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Utilizing water hyacinths for weaving: innovation in activity in thailand's bueng kho hai community.

© 2023 IIETA. This article is published by IIETA and is licensed under the CC BY 4.0 license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ ).

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In Southeast Asia, water hyacinths pose a significant threat to freshwater ecosystems, proliferating as invasive species. This study explores an innovative approach to leverage these natural resources in the creative economy, extending local wisdom through the craft of wickerwork. Qualitative research methods were employed to examine the unique weaving techniques of the Bueng Kho Hai community, known for transforming water hyacinths into wickerwork products. Data was collected through an array of techniques, including document analysis, field studies, preliminary surveys, structured and unstructured interviews, participatory and non-participatory observations, and group discussions. Rooted in traditional weaving practices and guided by meticulous experimentation, an eco-friendly fabric was developed, comprising a unique blend of 40% water hyacinth fiber and 60% cotton. This blend symbolizes the community's efforts to reconcile the preservation of local handicrafts and the Thai way of life with environmental conservation. It presents a cost-effective and scalable method contributing to sustainable development. The study highlights the untapped potential of indigenous knowledge in advocating sustainability and provides insights into local innovation that could be replicated in diverse contexts. This abstract elucidates the implementation of research methods and the specific data gleaned from each source, offering readers a comprehensive understanding of the study's methodology. Furthermore, it underscores the significant implications of the research for environmental conservation and the preservation of local handicrafts and Thai culture, emphasizing the environmental benefits of this unique blend.

wickerwork production, water hyacinth fiber, Thai handicrafts, eco-friendly design, sustainable materials, community innovation, indigenous knowledge, Bueng Kho Hai community

The development of human civilization has been shaped by inventiveness as well as adaptability to the natural resources that were available at the time. The skill of wickerwork dates back some four thousand years, and it has been made using materials such as bamboo and rattan. Thai basketry, a distinguishing attribute of agricultural cultures, has always been sensitive to the use of local resources, generating patterns that appeal to aesthetics, usefulness, religious rites, and cultural customs. This has resulted in the production of designs that are unique to Thailand.

In recent years, Thailand, along with other locations such as Lake Victoria in Kenya, has come up against a problem in terms of its ecology as a direct result of the growth of water hyacinths. These non-native aquatic plants represent significant threats to the health of freshwater ecosystems, including adverse effects on fisheries, water quality, and even irrigation systems. Despite this, the inventiveness of humans has come up with ways to turn this challenge into an opportunity. Other places are researching the possibilities of water hyacinth as a bioenergy resource, organic fertilizer, and even a base material for handicrafts [1]. In Thailand, skilled artists have cleverly combined water hyacinth into traditional wickerwork. This adaptability illustrates the durability of human cultures by demonstrating their capacity to generate novel solutions to the problems posed by the environment.

In recent decades, rapid advancements in technology and industry, in addition to rising global populations and increasing urbanisation, have brought mankind face-to-face with a number of significant difficulties, including those pertaining to the availability of water, food, energy, and a sustainable environment. In the context of Thailand, the water problem stands out as a noteworthy one due to the fact that it is intricately connected to the other three predicaments. It is abundantly clear that water is necessary for the production of both food and energy, and it is clear that environmental concerns extend to the protection of water quality and the management of associated challenges. This study presents a novel strategy to reuse the biological leftovers of the water hyacinth plant, which is known scientifically as Eichhornia crassipes. The goal of the study is to address the obstacles that have been presented. The goal is to turn dried water hyacinth stalks into materials of consistently high quality that are appropriate for use in handicrafts [2]. This will be accomplished by utilizing automated equipment specialized for processing dried water hyacinth stalks. This programme not only provides a long-term solution to environmental problems, but it also helps local handicraft enterprises by providing a more efficient and affordable alternative to the conventional manual processes that are now in use.

Introduced to Thailand in 1901 by King Rama V as an ornamental addition, the water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) soon transformed from a benign decorative freshwater plant to an environmental concern, rapidly plaguing and deteriorating freshwater habitats. Its swift proliferation across water bodies earned it an infamous reputation as an environmental menace. However, the silver lining to this ecological challenge has been the ongoing research into its untapped potential. Despite the fact that its fast spread has given it a reputation as an environmental hazard. For instance, the high cellulose content of water hyacinth fibers, which may reach up to 62.15%, paves the way for the creation of reinforced polymer composite materials that are ideal for applications that need less weight. These fibers have been extracted using new mechanical methods rather than the usual retting procedures, and they have been used in the development of environmentally friendly handcraft goods such as table mats, which are gaining favor among customers in cities like Bangkok. In addition, the use of these items not only satisfies the desire that customers have for environmentally friendly products but also helps the local economy by providing a novel approach to a plant that has historically been troublesome. It's interesting to note that the widespread development of water hyacinth also has an effect on the local species. For example, the presence of these plants has caused certain species of waterbirds, such as the Little blue heron and the Common moorhen, to modify the ways in which they forage for food. This study highlights the adaptability of water hyacinth by illustrating how it has evolved from an environmental obstacle into a model for environmentally responsible innovation and ecological harmony [3-6].

Handicrafts play an important part in the economy of Pathum Thani, which is located in the middle of Thailand. These handicrafts exemplify the ideals of the circular economy and sustainability. Recently, there has been an increased emphasis placed on the design of environmentally friendly furniture that makes use of waste materials and has an emphasis on recycling and reusing [7]. In spite of the fact that water hyacinth continues to be a dominant material in the area, local artists are investigating the possibility of using hybrid laminated composites. They want to manufacture environmentally friendly materials that are appropriate for a variety of structural purposes by using different types of fibers, such as coir [8]. This forward-thinking strategy not only highlights the region's illustrious handcraft heritage but also tackles environmental concerns by reusing trash and incorporating environmentally friendly materials.

