NIT Andhra Pradesh Encourages Research in Bioenergy for Sustainable Solutions

Hyderabad: National Institute of Technology Andhra Pradesh is encouraging its faculty and researchers towards advancements in the field of Bioenergy.

Bioenergy is a form of renewable energy derived from living organic materials known as biomass that can be used to meet energy demands. Biomass energy would improve energy security of developing nations like India.

Towards this, the Institute organized a five-day online faculty development programme on ‘Waste to Bio-energy: A Sustainable solution’ from 13th to 17th September 2021.

This Faculty Development Program aims to bring advancements in the field of Bioenergy through waste utilization and minimize the dependency on fossil-based fuels to improve energy security.

Addressing the inaugural event, Prof. C.S.P. Rao, Director, NIT Andhra Pradesh, said, “The demand for cleaner and greener fuels are increasing tremendously. India’s economy greatly depends on its agricultural production, which generates a lot of agro waste which is unutilized and creates problems for disposal. Thus, the demand for transforming such waste to bioenergy/biofuels is increasing rapidly. The residues generated after processing can also be utilized further as Biofertilizers. With the announcement of new Biofuels policy by the Government of India in 2018, India has focused more in the area of bio-energy and has set a target to achieve 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030. Hence research should be focused more towards utilization of waste for the production of Biofuels/bioenergy.”

This Five-day Faculty Development Programme was intended to impart advanced knowledge on bio-valorization of wastes to renewable chemicals and biofuels for faculties, scientists, and research scholars by covering the following core areas:

Ø Biofuels Production

Ø Biomass Gasification and Liquefaction

Ø Algae biorefinery

Ø Enzyme production

Ø R&D Challenges in Bioenergy

Delivering the Inaugural lecture, Dr. T. Jagan Mohan Rao, Head, Department of Biotechnology, NIT Andhra Pradesh, said, “With the rapid depletion of fossil fuels-based energy sources the need to find alternate sources of energy is increasing. In this regard the domestic and industrial waste residues will serve as the best alternative to produce a wide variety of biofuels and bioenergy. The main aim of the FDP is to bring about the recent technological advancements in the field of bioresource technology for the production of bioenergy along with value added products and waste management. Thus, this FDP will help the Scientists, faculty, and research scholar to get the updates about the latest developments in the domain of transforming the Waste to Bioenergy by finding sustainable solutions to curb the menace of various waste for the production of renewable and value-added products.”

The Top Outcomes from this five-day Online Training include:

Ø Biomass Gasification from waste

Ø Transforming waste to High value bio renewables

Ø Converting unsegregated waste to fuels and energy

Ø Biofuels and enzyme production

Ø Application of microalgae to produce biofuels

Delivering a lecture on “Biorefinery Approach toward Biofuels and Other Value-Added Products from Biomass Gasification Waste”, by Prof. Kannan Pakshirajan, IIT Guwahati, “On biomass gasification and enlightening us about the importance of biorefinery to that of petroleum refinery, pros and cons in biorefinery, biomass gasification, various methods employed in biohydrogen production, role of Carbon monoxide and the microbial consortium in transforming Carbon monoxide to biohydrogen. He also emphasized on bio and chemical catalysts for enhancing the production of biohydrogen. Role of nanoparticles in enhancing the bioavailability of CO, importance of Rhodococcus microbe for Bio oil production. He discussed the various methods employed in measuring the toxicity levels of treated waste water. Biochar production from processed waste water along with its characterization and application was also highlighted.”

Delivering the vote of thanks, Dr. Tamilmani Jayabalan, FDP coordinator, Department of Biotechnology, NIT Andhra Pradesh, said, “Prof C.S. P Rao, Director, NIT Andhra Pradesh, and Registrar in charge Dr. P. Dinesh Sankar Reddy, for gracing the occasion and sparing their valuable time for the inaugural ceremony of the FDP. Expressed his thanks to the speakers who have accepted the invitation to deliver technical lectures in the FDP. Also conveyed his thanks to Convener, Dr. T. Jagan Mohan Rao, Head, Department of Biotechnology, NIT Andhra Pradesh, and Faculty coordinator, Dr. Sanjay Kumar, for organising such an interesting FDP. He also thanked all the participants of the FDP.”

Other Top speakers at the event included:

Ø Prof. Kannan Pakshirajan, IIT Guwahati

Ø Prof. Ramakrishna Sen, IIT Kharagpur

Ø Dr. R. Vinu, IIT Madras

Ø Prof. Sanjoy Ghosh, IIT Madras

Ø Prof. R. P. Singh, IIT Roorkee

The research interests of faculty members include Microbial production of biofuel and value-added products, Waste water treatment, Bioremediation, Marine bacterial green-surfactants-&-polymers, Microbial Biotechnology, Nanobiotechnology, Microbial Enzymes, Photo-bioreactor, Modeling, Simulation and Scaling-up.