US Patil has successfully developed a process of making splints for safety matches using some natural fibres. The natural fibres are bound by natural starch to give it the required thickness and strength. This is then coated by some natural oils to provide the final finishing. The fibres thus obtained are then cut to the required length/size. After cutting the threads they are dipped into the phosphorus solution to coat the tips with the igniting material. In comparison with conventional matchsticks these matchsticks burn longer. The matchstick burns slowly but steadily, reducing the chances of the user’s fingers being burnt. Further no harmful chemical is used except the mandatory phosphorus. Preparing these matchsticks is much easier and cheaper than preparing wooden matchsticks which require huge machinery for cutting logs of wood to suitable size. The innovation has a significant impact on the environment and can also change the dynamics of the safety match industry.
Link: Eco-friendly with employment generation potential…
As these matchsticks provide an alternative to wood, they reduce the pressure on our rapidly depleting forests and contribute towards maintaining the ecological balance. Afforestation requires decades, whereas these fibres mature in six months, making it a viable alternative. The manufacture of these matchsticks has significant employment generation potential in the small-scale industry sector as well as for women working at home. Even the waste from industries processing natural fibres can be used to manufacture these matchsticks and this assumes relevance in the context of the large amount of agro-waste, which is underutilized in an agriculture-based country like India.
Manufacturing Capacity: Yes
Problem Scale: Global