Depleting levels of fossil fuels and air pollution are a major concern for environmentalists around the world and a lot of emphases is being put on biofuels and renewable resources. Biodiesel seems to be just the right solution for meeting the energy requirements of the future.
In their attempts to find a low cost and eco-friendly process for the production of biodiesel from biowaste, researchers in the School of Biotechnology are working on biodiesel derived from a microalgae species, Chlorella pyrenoidosa utilizing Dairy wastewater as natural feedstock for the algae.
Dr Sourabh Kulshreshtha, Dean, Research and Development said, A lot of research is going on around the world on biodiesel and utilising waste for biodiesel production and it has been reported as a renewable, green fuel with better engine emission properties.
He added that biodiesel is expensive as compared to conventional diesel but researchers are working towards reducing its pricing. Microalgae-derived biodiesel has also emerged as a sustainable third-generation biofuel accepted worldwide.
He said, Microalgae derived biodiesel is a step towards the sustainable supply of liquid fuel to drive the world economies and our research is distinctive because we have obtained better yield utilising dairy wastewater as feedstock.
He shared that the physicochemical properties of the biodiesel produced were also analysed and compared with the petrodiesel and biodiesel produced from microalgae grown in chemical fogs medium using standard analytical methods. All the engine parameters were found to be well within the range of international standards.
The results demonstrated that the engine performance parameters and emission parameters of the biodiesel produced were better than the conventional petrodiesel with a significant reduction in emission of Carbon dioxide. Further, it was also found to be consistent with biodiesel produced from microalgae grown in chemical fogs medium but the formation of Nitrogen oxide (NOx) for B100 biodiesel from microalgae grown in dairy wastewater medium was found to be in line with petrodiesel ~ 356 ppm as per one of the limiting factors of using biodiesel as a fuel.
A provisional patent entitled Low cost and eco-friendly process for the production of biodiesel from biowaste was filed by Dr Saurabh Kulshreshtha and Sunny Bindra recently. Dr Kulshreshtha is working as a Professor in the School of Biotechnology while Sunny was one of his PhD students.
Dr Kulshreshtha also shared that the university is planning to set up a pilot-scale plant for biodiesel production and subsequent commercialization. But, he also noted that it is going to take time and they will be filing the complete application for the patent by the end of this month itself.