The Opportunity (Superpest to Supercrop):
Opportunities like this may only come once in a lifetime. Using the water hyacinth as a raw material in production will cost less than other raw material currently used to create the same products. Not only will it cost less in production, but because of the funds set aside to eradicate the weed, we could even reach a breakeven point before we even sell the products of production. In fact during the first phase if could be possible to donate the products to organizations like Habitat for Humanity and still breakeven.
Currently raw materials for particleboard type products, animal feed, fertilizer, paper, protein and beta-carotene (Vitamin A), as well as many other products that can be created from the Water Hyacinth plant, are expensive and/or hard to come by. In the case of paper, these materials are at risk of depletion. The Water Hyacinth can easily and less expensively be used to produce these materials.
To fully grasp the Hyacinth’s potential for economic utilization, we must first understand the plant itself. The Water Hyacinth is fully matured, ready to procreate in 28 days; its leaves and stems are tender and rich in protein and vitamins. As the plant ages, the more sinewy and fibrous it becomes. The older the plant, the more fiber it contains. It is not that the plant has only one property, but rather, the proportions of its properties tilt as the plant ages. For example, a young plant may contain 50% protein while an older plant may only contain 35%. The same goes for fiber -- a young plant contains digestible fiber and an older plant’s fiber is too tough to be digestible but useable for durable goods.
It takes at least 6 to 10 years before the average tree has grown sufficiently to be logged for the manufacture of paper pulp. In contrast, it takes a Water Hyacinth only 6 months to reach that same stage of development before it can be made into the “Monsod Fiber” (Named after the scientist who discovered the many uses of the Water Hyacinth plant). That fiber can then be used for a multitude of paper products, all requiring a minimum amount of processing and chemicals to arrive at a quality paper pulp at Ľ the cost of wood pulp. That is a 75% cost savings without even considering the environmental and ecological advantages.
The Monsod Fiber is particularly known for its long fiber
quality, strength, and absorbency. The Monsod fiber is useful for “specialty
paper” and has been validated by the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) in the USA, Printing Industries Research Association (PIRA)
in England, and more recently by Hokuetsu Paper Manufacturing of Japan. It has
already been tested and accepted for such products as bank note and
currency-grade paper, admission tickets (requiring the same high degree of
flexibility as currency), bond papers, an additive to recycled papers, filters,
feminine napkins3, and disposable baby diapers. The Water Hyacinth fibers
require fewer chemicals, is naturally biodegradable, and people friendly
The Water Hyacinth Monsod Fiber does not stop here. It can also be spun into threads with the same basic qualities as cotton, with the exception that it requires inexpensive and biodegradable chemicals for bleaching and dying. Its long fibers are also desirable for blending with other low-grade fibers for added durability and dyeability, giving new life to such fibers as the very beautiful and delicate pińa fiber.
The site or location of the Hyacinth also determines the amount and quality of the properties that may be obtained from the plant depending upon the supply of nutrients. For instance, Hyacinth that is growing near a chemical waste site could be used for particleboard or paper, but would not be appropriate as an animal feed additive. Likewise, Hyacinth that is processed for human consumption would be grown in culturing ponds where they can be closely monitored. The idea industrial producing may resemble the tobacco industry in blending manufacturing with small farms and cottage industry.
As Dr. Monsod contends, “There is enough Water Hyacinth in Calcutta to feed all of India, and enough Hyacinth in India to feed all of Asia.” He is able to make this claim because of his patented and proven processes for extrapolating proteins (and its amino acids) and vitamins from the Hyacinth. The Water Hyacinth protein extract (45% average) and its amino acid composition compare with that of soybean and cottonseed. A protein deficient diet in developing countries consisting mainly of wheat, rice, or white corn could be enriched by eight essential amino acids - lysine, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, valine, and arginine - by the simple addition of Water Hyacinth protein. The protein flour made from Hyacinth was also assayed for carotene content and found to contain 74.0 micrograms of carotene per gram; equivalent to 123 I.U. of Vitamin A per gram.
Lack of Vitamin A is the leading cause of blindness in children under age 6. Not to be excluded is the cancer fighting agents in beta-carotene. The world demand for organic sources of vitamins and minerals such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin E, pathothenic acid, pyroxidine HCL (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, copper, sodium, potassium, and sulfur is staggering.
These vitamins and minerals are all present in the Hyacinth and in many cases the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) found them to meet or exceed the FAO’s recommended daily allowance. This fact has also been validated in studies done by NASA.
Further, Dr. Monsod found the healing properties of the Water Hyacinth to be that of the widely used Aloe Vera plant. It is feasible that the extraction of these vitamins, minerals, and proteins could alleviate the suffering of undernourished people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and finally end chronic persistent hunger.
The list of products does not stop here. The Hyacinth can be used to produce building materials such as particle board, cork board and insulation; non-toxic insecticides such as contact mosquito repellent and coils; animal feeds and additives for pets, livestock, fish and poultry; low-cost antibiotics, salves and creams; preservatives for food; a non-toxic formaldehyde replacement; and even wines and alcohol. The most recent break-through has been the synthesis of an organic, biodegradable, paper product, displaying Styrofoam-like properties and distilled water from the water extract.
The products mentioned are not just theory or conjecture. Dr. Monsod has actually produced commercial samples of each one and more. The most wonderful aspect of Dr. Monsod’s non-waste approach to the Hyacinth is that these products are not exclusive and separate from each other, requiring separate locations with separate facilities, but rather are integrated processes using the waste of one product to create another.
The attached paper has many good points, some of the information may be off. Paper on uses of Water Hyacinth.
Other Business Goals