Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

IISER Scientists develop Gelator to remove oil from spills

Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Thiruvananthapuram have developed gelator that can suck up oil and congeal it.

The gelator is hydrophobic material that has property of oleilophilic (oil-loving) and takes up oil when it comes in contact with it. It can be used to recover marine oil spills with a simple, efficient and cost-effective method.

Key Facts

The gelator is developed using a cheap raw material mannitol and cellulose pulp through a one-step process. In this process the mannitol gets adsorbed on the cellulose fibre through hydrogen bonding. The adsorption process changes the cellulose matrix from being very hydrophilic (water-loving) to hydrophobic (water repelling).

The property of gelator to self-assemble to form micro fibres makes congealing of oil possible and the oil loses its fluidity and gets trapped within the entangled fibrous network to form a rigid gel. Gelation essentially turns the liquid oil into semi-solid and this allows congealed oil to be simply scooped out using a scoop or a sieve.

During the studies, it was found that the gelator was able to absorb and congeal 16 times its own weight of oil. Even, the absorbed oil can be recovered by applying pressure or fractionated by a simple distillation process.

Applications: Gelator can also serve as a more efficient, quick and cost-effective way for absorption of crude oil from the sea following marine spill. Unlike other alternatives, the gelator can be easily applied over oil-water mixture and no solvent is needed for spraying it thus making it environment friendly.

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India is world’s third-biggest beef exporter: OECD-FAO report

According to recently released OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 report, India is the world’s third-biggest exporter of beef. Brazil was ranked as the world’s top beef exporter followed by Australia.

The report was released jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD).

Key Highlights of Report

India exported 1.56 million tonnes of beef in 2016. It is expected to maintain its position as the third-largest beef exporter, accounting for 16% of global exports in 2026 by exporting 1.93 tonnes that year. India imported 363,000 tonnes of beef in 2016 and the amount was projected to stay the same over the decade.

The type of beef exported was not specified, but the exported meat appears to be mostly from buffaloes as the report has specified the animal for imports by Myanmar from India. It needs to be clarified whether the report classifies even buffalo meat as beef.

The total world beef exports was 10.95 million tonnes in 2016 and it is expected to increase to 12.43 million tonnes by 2026. Till 2015, India was the world’s largest exporter of beef and had extended its lead over the next highest exporter, Brazil.

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