It is essential to develop and make designs that appeal to current preferences and put an emphasis on both beauty and sustainability if the business of water hyacinth wickerwork is going to see a revitalization. The usage of water hyacinth should not be justified merely by its visual appeal, rather its environmental benefits as an alternative that is kind to the environment should be emphasized [9]. This environmentally friendly method tackles the problems that are caused by the overgrowth of water hyacinths in aquatic habitats while also capitalizing on the plant's potential for use in the creation of reinforced polymer composites [10].

The Pathum Beyond the realm of traditional handicrafts, the water hyacinth industry in Thani, which is well known for its handcrafted goods like purses and home décor, has unrealized potential. It is crucial to provide a connection between craftspeople and customers, making certain that products are in line with modern desires while preserving the rich crafting tradition [11].

Nevertheless, difficulties are in the horizon for the sector. The attraction and demand for water hyacinth goods have slightly decreased as a result of factors such as market saturation, shifting consumer preferences, and a perceived lack of innovation in the industry. As the focus of the world moves towards sustainability, there is an urgent need for the sector to innovate, broadening its offers to include items with value additions, such as bioenergy solutions [12]. In a market environment that is always shifting, it will be essential for the industry to embrace innovation and adaptation in order to maintain its continuous development and relevance.

This research investigates the cultural and creative industries throughout Asia, with a particular emphasis on the weaving practises of water hyacinth in Pathum Thani, Thailand. The artists of Pathum Thani, who may be found tucked away amid the bustling fabric of the cultural industries of Asia, have established themselves not just as keepers of heritage but also as trailblazers in their own right. They have invented a combination of water hyacinth fiber and cotton, which has resulted in an eco-friendly fabric that can be used in a variety of design applications. This was accomplished by skilfully merging indigenous knowledge with current processes. This synergy is a monument to the community's combined dedication to sustainability and innovation, and it aligns perfectly with the needs of the current market [13].

In addition, the purpose of this investigation is to dissect the more far-reaching implications of such innovations on the economic dynamics of local communities, environmental sustainability, and the treasured preservation of cultural heritage. The intentions here are multifaceted, much like those of many cultural sectors across Asia, including the preservation of centuries-old artistic practices, the creation of economically viable paths, the successful navigation of the ebb and flow of the global market, and the accomplishment of larger societal objectives. By using this perspective, the research is able to draw interesting similarities with other cultural epicenters in Asia, shedding light on the same aspirations held by the region's cultural sectors as well as the inherent difficulties they face [13].

Investigate the innovative approach of water hyacinth fiber and cotton to create an eco-friendly fabric with potential applications in design.

2.1 Fabric-making process using water hyacinth

The Research conceptual framework delves into the production of water hyacinth fabric (Figure 1). This exploration focuses on the detailed manufacturing process, the fabric's inherent attributes, and its potential market value. Within this process, water hyacinth fiber is spun into yarn, accentuating the fabric's sustainability while highlighting its eco-friendliness. This approach also presents a solution to agricultural waste by using it as a primary material for fabric.

The journey from ideation to the final product is multifaceted. Both textiles and final products are designed with a balance of aesthetic and functional qualities. The fabric's unique characteristics offer opportunities for establishing a distinct brand or product identity. Textile machinery plays an indispensable role, in ensuring production efficiency and top-tier quality. Furthermore, this fabric lends itself to the creation of distinctive furniture designs, resulting in either market-ready prototypes or finished products.

water hyacinth as paper research paper

Figure 1 . Research conceptual framework

Upholding quality is of paramount importance. The production process strictly adheres to textile testing standards, ensuring the fabric meets safety and quality criteria. Similarly, the produced furniture aligns with set standards, guaranteeing durability and safety. The resultant furniture product is tailored to meet market preferences.

From harvesting to processing, this sequence outlines the transformation of water hyacinth into fabric. If a deep dive into the entire procedure is the aim, detailing these stages becomes essential. However, a summarized version suffices if the spotlight rests on the conceptual framework and its broader applications.

Potential stakeholders must understand the fabric's texture, resilience, eco-consciousness, and aesthetics. This may appear redundant to water hyacinth fabric experts, but it delivers significant information to a larger audience.

2.2 Environmental benefits

water hyacinth as paper research paper

Figure 2 . Pathum Thani is strategically located in Thailand's central region, bordered by various provinces and the vital Chao Phraya River. This river not only supports agriculture but also significantly influences the day-to-day life of the locals

Figure 2 looks into the several districts that comprise the Pathum Thani province, known for combining urban growth and natural splendor. For example, the Sam Khok District is known for its long history of agricultural production and its strong sense of community. Mueang District is Pathum Thani's busy epicenter with business and residential zones. The Lat Lum Kaeo District is an example of how contemporary urban growth can live with the splendor of nature. The Nong Suar District is distinguished by its verdant landscapes and calm bodies of water. At the same time, the Khlong Luang District is renowned for its status as an intellectual center due to the presence of many educational and research facilities.

The Thanyaburi District is always bustling with activity, as seen by the lively marketplaces and robust community life. However, the Lam Luk Ka District is the one that genuinely attracts the interest of visitors with its enormous wetlands, which are a haven for birdwatchers owing to the abundance of bird species found there. A region of great relevance to this investigation is Bueng Kho Hai, which is located inside Lam Luk Ka. Its one-of-a-kind ecosystem highlights community-led efforts to develop sustainable products while preserving the surrounding environment. These community-based endeavors, particularly in places like Bueng Kho Hai, shed light on the possibilities for bringing economic goals and ecological responsibilities into harmony:

  • Sustainable Resource. Water hyacinth's rapid growth makes it a promising renewable resource.
  • Reduces Water Pollution. Harnessing water hyacinth, known for its invasive growth in waterways, aids in mitigating its spread and curbing water pollution (Figure 3).
  • Biodegradable. Crafted products from water hyacinth fabric decompose naturally, reducing landfill waste.
  • Potential for Local Economy. Cultivating and processing water hyacinth into fabric can usher in economic opportunities for the local populace (Figure 4).

