Indian researchers produce bio fuel from carbon waste
scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU), Delhi, have found a way to convert carbonrich waste materials into bio-fuel using microbes growing in two diverse climatic conditions.
A team of researchers discovered two distinctly different species of bacteria from Aravalli marble mines near Alwar and from the high-altitude Pangong Lake in Ladakh. They also found that they can combine forces to produce bio-diesel from carbon-containing waste materials. The bacterium identified and isolated from the marble rocks in Rajasthan, called Serratia sp. ISTD04, is capable of sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide into organic compounds such as lipids. Meanwhile, lipase, which the team isolated from cold-loving bacterium Pseudomonas sp.
ISTPL3, can convert these lipids into bio-fuel.
“This lipase is nothing but an enzyme that works as a catalyst to produce bio-diesel,” said Indu Shekhar Thakur, who led the research. The findings recently appeared in two publications, Journal of Energy and Environmental Sustainability and Bioresource Technology.
According to Thakur, the microbe isolated from the marble mines not only sequesters carbon dioxide implicated in climate change, but also converts it into valuable organic compounds. This catalytic process — called transesterification — can be done using either chemical catalysts or enzymes such as the one the scientists isolated from the microbe found in the brackish water of Pangong Lake, which is shared between India and China.