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Gujarat Biotech University Researchers Developing Carbon-Free Fuel Technologies

The advancement of industrialization, as well as the exponential growth in global consumption of petroleum-based hydrocarbons, has increased the global carbon footprint. The newly established institute's researchers are working to reduce carbon emissions.

Shivam Dwivedi
Gujarat Biotech University
Gujarat Biotech University

According to officials, researchers at Gujarat Biotechnology University (GBU) are developing technologies to produce carbon-free fuel, which will eventually reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a green environment.

The research group is working on "whole-cell bio-catalysis" (WCB) for the synthesis of green fuels and biopolymers with the goal of developing a "green process concept." According to the team, the process is not only low-cost but also easily scalable on an industrial scale.

The university was founded in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh (UoE) in the United Kingdom.

The advancement of industrialization, as well as the exponential growth in global consumption of petroleum-based hydrocarbons, has increased the global carbon footprint. The newly established institute's researchers are working to reduce carbon emissions.

"Carbon burden (is) a major concern currently threatening future human sustenance, and creating green technology with carbon-free alternative fuels is the only way out," Sudheer Pamidimarri, said associate professor at GBU.

"The project began in late 2019, we got a few leads working with modern 'omics' tools and (are) now getting ready to work to execute the idea." For the first time, we will use novel metabolic-flux engineering tools to establish WCB to generate carbon-free fuels such as Bio-H2. The goal is to complete this task on a laboratory scale by 2024. "Further planning for industrial scale-up will be done," he added.

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the Government of India is funding the "Synthesis of Green Fuels" (Bio-H2) project. The synthesis of biopolymers (such as di-acids, PHBs, and amines) from waste biomass will be a future focus of this research group.

The research group developed a model based on the concept of "whole-cell biocatalysis" that would reduce the cost of the process by at least 50-fold and have a promising application in industrial scale-up. The research team is also attempting to design a whole-cell system capable of producing Bio-H2 fuel from crude glycerol and lignocellulosic biomass-derived sugars.

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