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Figure 3 . Plants hold potential for innovative applications like weaving and eco-friendly packaging

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Figure 4 . Possibility for the regional economy. The local community may benefit economically from water hyacinth cultivation and processing into fabric

3.1 Scope of study

The weaving skills used in the Bueng Kho Hai village, along with the community's dedication to being good stewards of the environment, make this a particularly interesting case study. It is admirable that they have developed a novel strategy to turn water hyacinth, a plant that has the potential to cause problems, into valued handmade items. Research has proven that water hyacinth has the potential to be turned into cellulose nanocrystals; this demonstrates the community's versatility in making use of the plant for a variety of uses that are environmentally friendly [14].

The research investigates a number of distinct subcommunities that exist inside the Bueng Kho Hai community. This includes both the village academics and the village weavers, in addition to the larger populace engaged in the manufacture of wickerwork. A method of this level of specificity seeks to get an understanding of the intertwined contributions that various practices make to the culture, economics, and long-term viability of the local community.

The research attempts to gain insights that may be applicable to other communities in the area by concentrating on this particular community and its unique circumstances. It's possible that this may serve as a model for more comprehensive approaches to sustainable development and environmental preservation. The community of Bueng Kho Hai in Thailand is an excellent example of how traditional weaving methods may be combined with concerns for the environment. It is interesting that they have made an attempt to transform an invasive plant into valued artisan goods that are in demand all around Thailand. This research illustrates the resiliency of the town as well as the cooperative spirit that exists there, highlighting the city's twin quest of economic advancement as well as cultural preservation.

water hyacinth as paper research paper

Figure 5 . Comprehensive overview of the project's various impacts on society and the environment. Complete overview of the project's multiple effects on other parts of society and the environment

This picture depicts the development of the area as well as its significance in a variety of different ways (Figure 5). The necessity of protecting the environment is brought to light in item number one. It displays the region's dedication to the preservation of the natural environment. The second illustration illustrates the crucial importance that agricultural communities play in the region, while the third illustration examines the differences and similarities between urban and rural communities. The fourth point emphasizes how important it is for communities to continue their education and build up their capabilities. The importance of forming connections is highlighted in point number 5. The importance of connecting the many different players in this field is underlined. Because of these visuals, we have a much better understanding of the significance of the relationships between the many factors in this region.

3.2 Area boundary

The region of Bueng Kho Hai in Pathum Thani province is significant because of its proximity to the Chao Phraya River, its agricultural resources, and its pioneering approach to the use of water hyacinths in the manufacture of wickerwork and environmentally friendly design. Because of the community's dedication to the maintenance of local customs and the protection of the local environment, it is an essential component of the region.

The study methodology used a qualitative approach to conduct an in-depth inquiry and gain a better knowledge of the traditional water hyacinth weaving practices used in the community of Bueng Kho Hai. These practices entail weaving for ornamental purposes and manufacturing useful products like bags and baskets, as seen in (Figures 6 and 7). This strategy was developed to unearth the underlying concepts, beliefs, and procedures that form the basis of the community's one-of-a-kind approach to using water hyacinth, using the plant's inherent features to generate sustainable things that can be used daily.

water hyacinth as paper research paper

Figure 6 . Dried water hyacinths can be processed using traditional methods

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Figure 7 . Explore potential strategies for revitalizing and promoting traditional production processes, such as education and training programs and collaborations with designers and entrepreneurs to create innovative products that appeal to contemporary consumers

4.1 Data analysis

The data analysis process consists of several key steps as follows:

4.1.1 Data collection

Tools were employed to collect detailed data from various community sources. This included structured interviews with artisans, first-hand observations of traditional weaving practices, and document analysis.

4.1.2 Pre-processing

The gathered data underwent an organization phase to ensure it was primed for in-depth analysis, ensuring the information's accuracy and reliability.

4.1.3 Analytics

Techniques were harnessed to interpret the data, identifying trends and patterns concerning weaving techniques, material preferences, and cultural significance.

4.1.4 Visualization

Analysis results were translated into visual formats, such as charts or graphs, facilitating the comprehension of intricate data sets.

4.1.5 Performance and insights

The culmination of the analysis process led to the drawing of substantial conclusions. This offered insights into the community's weaving practices, innovative strategies, and overarching contribution to the local economy and sustainability.

4.2 Strategies for revitalization and promotion

Based on the insights gained from the data analysis, several potential strategies can be explored to revitalize and promote traditional production processes.

4.2.1 Education and training programs

Implementing comprehensive education and training programs can help preserve and enhance conventional weaving skills. This may include workshops, seminars, and hands-on training sessions led by experienced artisans.

4.2.2 Collaborations with designers and entrepreneurs

Forming collaborations with contemporary designers and entrepreneurs can lead to the creation of innovative products that appeal to modern consumers. This can broaden the market reach and add value to traditional crafts.

4.2.3 Marketing and branding

Effective marketing and branding strategies can promote the unique aspects of conventional wickerwork, emphasizing its eco-friendly nature and cultural significance. This can attract new customers and increase demand.

4.2.4 Support for sustainable practices

Encouraging and supporting sustainable practices can further enhance the appeal of traditional wickerwork. This includes the use of environmentally friendly materials and energy-efficient production methods.

