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FNCA 2013 Workshop on Electron Accelerator Application Project
- Radiation Processing of Natural Polymers -
29 October - 1 November, 2013
The JFY 2013 FNCA Electron Accelerator Application workshop was held from 29 October to 1 November, 2013 in Kajang, Malaysia. In addition to 9 FNCA member countries, 2 representatives from Myanmar and Pakistan, which are member countries of IAEA/RCA, participated in the workshop as observers.
The first day was initiated with an open seminar entitled application of radiation processing for sustainable development. There were approximately 40 participants from research institutes and the agricultural and industrial fields in Malaysia. After opening remarks from Ms. Moe Aoki, Special Staff, International Nuclear Cooperation Division, Research and Development Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and Dr. Sueo Machi, FNCA Coordinator of Japan, Dr. Muhd Noor Muhd Yunus, Deputy Director General of Malaysian Nuclear Agency gave his welcoming remarks and extended a hearty greetings to all the participants, followed by 6 presentations. And an exhibition was also held during the open seminar. Posters and samples of commercialized products such as hydrogel wound dressing and plant growth promoter were displayed.
On the second day, each member country delivered their country report on production and field test of plant growth promoter (PGP) or elicitor produced by radiation processing. They shared the results of PGP from chitosan and carrageenan in terms of weight gain, disease reduction of plants, and control of infection in aqua culture. It was reveled that PGPs have been beneficial in quite a number of crops. Elicitor effect of PGP especially on disease suppression could be a great advantage for commercialization. At the following session of reviewing performance field test results of PGP, it was learned from experience of member countries that degradation process by irradiation in liquid state is more effective compared to that in solid state though the concentration of oligochitosan is low. Participants then discussed preparation of guideline on PGP application for different crops including rice and chili. Many parameters, such as soil condition, crop variety, growing stage, molecular weight of chitosan, concentration of chitosan, frequency of spraying will have an impact on the final test result of PGP.
The third day began with the session of strategy for commercial application of PGP and plan for 2013-2015. It was decided to determine MW of oligochitosan as growth promoter and elicitor effect for specific plant of interest. Nine FNCA member countries and two IAEA/RCA member countries each gave a country report on production and application of hydrogel Super Water Absorbent by radiation cross-linking and grafting of natural polymers. It was concluded that SWA is effective to accelerate germination and growth of plants. Value-added SWA with the incorporation of slow release function of PGP, chemical/bio fertilizer, nutrients etc. can increase its prospect for commercialization. At the following discussion on results of field tests and strategy for commercial application of SWA, and work plan in 2013-15, member countries stressed the importance of collaboration with other institute such as agriculture research institute or farmer community in the arid area.
On the forth day, particpants had a discussion on coordination of the FNCA project with RCA/IAEA project on radiation processing. There was an agreement that FNCA will continue the cooperation with IAEA/RCA, since both groups are composed only of one team and the experienced linkages of both were found to be beneficial to FNCA and IAEA/RCA. The workshop minutes were reviewed and approved after discussion. The workshop was officially closed by Dr. Dahlan Bin Hj Mohd, Senior Director, Management Programme, Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Ms.Moe Aoki, and Dr. Sueo Machi. In the afternoon, a technical visit to Malaysian Nuclear Agency was conducted. Participants visited some irradiation facilities, namely: a) SINAGAMA (gamma irradiation) and observed its services being offered to industry such as spice, cocoa etc.; b) Alutron (Electron Beam Irradiation) which is used to produce hydrogel for facemask and crosslinking of cables; and c) Raymintex which is used for the gamma irradiation of liquids and has been used for the irradiation of oligochitosan in big volume.