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PAN IIT Bio-energy Centre

PAN IIT Bio-energy Centre constitutes a network of 32 investigators from 5 IITs working on 5 thematic areas

This is the largest virtual bioenergy center recently established by DBT comprising 22 sub-projects under seven groups.

The group wise achievements are briefed below:

Cyanobacterial Biofuels
13C flux analysis of cyanobacteria was initiated and results were obtained for dynamic flux analysis of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002. A fully annotated and validated genome scale metabolic model was developed for Synechococcus sp PCC 7002. Approximately 50% of the proteome was covered by means of LCMS analysis and 1160 proteins were detected from the protein extracts.

Genetic Engineering of Algae
Few algal strains were screened for starch content and analysis revealed that the Chlorella sp.accumulated more starch (~22%) compared to Scenedesmus sp. (10%) after 30 days of growth.

Algal Bioenergy: Process Engineering
Harvesting of Chlorella MJ 11/11 and Synechocystis PCC 6803 performed using flocculation with efficiency of 98% and 85%, respectively, with ferric chloride (400 mg L-1), and 98-98, 5% with chitosan (25 mg L-1).

Algal pretreatment for H2 production performed by HCl, heat, autoclaving, sonication, and H2O2; H2 producing bacterial strains (Klebsiella pneumoniae IITBT-08, Citrobacter freundii) identified in lab, with H2 production of 1330 mL/L.

Biochemical, Thermochemical and electrochemical conversion
Design and fabrication of dual chamber and sediment MCC completed. Clay/Pd based catalysts turned effective for model compound (squalene) for algae oil conversion. These catalysts were found to be promising for algal oil saturation/hydrogenation.

Rational strategies for enzyme and strain improvement
Sequence & structure comparison of Ct43Araf (Clostridium thermocellum) with HiAXHd3 (Humicola insolens) showing conserved sub-site residues F165, G183 and N184 were mutated to Alanine. The above mutations are directed towards enhanced activity of Ct43Araf. Out of the strains procured, it was found that C. acetobutylicum MTCC 11274 and C. sporogenes NCIM 2918 produced 11. 8 g/L and 11. 7 g/L of butanol respectively, when grown on optimized media. Solvent tolerance experiments showed butanol toxicity at 10-15 g/L. Kinetics studies based on differential acid phase and solvent phase are being carried out.

Bioreactor Design
An initial, non-adaptive, version of the proposed Predictive Control (AMPC) toolbox for control of a fed-batch simultaneous saccharification and fermentation system has been developed and experimentally verified.