The detailed analysis of data collected through sophisticated tools, as visualized in the provided pictures, offers valuable insights into the traditional weaving practices of the Bueng Kho Hai community. The understanding gained from this analysis can guide potential strategies for revitalizing and promoting these conventional production processes. By embracing education, innovation, collaboration, and sustainability, it is possible to preserve the rich cultural heritage while adapting to contemporary market demands and contributing to broader societal objectives.

4. 3 Methods and tools of the trade

This Section provides a detailed overview of the methodologies and instruments employed in this study.

4.3.1 Document analysis

Relevant documents, encompassing historical archives, government directives, past research projects, and news articles, were thoroughly investigated. This exploration traced the journey of water hyacinth in Thailand and charted the evolution of innovative weaving techniques.

4.3.2 Field research

Direct visits to the Bueng Kho Hai village offered invaluable firsthand observations of the weaving practices. These visits also fostered meaningful interactions with local inhabitants. The significance of community engagement became particularly evident, especially during collaborative group discussions.

4.3.3 Interviews

Both structured and open-ended interviews with community members yielded deep insights into their perspectives and experiences related to water hyacinth weaving. Notably, many of these interviews transitioned into broader group discussions, revealing diverse viewpoints and shared experiences.

4.3.4 Observational insights

Engaging in both participatory and non-participatory observation techniques allowed for a nuanced understanding of the intricacies of water hyacinth weaving. These sessions also granted a unique perspective on the dynamics and flow of group discussions.

4.3.5 Group dialogues

Facilitated group discussions among stakeholders and fostered a space of shared learning and collaboration. As captured in Figure 8, these discussions were pivotal in unearthing the community's weaving practices, challenges, and aspirations.

water hyacinth as paper research paper

Figure 8 . Researchers urge stakeholders to share water hyacinth-weaving ideas, experiences, and opinions in groups. These talks help researchers comprehend weaving practices and provide vital insights

4.4 Alteration of water hyacinth stems and design procedure

The research delved deeper into the practical applications and innovations possible with water hyacinth fibers, expanding upon the foundational knowledge of traditional water hyacinth weaving techniques.

4.4.1 Water hyacinth production of fiber

Figure 9 depicts a significant aspect of the research the transformation of water hyacinth stems into a woven material. This is a multi-step procedure. Collecting water hyacinth plants from their aquatic environment. The process of separating the stems and allowing them to dry naturally. Extracting the fibers from the desiccated stems. Transforming these fibers into a format suitable for weaving. In addition to being eco-friendly, the resulting woven fabric possesses the required strength and pliability for a variety of applications, including the manufacture of furniture.

water hyacinth as paper research paper

Figure 9 . Focuses on transforming water hyacinth stems into a woven fabric, an eco-friendly and sustainable material. This is accomplished through the production of hyacinth stems, which are used to create hyacinth-woven fabric

4.4.2 The use of water hyacinth fiber in the design of furniture

Water hyacinth, traditionally viewed as an invasive aquatic species, has emerged as a sustainable material with multifaceted applications. This section focuses on the utilization of water hyacinth fibers specifically for furniture construction.

Harnessing insights from the local community, who possess extensive experience with this plant, a comprehensive method was developed to transform these fibers into functional furniture. This process encompasses:

  • Conceptualization Phase

Preliminary ideas emerge from brainstorming sessions, emphasizing the distinctive texture, durability, and adaptability of water hyacinth fibers.

  • Prototyping

The abstract concept is translated into a tangible prototype, laying down the initial blueprint for the design.

  • Community Engagement

This prototype is presented to the community for feedback. Their deep-rooted familiarity with water hyacinth enriches the design process, ensuring the prototype resonates with local sensibilities.

  • Final Design

Community feedback is integrated, refining the design to achieve an equilibrium between aesthetic appeal and functional efficacy.

  • Manufacturing

With the design blueprint in place, the transformation of water hyacinth fibers into eco-friendly furniture commences.

The innovative use of water hyacinth fibers in furniture design presents a sustainable alternative to conventional materials. Beyond being an aesthetic choice, this eco-friendly material embodies the ethos of the local community and emphasizes the adaptability of water hyacinths. While the referenced study discusses the broader applications and potential of water hyacinth, including its potential as an alternative energy source and environmental implications, this section underscores the plant's versatility, specifically in sustainable furniture practices (Figure 10) [15].

water hyacinth as paper research paper

Figure 10 . The researcher uses community input to create an initial design

Based on the information provided in the article, the researchers investigated the potential for using water hyacinth fibers in the design and production of eco-friendly products. The research team observed and worked with local villagers in Pathum Thani province to learn about traditional weaving techniques and create innovative designs that cater to modern market needs.

The article indicates that producing water hyacinth fabric involves drying and spinning the stems into uniform strands, which are then combined with cotton yarn in various proportions to create materials with different properties. The resulting fabrics were found to be suitable for a range of applications, including furniture, bags, tablecloths, and curtains.

The weaving process employed in this study involves blending water hyacinth fibers with cotton yarn to create a range of versatile and eco-friendly fabrics. The research explores five distinct ratios for mixing water hyacinth fiber and cotton yarn to strike the right balance between flexibility and durability.

water hyacinth as paper research paper

Figure 1 1 . Natural fiber derived from water hyacinth, as briefly described in the given proportions, results in a distinct fabric pattern resembling marble's appearance

Table 1. Comparison of the characteristics of fabrics made from water hyacinth and cotton strands in various proportions

Figure 11 visually illustrates the varying compositions of water hyacinth fiber and cotton yarn, providing a tangible understanding of their textures and appearances.

