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NIT scientists working to develop biofuel from micro-algae

The group will formulate a road map by which biodiesel can be produced and commercialised sustainably
Last Updated : 24 August 2020, 17:40 IST
Last Updated : 24 August 2020, 17:40 IST

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Researchers from the National Institute of Technology in Tamil Nadu's Tiruchirappalli have isolated predominant strains of marine microalgal species for their potential for biofuel production, according to a statement on Monday.

T Mathimani from the National Institute of Technology started exploring alternative fuels from renewable and sustainable sources.

While different types of biofuels that have been explored recently, the use of microalgae has been strongly considered for the production of biofuel since they present a series of advantages over other biofuel feedstock, and this route to sustainable fuels inspired him, the statement said.

His submission on techniques for enhancing triacylglycerol content in marine microalgae towards economic biodiesel production received the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) faculty fellowship instituted by the Department of Science and Technology, the statement said.

“In his research supported by this award published in the journal 'Chemosphere', Mathimani and his team have isolated predominant strains of marine microalgal species, namely Picochlorum sp, Scenedesmus sp, Chlorella sp, from the coastal regions of Tamil Nadu for their potential in terms of total organic carbon content, and Triacylglycerides (TAG) content for biodiesel production,” the statement said.

They are now focusing on other microalgal candidates for their multiple biotechnological potentials and switchable polarity solvent (SPS) system based lipid extraction.

SPS is an energy-efficient switchable solvent that can be recovered devoid of any thermal processes and can be reused as a green solvent for algal lipid extraction with no effect on the environment, it added.

The group will formulate a road map by which biodiesel can be produced commercially and can be put in an energy market sustainably, the statement added.

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Published 24 August 2020, 15:29 IST

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