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Biofuels

Boosting Biofuel Research in the Subcontinent

| Editor: Frank Jablonski

The Website of IndianOil, a company that through its DBT-IOC center located at Faridabad, has been actively pursuing development of microalgae as a source of alternative fuel.
The Website of IndianOil, a company that through its DBT-IOC center located at Faridabad, has been actively pursuing development of microalgae as a source of alternative fuel. (Picture: Indian Oil)

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A new centre to boost microalgae as a source of alternative fuel has been inaugurated by Indian Oil and the Department of Biotechnology in Faridabad.

New Delhi – In a significant development aimed at boosting research in bio-fuels in India on micro-algae technology, Indian Oil and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) have jointly set up a ‘Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy Research’. This center is located on the campus of Indian Oil's R&D center at Faridabad. Following this, IOC-DBT Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy Research has signed an agreement with LanzaTech, USA, to further develop IOC-DBT's micro-algae technology.

Signed Agreement

This agreement was recently signed by Executive Director and Centre Coordinator, IOC-DBT Centre, Dr D K Tuli and CEO, LanzaTech, Dr Jennifer Holmgren in the august presence of Secretary, DBT, Dr Vijay Raghwan; Chairman, IndianOil, R S Butola; Director (R&D), IndianOil, Dr RK Malhotra; Director (Planning & Business Development), IndianOil, Mr AMK Sinha; Adviser, DBT, DrRenuSwarup. This agreement entails development of an acetate-to-lipids pathway, and evaluation of its suitability for LanzaTech's CO2 gas fermentation technology. This research will enable tying up algae growth to the waste gas fermentation process of producing ethanol. All the patents and commercial rights shall be vested in the IOC-DBT Centre.

Microalgae as a Source of Alternative Fuel

Microalgae are microscopic organisms capable of producing lipids which can be easily converted to liquid bio-fuels and even aviation fuels. Acetates, a byproduct of several commercial processes, are a cost effective source used for boosting algal growth. Realizing the potential of microalgae to produce biofuels, extensive efforts are underway globally to improve the strains of microalgae and their growth profile. IndianOil, through its DBT-IOC center located at Faridabad, has been actively pursuing development of microalgae as a source of alternative fuel.

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