100% water hyacinth fiber, this composition emphasizes environmental sustainability, as demonstrated in Table 1. As a result, it possesses the highest ecological value possible. On the other hand, it might not have the same degree of flexibility and gentleness typically found in compositions containing cotton.

This composition, outlined in the second row of Table 1, strikes a balance between comfort and sustainability by utilizing 80% water hyacinth fiber and 20% cotton yarn. Compared to a composition consisting entirely of water hyacinth, the fabric's flexibility and softness significantly improve when cotton yarn makes up 20% of the design.

This blend offers a harmonious balance between eco-friendliness and user comfort, as shown in the third row of Table 1, and as a result, it is a versatile choice for a variety of applications. The water hyacinth fiber makes up 70% of the yarn, while the cotton yarn makes up 30%.

This blend, which is highlighted in the fourth row of Table 1, is geared towards maximizing comfort and flexibility, making it suitable for applications where user comfort is a priority. The water hyacinth fiber makes up sixty percent of the yarn, and the cotton yarn makes up forty percent.

Fifty percent water hyacinth fiber and 50 percent cotton yarn: The fifth row in Table 1 displays the most well-balanced blend of water hyacinth and cotton, which ensures the highest possible level of flexibility, softness, and durability.

In conclusion, the choice of fabric composition is determined by the desired equilibrium between comfort and sustainability, as outlined in Table 1.

Table 2. Comparing the weight and durability of water hyacinth cloth to traditional materials

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Figure 1 2 . Using a 60:40 cotton-water hyacinth blend and a 70:30 water hyacinth-cotton yarn in creating lamps and furniture emphasizes the importance of size and type in furniture design while utilizing eco-friendly vegetable fibers

Water hyacinth's potential in the textile industry becomes more evident when its characteristics are compared to traditional materials. The density of textiles made from water hyacinth, as shown in Table 2, is noticeably lower compared to materials like cotton, silk, and linen. This is further illustrated in Figure 12, which showcases a blend of 60:40 cotton-water hyacinth and a 70:30 water hyacinth-cotton yarn used in lamp and furniture design, emphasizing the adaptability of water hyacinth fibers [16].

The tensile strength of water hyacinth fabric is closely comparable to that of cotton fabric, with figures standing at 250 Mpa and 280 Mpa, respectively. Additionally, water hyacinth fabric exhibits strong resistance against abrasion and color fading, marking it as an appealing and environmentally friendly option.

Research efforts have combined water hyacinth fiber and cotton yarn in various proportions aiming to produce textiles that are both eco-friendly and user-friendly. The ultimate goal was to identify the best combinations suitable for diverse design and industrial applications. An exemplary design highlighted in Figure 13, showcases a chair made using water hyacinth fabric, requiring 10 tons of water hyacinth stems in its production.

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Figure 1 3 . A chair design that utilizes water hyacinth fabric requires 10 tons of water hyacinth stems for processing

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Figure 1 4 . The vital role of improvements in life and community economies, focusing on eradicating poverty, providing clean water and sanitation, promoting decent work, and fostering economic growth to create a sustainable future

Figure 14 underscores the profound impact of such innovations on local community economies, emphasizing broader societal implications. Adopting sustainable materials like water hyacinths can shape a sustainable future by addressing challenges like poverty, ensuring clean water and sanitation access, and stimulating economic growth [17].

water hyacinth as paper research paper

Figure 1 5 . Explore community-based decision-making, active participation in community development, and sharing the benefits of local production to contribute to a thriving and sustainable community

Furthermore, Figure 15 sheds light on the significance of community-based decision-making, accentuating the importance of active community involvement and the equitable distribution of production benefits.

In conclusion, the potential of water hyacinth fibers in eco-friendly product design and manufacturing is profound. Merging age-old craftsmanship with contemporary market needs, augmented by sustainable materials, can meet the increasing global demand for environmental responsibility.

Water hyacinths, an invasive species known to create significant ecological problems, have the potential to be transformed into a valuable resource for sustainable product development [18]. Communities can assist in preventing the spread of this invasive species and, in turn, minimize its adverse effects on water quality, native flora and fauna, and the overall health of aquatic ecosystems by utilizing water hyacinths in the wickerwork industry [19]. This can be realized by using water hyacinths to craft wickerwork products [20].

The exhibition "Transforming Water Hyacinths: Thai Weaving Innovation for Sustainable Development in Thailand" emphasizes the novel approach of using water hyacinths as a renewable resource for eco-friendly products. This strategy aligns with global trends that prioritize sustainability and environmentally conscious design [21]. In Thailand's Pathum Thani province, researchers partnered with local villagers to understand traditional weaving techniques and design patterns that meet the demands of contemporary markets [22]. By processing water hyacinth fibers and merging them with cotton yarn, they developed a spectrum of textiles suitable for various applications, including furniture, bags, tablecloths, and curtains [23]. The researchers also designed prototype furniture and displays, revealing the commercial potential of water hyacinth fabric.

Adopting water hyacinth fibers benefits local communities, conserves artisan traditions, and aids environmental conservation efforts. By repurposing an invasive species for sustainable product development, these communities can economically thrive and adapt age-old methods to satisfy modern market requirements [24-26]. This ensures eco-friendly materials remain competitive in global markets [27].

Future studies might delve into additional applications of water hyacinth fibers, such as packaging or construction materials [28]. Such applications could diminish plastic waste and reduce the carbon footprint of manufacturing processes. As the world confronts environmental challenges and the quest for sustainable development, innovative methods like the one described herein gain increasing importance.

Numerous advantages may be gained by exploring the possibility of employing water hyacinths as a resource for the creation of environmentally friendly products. Researchers may help local populations, protect traditional crafts, and contribute to efforts to make the world a more sustainable place if they investigate novel applications of invasive species.

