Research

UK and India collaborating on algal bioenergy research

November 19, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

In the last 5 years, RCUK, the Government of India and third parties have together invested over £150 million in co-funded research programs.

In the last 5 years, RCUK, the Government of India and third parties have together invested over £150 million in co-funded research programs.

Over £4M of UK funding, with matching resources from India, has been awarded to three research projects that bring together expertise in sustainable algal bioenergy and biofuels from both countries.

The funding is a result of the Sustainable Bioenergy and Biofuels (SuBB) initiative funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research council (BBSRC) in the UK and Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in India.

“This funding has enabled cross-disciplinary projects that underpin the generation and implementation of sustainable, advanced, bioenergy in order to address the urgent need to find alternatives to fossil fuels,” said Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive.

The announcement was made as a part of UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Mark Walport’s keynote address during Research Councils UK (RCUK) India’s recent fifth anniversary celebrations in New Delhi. These new projects form a part of the £150M UK-India research portfolio that RCUK India has facilitated since 2008.

The algal research projects include Durham University and the Institute of Chemical Technology working together in a bid to produce biofuel from seaweed. Green macroalgae, or seaweeds, are a common sight on UK shorelines and have astonishing growth rates. Dr. John Bothwell and Professor Arvind M. Lali hope to take advantage of this to create sustainable energy by converting seaweeds into fuel. The project will receive £1M from BBSRC with matched resources from DBT.

“Using standard crop-breeding techniques, we hope to produce economically productive seaweed strains that can be grown safely and sustainably around the UK’s coastline. We will also look at harnessing the natural processes by which seaweeds are broken down in order to make use of enzymes and microbes that are capable of converting the seaweed biomass into advanced biofuels,” said Dr. Bothwell.

In another project the University of Sheffield and Bharathidasan University will investigate the possibility of using microalgae to convert solar energy and carbon dioxide into the precursors of fuel. Dr. Seetharaman Vaidyanathan and Professor Lakshmanan Uma believe that a greater understanding of their metabolism could help in making use of microalgae’s natural abilities for industrial purposes.

“We believe that a greater understanding of microalgae metabolism, derived through a systems approach, will … enable development of sustainable processes for bio-energy generation. We aim to combine UK and Indian facilities and expertise to carry out detailed systems level characterization on selected isolates that will lead to manipulation of microalgae metabolism for enhanced productivities of biofuel precursors, through informed process optimizations and strain developments,” said Dr. Seetharaman Vaidyanathan.

Bharathidasan University has already established a repository of marine microalgae that has over 500 microalgae isolates in its collection for investigation. The project will receive £1.2M from BBSRC with matched resources from DBT.

Dr. Carole Llewellyn from Plymouth Marine Laboratory and Dr. N Thajuddin, of Bharathidasan University, will also pursue a research project regarding growing microalgae in wastewater. “We want to understand the complex and dynamic systems and interactions in wastewater communities. Currently we have a poor understanding on the composition, development, function and interactions occurring within these microalgae and bacteria communities. This funding will help us find out what is there, how they compare and what are they doing. This will be important if we want to produce biofuel from them as the quantity and quality that can be made will be related directly to the growth and the composition of the communities, which in turn is dependent on interactions within it,” said Dr. Llewellyn.

Read More

More Like This…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2013 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
AIMPLAS, a Center for Innovation and Technology in Valencia, Spain, and Biofuel Systems, a wholly Spanish-owned firm that has developed a method of breeding plankton and ...
Alltech, the animal feed giant headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, is continuing to expand its 15,000 ton/yr. algal DHA plant in Winchester, KY, one of only two plants ...
In the 1970s, following the regrouping of small farms into large production centers, the Soviet Union was experiencing serious problems with epidemics of cancer and low p...
Peter Berlin reports for France24.com that French adventurer Raphaël Dinelli plans to fly across the Atlantic in 2015 in a plane powered only by algae and sunshine. Dinel...
Natural Algae Astaxanthin manufacturers Fuji Chemical Industry Co Ltd., Algatechnologies Ltd. and Cyanotech Corporation have announced that they will form the “Natural Al...
OriginOil Inc. has announced a collaboration with Israel’s AquaGreen Fish Farms, Ltd. to further streamline their zero-discharge aquaculture systems for the production of...
Solazyme has announced that commercial operations have begun at both Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)’s Clinton, Iowa facility, and the downstream companion facility ...
Heliae, SCHOTT North America and Arizona State University (ASU) have announced a partnership to bring Heliae’s algae production technology to ASU’s algae testbed facility...
Natural carotenoid specialists Piveg Inc., with production facilities based in Celaya, Central Mexico, has announced immediate availability of natural astaxanthin materia...
University of Adelaide researchers are using nanotechnology and the fossils of diatoms to develop a novel chemical-free and resistance-free way of protecting stored grain...
The University of Greenwich is leading a €10m international project, called the ‘D-Factory,’ to build a biorefinery to develop the microalga Dunaliella as a sustainable r...
Biomass abounds on Earth, as forests, fields, sewage and seaweed. But only a small fraction, mostly human or agricultural waste, can be harvested without posing environme...
Algae.Tec Ltd has received its first purchase order from Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL), in connection with the arrangements announced on Ja...
In a global scenario where increasing attention is being directed towards issues of sustainability and limited food supplies, algal sources offer immense scope for the ra...
Solazyme, Inc. has announced results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2013. “2013 was a year of great progress for Solazyme as we readied our first...
Valensa International and Contract Biotics have announced that Contract Biotics has started construction of an additional six acres of algae production units at the compa...
Technical standards define critical terms and metrics to add wisdom for the algae industry. Agreement among science and business leaders represents possibly the most diff...
Algatechnologies (“Algatech”), Israel, has announced a more than 100% expansion of its production capacity of AstaPure® brand natural astaxanthin. This doubling of capaci...
One of 12 winners of the 2014 Lexus Design Award, the Ooho algae balloon was created by three London-based designers to contribute a solution to the rising number of plas...
Algae is being discussed at the heart of EXPO Milano 2015, the international event that has existed since 1851, spawning world shaping themes and icons, such as the Eiffe...
Libourne, France-based Fermentalg, an industrial biotechnology company that specializes in the production of oils and proteins derived from microalgae, has completed a su...