DBT as nodal agency for Mission Innovation is coordinating national efforts in clean energy
Mission innovation aims to escalate the pace of clean energy innovation to achieve performance breakthroughs and cost reductions to provide widely affordable and reliable clean energy solutions that will revolutionize energy systems throughout the world over the next two decades and beyond.
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has been identified as nodal agency to coordinate national efforts in clean energy for Mission Innovation activities on behalf of Government of India. DST, Ministry of Power and MNRE are other ministries participating in addressing the challenges. India will be partnering in all the challenges. India will be leading the Smart Grids innovation challenge and co-lead the sustainable biofuels innovation challenge and is collaborating in all the challenges identified.
On 2nd June last year, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Indian Minister Science & Technology and Earth Sciences led an Indian delegation to the Mission innovation Ministerial meet at San Francisco. During the meeting, Minister Harsh Vardhan announced India’s current investment ($72 million) and doubling plan ($145 million) in Clean Energy Research by formal announcement on new joint collaborations with Mission Innovation Countries was also made by the Hon’ble Minister.
Rapid and continuous Cellulosic ethanol technology by DBT-ICT Center being transferred to OMCs
The DBT-ICT 2nd Generation-Ethanol Technology was translated successfully to a demonstration scale plant capable of processing 10 tons biomass/day. This plant has been erected by India Glycols Ltd. (IGL) with financial assistance from BIRAC. The future biomass bio-refinery at IGL aims to produce lignin & sugar from biomass waste and convert these to alcohol for production of ‘green’ monoethylene glycol, bio-CNG, and materials that are equivalent to PET, in addition to chemical solvents like furfural and ethyl acetate and even foods like glucose and fructose. Other DBT Bioenergy Centers are developing alternate technologies and enzymes required for breaking down the biomass.
Technologies identified to convert Municipal Solid / Liquid Waste to Energy
DBT-ICT Centre for Energy Biosciences, Mumbai is a unique institute that integrates basic and translational science capabilities for bioprocess development and scale up. The 10 ton/day biomass demonstration facility based on the novel DBT-ICT Lignocellulosic Ethanol Technology, the development of novel ‘Hybrid Technology’ for the treatment of municipal solid waste (MSW) and municipal liquid waste (MLW) and the commissioning of 1000L modular photobioreactors designed for autotrophy as well as mixotrophy growth of algae are some of the salient achievements for the Centre.
Promising strains from algal bio-fuel repositories of microalgae & cynobacteria taken forward for biomass production at low cost
Algae biofuels may provide a viable alternative to fossil fuels. However, a number of hurdles like strain identification and improvement, both in terms of oil productivity and crop protection, nutrient and resource allocation and use, and the production of co-products to improve the economics of the entire system need to be overcome for optimum utilization of the technology. DBT is working to support research on some of these challenges. Some promising strains have been identified from bio-fuel repositories of micro-algae & cyano bacteria and taken forward for biomass production at low cost.
Effluent from textiles, paper mills & kitchen waste converted to energy
With DBT’s support technologies are underway to convert effluent from textiles, paper mills & kitchen waste to energy at many institutes.
DBT-IOC centre developed capability for Life Cycle Analysis
DBT IOC Centre for Advanced Bioenergy Research, Faridabad is a finest example of collaboration of DBT with an industry. The centre has established protocols for Life Cycle Assessment and GHG emission evaluation of all grades of biofuels. Unique process for CO2 fermentation and conversion to lipids has been carried out and a pilot is under installation. Development of enzymes needed for cellulosic ethanol is a major programme of the centre. It is planning a 10 ton/day cellulosic ethanol green field plant to be operational by Q2 2019.