In the framework of Transforming Water Hyacinths: Thai Weaving Innovation, Thailand, various routes of inquiry that might contribute to the growth, development, and sustainability of the water hyacinth weaving industry will be the focus of future research.

6.1 Advanced processing techniques

Investigate and develop innovative methods for processing water hyacinth fibers to improve their strength, durability, and versatility. This may include experimenting with different treatments, blending with other natural fibers, or incorporating new technologies in the production process.

6.2 Diversification of applications

Explore a wider range of applications for water hyacinth woven products, such as packaging materials, insulation, textiles, and construction materials. By diversifying the product portfolio, the industry can attract new markets and customers while reducing dependence on a single product type [29].

6.3 Sustainable dyeing and finishing processes

Examine eco-friendly dyeing and finishing techniques that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of water hyacinth woven products without causing harm to the environment. This research could focus on natural dyes derived from plants, minerals, or other sustainable sources.

6.4 Market research and consumer preferences

Conduct in-depth market research to understand consumer preferences and identify potential niches for water hyacinth woven products. This information can help guide product development, design, and marketing strategies to target potential customers better and increase market share [30].

6.5 Environmental impact assessment

Study the long-term environmental impacts of water hyacinth harvesting and processing on local ecosystems, aquatic life, and water quality. This research can help develop guidelines for sustainable harvesting and processing practices that minimize negative impacts on the environment [31].

6.6 Social and economic impact

Assess the social and economic impact of the water hyacinth weaving industry on local communities, including job creation, skill development, and income generation. This research can help identify strategies for maximizing the positive effects of the industry while addressing potential challenges and inequalities [32].

6.7 Policy and regulatory frame work

Investigate the current policy and regulatory framework governing the water hyacinth weaving industry and its environmental aspects. Identify gaps and propose recommendations for improvements that can foster sustainable growth and development in the sector.

6.8 Collaboration and knowledge sharing

Explore opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing among different stakeholders, such as researchers, local artisans, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. This can foster innovation, capacity building, and the transfer of best practices within the industry.

By focusing on these future research topics, the water hyacinth weaving industry in Thailand can continue to evolve, adapt to market demands, and contribute to sustainable development and environmental conservation.

The innovative approach to repurposing water hyacinths, an invasive species in Southeast Asia, for sustainable product development forms the crux of this research. Researchers have explored the potential of water hyacinth fibers to create eco-friendly products by revitalizing traditional weaving techniques and aligning them with modern market needs.

The study emphasizes the importance of supporting local communities, preserving traditional crafts, and reducing environmental impact. By harnessing the potential of water hyacinths, communities can benefit economically while contributing to global sustainability efforts. This project is not only about innovation but also about the continuous adaptation of traditional techniques to ensure that eco-friendly materials remain competitive in an increasingly eco-conscious world.

One key aspect that adds depth to this research is the role of education. Education plays a pivotal role in the success of sustainable product development, particularly in the context of repurposing water hyacinths for eco-friendly products. It empowers local communities with the knowledge and skills required to innovate and adapt traditional techniques to contemporary market demands. By fostering collaboration between researchers, artisans, and educators, education acts as a bridge, connecting traditional wisdom with modern scientific understanding. The integration of educational programs in the process promotes awareness, builds capacity, and enhances the community's ability to engage with sustainable practices effectively. Moreover, education can inspire new generations to continue exploring and innovating within the realm of sustainability, ensuring the long-term growth and resilience of eco-friendly product development.

The article underscores the innovative use of Southeast Asia's water hyacinth overgrowth, transforming this invasive plant into valuable and sustainable products. Through collaboration between researchers and local communities and the integration of education, this study exemplifies how creative solutions can turn environmental challenges into opportunities for sustainable development.

The field of research offers promising paths for exploration, such as optimizing blends of water hyacinth fiber, scaling production, engaging local communities, analyzing market trends, and assessing long-term environmental impacts. These avenues, infused with educational strategies, can further contribute to environmental stewardship and present a responsible innovation and sustainable growth model aligned with global sustainability goals.

This investigation was supported by the Academic Promotion Fundamental Fund and Area-based Research Unit. In addition, the author would like to thank Mr. Krittin Wichittraitham for his invaluable counsel and assistance throughout the course of this study.

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Hydrothermal synthesis of mg/al-layered double hydroxide modified water hyacinth hydrochar for remediation of wastewater containing mordant brown dye †.

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a Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt E-mail: [email protected] Tel: +201000166374

b Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, New Mansoura University, New Mansoura, Egypt

A high-performance dye adsorbent of Mg/Al-layered double hydroxide modified water hyacinth hydrochar (MgAl@WH) was synthesized by a simple hydrothermal method. The surface functional groups, elemental composition, crystalline structure, and surface morphology of the prepared (MgAl@WH) were determined using different analytical techniques. The characterization results revealed that the (MgAl@WH) hydrochar surface offered more active adsorption sites, facilitating the mordant brown (anionic dye) adsorption, leading to its superior performance with much higher uptake capability (311.0 mg g −1 at 298 K) than Mg/Al double hydroxide nanosheets (MgAl DLHs, 80.2 mg g −1 at 298 K) and dried water hyacinth (WH, 10.0 mg g −1 at 298 K). The adsorption behavior of MgAL@WH follows the pseudo second order kinetic model ( R 2 = 0.999) and Langmuir isotherm model ( R 2 = 0.999). Moreover, MgAl@WH bonded efficiently with mordant brown dye via hydrogen bonding and interlayer anion exchange with monolayer formation. Additionally, the recycling tests revealed that the MgAl@WH can be reused over 10 cycles without significant change in the removal efficiency. Based on the obtained findings, Mg/Al-layered double hydroxide modified water hyacinth hydrochar (MgAl@WH), for its economic and environmental benefits, has recently been used as an efficient adsorbent to remediate industrial wastewater containing anionic dyes.

