.
<Session 5. Discussion 3: Plant Growth Promoter (PGP)>
Dr. Hien, Head of Research and Development Department, Vietnam Atomic Energy Commission (VAEC), presented a summary reviewing the progress, current status and challenges in the application of irradiated natural polymers as plant growth promoter. He mentioned some field test on several kinds of plants, vegetables, tea, coffee, rice, sugarcane, chili, potato in some countries. The economic calculations have been done by Vietnam and Indonesian and showed more benefits in using irradiated polysaccharides. Large field test on sugarcane is being done in Vietnam using the irradiated chitosan from BATAN and the one produced by VINAGAMA (using synergy with H2O2) for comparison. The results of this field test will be realized in one year.
<Session 5. Demonstration of Large Scale Production of Oligochitosan in BATAN>
Dr. Gatot, Senior Scientist in Center for the Application of Isotopes and Radiation Technology, National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) gave a report on the demonstration on large scale production of oligochitosan using gamma irradiation held in BATAN, August 4-8, 2008. He introduced the whole process from standardization of chitosan to its packing. In discussion, it was mentioned that adding antibacterial agent (e.g. Silver nanoparticles) to the chitosan solution can prevent growth of bacteria and fungi.
<Session 5. Application of Radiation Degraded Chitosan in Animal Feed>
Dr. Wu, Director of Research Center for Accelerator and Radiation Processing, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP), presented his study on radiation degraded chitosan that was tested in growing pigs and fish as a feed additive. It was found that the chitosan was effective to improve the immune system of fish and animals. Consequently, China has planned to increase the production of aquaculture and animal feeds from 10 tons/yr to 500tons/yr.
<Session 6. FNCA Guidelines on Development of Hydrogel and Oligosaccharides by Radiation Processing>
Dr. Kudo, Associate Professor, University of Tokyo, distributed the draft and presented the outline of the Guideline. It was decided that the Guideline is available by uploading in pdf file through the FNCA website and can be consequentially updated by national project leaders.
<Session 7. Evaluation of FNCA Project Activities>
Dr. Kume presented a draft summary on the evaluation of project activities. He appreciated that the member countries reciprocally shared the experiences, data and technical information on radiation processing of natural polymers such as alginate, chitosan and carrageenan. Some publications and one patent brought from this project were also highly appreciated. In addition, the field test using irradiated chitosan at BATAN is expected to be continued to obtain the results. It was also emphasized that the efforts should be on-going to determine the economic viability of the products and to transfer the technique to the end user.
<Session 8. Implementation Plan in Phase 3>
For this session, Dr. Machi chaired and discussed the summary of activities to be implemented in the phase 3 of the project such as Plant growth promoter, Elicitor -disease resistance, insect resistance and Aquaculture and animal production. In addition, further research and development is required to minimize remained monomer and to develop efficient technique to crush hydrogel to produce dried pellets of SWA.
Workshop participants visited the aquaculture company, the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility and the El Pont Radiation Technology Company. At the aquaculture company, the participants learned about the application of irradiated chitosan as feed components for fish and turtles in order to improvement of immune system.