• Biofuels
  • Bioenergy
  • Green Engineering
  • Bioprocess/Bio Chemical Engineering

 Expertise:

Our research activities hover around developing biofuels, biomaterials. Our laboratory group worked on research questions involving bio-derived materials, bio-mining, bio-wealth from waste, bio lubricant, bioremediation and bio encapsulation technology.

Currently, our research focus is on green chemical engineering. Particularly, our research group is working on environmentally benign technologies such as biomaterials to produce renewable transportation fuels, bio-catalysts, biomaterials, bio-chemicals and bio electro chemical systems.

 Bio-derived energy/Biofuels:

Biofuels production from lignocellulose particularly, from non-edible biomass such as empty fruit biomass, Jatropha and other agricultural waste into Ethanol, green gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. These are bio lubricants, drop-in fuels for replacement of the existing gasoline, diesel, shipping industry and jet fuels which come from petroleum crude. Our group has been working with production of biodiesel by using Palm, Jatropha as starting material on encapsulated immobilized lipase.

In recent days, bio catalysts are used in a wide variety of industrial applications to accelerate the rates of chemical/biochemical transformations. Heterogeneous catalysts are used in petroleum refining, biochemical /chemical manufacturing, and pollution control. Biocatalysts (enzymes) are of vital importance in the production of transportation fuels from renewable resources. We have developed new highly efficient bio-catalytic processes for converting bio-based fats and oils (triglycerides) into transportation fuels and converting byproduct glycerol into value-added chemicals. Bioethanol production in the US and world over has expanded rapidly driven by high petroleum prices and government incentives for biomass-derived alternative fuels. Starch (from corn, wheat, barley, sweet potatoes, and other crops) and cellulosic biomass can be used as sources of sugars for fermentation to ethanol. We have worked with industry to gain a better understanding of fuel biodiesel production via simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of empty fruit bunch mash using lipase enzymes.

Biopolymers/Nanotechnology/ Biomaterials:

Our research group conducted research on lactic acid producing bacteria, nano particle development and production of bio materials. Further, we have worked on bio degradable materials from agricultural biomass and poly lactic acid from non-food sources.

Bio-catalyst Development:

There is abundance of non-edible biomass grown sustainably to replace about one third of the world’s petroleum resources. Our research is focused on new and renewable bio-catalyst toward sustainably-produced renewable fuels.

  • Bio-catalytic conversion of biomass into liquid fuels.
  • Pyrolysis, via hydro-de-oxy-generation of catalytic fast pyrolysis oil.
  • Using alternate feedstock (CO2 and biomass) to generate high-value chemicals and drop-in transportation fuels.

 Bio-electrochemical systems:

Bio-electrochemical Systems are integrated systems, combining wastewater treatment with energy generation and resource recovery. One such application is microbial fuel cells. An attempt was made to treat domestic waste water and generate bio-power using mixed culture.  Microbial fuel cells for waste water treatment and power generation.

Bio-mining:  Our research group work was devoted to bioleaching. We were to find optimal conditions for bioleaching of uranium, copper and nickel from sulfide ores (from one of the mines).  We focused our interest in experiments with leaching microorganisms under different conditions (temperature, concentrations of metals, mixed cultures).

Bio-Wealth from Waste: Single cell protein was produced on solid state fermentation from de-oiled rice bran etc.

Bioremediation / Biosorption: The wood rotting fungus, P. chrysosporium has great potential for its application in environmental clean-up technologies. Henceforth, the study investigated characterization of the combined effluents and the metal biosorption. A specific fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium, of Basidiomycetes, was used for bioremediation studies.

 Bio encapsulation Technology: Developing encapsulation technology for further applications in various fields. Encapsulation of microbial cells and enzymes for effective reaction mechanisms for value added products