Graphical abstract: Hydrothermal synthesis of Mg/Al-layered double hydroxide modified water hyacinth hydrochar for remediation of wastewater containing mordant brown dye

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water hyacinth as paper research paper

Hydrothermal synthesis of Mg/Al-layered double hydroxide modified water hyacinth hydrochar for remediation of wastewater containing mordant brown dye

S. M. Waly, A. M. El-Wakil, W. M. Abou El-Maaty and F. S. Awad, RSC Adv. , 2024,  14 , 15281 DOI: 10.1039/D4RA02624A

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At the Forefront - UChicago Medicine

First-generation medical students face unique challenges and need more targeted support

medical students wearing blue scrubs seated in a lecture hall. one is raising her hand.

Medical research is increasingly informed by recognition of diversity’s key role in addressing health equity. But when it comes to medical education, there’s a group that has remained not just underrepresented but also under-researched: first-generation (first-gen) medical students — those whose parents have not earned bachelor’s degrees. These students are more likely to be older, identify as racial or ethnic minorities, be immigrants or children of immigrants, or come from low-income families. Along with anecdotal evidence, the minimal previous research indicates that these students face some unique struggles on top of the common challenges most medical students encounter.

“It became clear to me that schools — even the great ones that are intentional and diligent about building diverse classes — are not truly ready to receive first-gen students,” said Catherine Havemann, MD, an emergency medicine chief resident at UChicago Medicine. “Admission isn’t the same as full access to the institution. Sometimes support doesn’t exist, and other times it’s off-target.”

To increase understanding of the first-gen experience and identify opportunities for educators and administrators to provide the most meaningful support, Havemann helped lead a team of researchers to perform an in-depth qualitative study. They analyzed data collected in interviews with a diverse group of medical students recruited from 27 medical schools across the U.S. The results, published in JAMA , have the potential to inform efforts at increasing educational equity at both the institutional and individual level.

Struggles shared amongst a diverse first-gen population

Overall, the study confirmed that first-gen medical students feel that they face disproportionate adversity throughout their education and do not receive the support they need to compensate for that. Participants identified 4 main themes: feelings of isolation and exclusion; difficulties accessing basic resources such as food, rent, transportation and textbooks; a general lack of institutional support; and pressure to rely on personal “grit” and resilience for survival.

Some issues highlighted in the data were relatively unsurprising, such as financial difficulties.

“No matter which subset of first-gen students we talk to, money is a foundational part of the challenges they face — even if they're not technically low-income,” said Havemann, the paper’s first author. “Within the medical community, we need to talk more about the discomfort of disadvantaged students entering incredibly wealthy institutions with mostly wealthy peers. What does it mean to create some basic degree of equity?”

Other issues emerged as more persistent than the researchers had anticipated. For example, interviewees frequently mentioned transportation problems, such as situations where student loans don’t cover the cost of having a car but medical school necessitates one. An especially striking theme was that many students reported being overtly discouraged by mentors or teachers during their education.

“People who meet the criteria for medical school admission are being told ‘This is not for you,’” Havemann said. “It’s disheartening to see, and it makes me think differently about my career as an aspiring educator. Saying ‘Yes’ — even in a small way — to someone who has heard a lifetime of ‘No’ can make all the difference. To think there are people out there discouraging others is frankly appalling.”

Responding to the findings

Havemann said the paper resonated strongly with student communities online following its publication.

“Responses ranged from ‘This is obvious’ and ‘Water is wet’ to ‘Why doesn't my school understand this?’ or "We knew this already — where are the solutions?’” she said.

As a former first-gen student herself, she was struck by the consistency of experience revealed by the study’s results. “It was validating as a researcher but also profoundly validating as a person.”

But while the student response online served as important confirmation that the study’s findings are representative, the real target audience is the educators who have the power to make a difference.

“I would love for them to read this paper and feel what a powerful position they're in to make a more equitable world,” Havemann said. “Even the little things matter a lot.”

Even as she and others conduct more research on this topic, Havemann said institutions can and should already be taking steps to provide better support for first-generation medical students.

“People like to talk about using holistic review in admissions to look at the whole student — we also have to look at holistic support once they enroll,” she said.

Future studies will dive deeper into themes like professional identity formation, financial challenges, burnout and sense of belonging. Now that the qualitative groundwork has been laid, researchers can design more nuanced quantitative and mixed-method studies.

“For example, I’d like to quantify the percentage of first-gen students who are not only trying to support themselves but also keeping the lights on for their parents,” Havemann said. “I think the answers would be gutting.”

The article, “ Challenges Facing First-Generation College Graduates in Medical School: A Qualitative Analysis ,” was published in JAMA in December 2023. Authors included Catherine Havemann, Hyacinth R. C. Mason, Regina G. Russell, Alejandra Casillas, Mytien Nguyen, Dowin Boatright, Alexis Webber, Jon Andre Parilla, Abraham Gallegos and Tasha R. Wyatt.

