UEW researchers develop particle-boards from agricultural residue

The research was to look for alternate materials to replace timber productsResearch scientists at the College of Technology Education, Kumasi Campus of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) have developed boards from agricultural residues.

The residues were corn stalk, elephant grass, sugarcane and oil palm.

Samples of the boards have been used to produce beds, television stands, book shelves, writing desks and other furniture.

The objective of the research was to look for alternate materials to replace timber products which had contributed to forest degradation and depletion.

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the research work and other innovations initiated by the University on Wednesday, Professor Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw, Vice Chancellor, said the University was making significant strides in the area of research, especially in the agricultural and wood sectors.

He said the university was positioning itself to become a centre of excellence in the area of education delivery in Africa.

Professor Reynolds Okai, Dean of the faculty of Technology Education and leader of the research team said the continued depletion of the country’s forests in-spite of the numerous government interventions necessitated the research work to look for alternate materials as substitutes for timber production.

He said the boards, known as particle-boards, had higher density with lower water absorption rate than those produced from timber.

Professor Okai recommended to government to set up particle-board production plants in Brong Ahafo and the Eastern Region where corn and other agricultural products were grown in abundance.

He said the government should also assist the private sector to set up particle-board plants and revamp the BMK particle-board factory at Takoradi, which collaborated with the University to undertake the research.

Mrs Henrietta Tetteh-Mensah, Director of Gender Mainstreaming of the University said the unit was established to sensitise the university community to spearhead the process of mainstreaming gender into its activities.

She said the unit was currently strengthening the capacity of the university to deal with gender issues, initiate processes that would bridge the representation gap and make women more visible in the university.

Source: GNA