Evaluation of Water Hyacinth Ash, Extract, and Fiber in Concrete: A Literature Review

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Water hyacinth is a free-floating perennial aquatic plant native to tropical and subtropical South America. It is a bothersome plant due to its broad, thick, glossy, ovate leaves that can reach up to 1 meter above the water’s surface. Water hyacinth blooming in most rivers and lakes is the most visible effect of aggravating environmental pollution, a perennial problem that could have been controlled. Hence, the applications of water hyacinth should be explored, investigated, and promoted to motivate its harvesting to manage its growth. Besides being utilized as raw materials for handloom weaving livelihood programs, the feasibility of using this material in concrete production attracted many researchers’ attention. The literature review evaluates water hyacinth in liquid form, ash, and dried fibers to produce an environmentally friendly, blended concrete material. The experimental process conducted by different researchers shows significant improvements in the parameters of concrete. WHA demonstrates that ash is a potential pozzolanic substance that improves concrete durability and marginally affects its strength. It is also worth mentioning that concrete reinforced with water hyacinth fiber was light, making it suited for use in the building industry where lightweight concrete is desired. Moreover, finally, water hyacinth extract increases the slump value of concrete; thus, it can be employed as a superplasticizer in concrete with a lower water–cement ratio.

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Tombado, E.D., Dela Cruz, O.G., Guades, E.J. (2023). Evaluation of Water Hyacinth Ash, Extract, and Fiber in Concrete: A Literature Review. In: Nia, E.M., Ling, L., Awang, M., Emamian, S.S. (eds) Advances in Civil Engineering Materials. Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering, vol 310. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-8024-4_5

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Despite its Earth-like size and source material 1 , 2 , Venus is extremely dry 3 , 4 , indicating near-total water loss to space by means of hydrogen outflow from an ancient, steam-dominated atmosphere 5 , 6 . Such hydrodynamic escape likely removed most of an initial Earth-like 3-km global equivalent layer (GEL) of water but cannot deplete the atmosphere to the observed 3-cm GEL because it shuts down below about 10–100 m GEL 5 , 7 . To complete Venus water loss, and to produce the observed bulk atmospheric enrichment in deuterium of about 120 times Earth 8 , 9 , nonthermal H escape mechanisms still operating today are required 10 , 11 . Early studies identified these as resonant charge exchange 12 , 13 , 14 , hot oxygen impact 15 , 16 and ion outflow 17 , 18 , establishing a consensus view of H escape 10 , 19 that has since received only minimal updates 20 . Here we show that this consensus omits the most important present-day H loss process, HCO + dissociative recombination. This process nearly doubles the Venus H escape rate and, consequently, doubles the amount of present-day volcanic water outgassing and/or impactor infall required to maintain a steady-state atmospheric water abundance. These higher loss rates resolve long-standing difficulties in simultaneously explaining the measured abundance and isotope ratio of Venusian water 21 , 22 and would enable faster desiccation in the wake of speculative late ocean scenarios 23 . Design limitations prevented past Venus missions from measuring both HCO + and the escaping hydrogen produced by its recombination; future spacecraft measurements are imperative.

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Data availability.

Tables containing all reactions used in the model, including their adopted rate coefficients and computed column rates, are provided in a supplementary PDF file accessible on the journal website. These rates are also accessible in the archived code repository listed below, which also includes our adopted photo cross-sections and all other source data used in our model. Model densities for all species, computed rates for reactions shown in Fig. 2 , assumed temperature and escape probabilities and computed photo rates are provided in Excel format in the online version of the paper; this file also includes data for our illustrative water-inventory timelines.  Source data are provided with this paper.

Code availability

All model code is available at github.com/emcangi/VenusPhotochemistry . The version of the model used to prepare the manuscript is archived on Zenodo at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10460004 .

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Acknowledgements

M.S.C., E.M.C., B.S.G. and R.D.E. were supported by NASA Solar System Workings grant 80NSSC19K0164 and Planetary Science Early Career Award grant 80NSSC20K1081. E.M.C. was also supported by NASA FINESST award 80NSSC22K1326. M.S.C. and E.M.C. thank M. Landis for helpful discussions about water delivery.

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These authors contributed equally: M. S. Chaffin, E. M. Cangi

Authors and Affiliations

Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA

M. S. Chaffin, E. M. Cangi, B. S. Gregory, J. Deighan & R. D. Elliott

Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

R. V. Yelle & H. Gröller

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Contributions

M.S.C. oversaw the study, performed final model calculations and the photochemical equilibrium calculation and wrote the initial text of the paper. E.M.C. developed the H-bearing and D-bearing photochemical model and nonthermal escape calculation originally used at Mars with a reaction network provided by R.V.Y. and performed initial model calculations for Venus. B.S.G. developed and ran the Monte Carlo model to generate escape probability curves. R.D.E. initially developed the Monte Carlo escape model with support from J.D. and H.G. H.G. performed pilot studies of HCO + -driven loss in the Mars atmosphere. All authors contributed to the interpretation and presentation of model results.

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Correspondence to M. S. Chaffin .

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Extended data figures and tables

Extended data fig. 1 model densities for all species..

The six panels function only to separate species for clarity.

Extended Data Fig. 2 Key photochemical model inputs.

a , Temperature profiles for neutrals, ions and electrons adapted from the inputs in ref.  28 . b , Adopted eddy diffusion profile and molecular diffusion coefficients for H and O atoms.

Extended Data Fig. 3 Implications of HCO + -driven loss for Venus ocean scenarios.

a , Escaping H production rates for the two most important processes in our model. b , Schematic water loss history of Venus.

Supplementary information

Supplementary information.

This file contains Supplementary Methods and Supplementary Tables. Merged PDF containing tables of reactions used in the model, assumed reaction rate coefficients and computed equilibrium model column rates.

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Chaffin, M.S., Cangi, E.M., Gregory, B.S. et al. Venus water loss is dominated by HCO + dissociative recombination. Nature 629 , 307–310 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-024-07261-y

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    Despite its Earth-like size and source material1,2, Venus is extremely dry3,4, indicating near-total water loss to space by means of hydrogen outflow from an ancient, steam-dominated atmosphere5,6.