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
In Phys.Org, Yu Yonehara notes the breakthrough research from the Tokyo Institute of Technology on the connection between early marine algae and the development of terres...
The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) released the following statement calling on the EPA to include Carbon Capture and Utilization strategies in rules proposed June 2, 20...
A University of New South Wales (UNSW)-led team of researchers has discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on and off a weird qua...
Jamie Radford writes in the Illawarra Mercury that Pia Winberg, from the University of Wollongong, believes that the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia (NSW) is in...
Kyae Mone Win reports in the Myanmar Times that spirulina has been harvested from Twin Daung lake in Sagaing’s Bu Ta Lin township for over a decade, but climate change an...
Steven Mufson reports for the Washington Post that Algenol Biofuels estimates hackers have attempted to break into its computers 39 million times in four months this year...
A recent discovery in the multicellular green alga, Volvox carteri,has revealed the origin of male and female sexes, showing how they evolved from a more primitive mating...
Perth, Western Australia-based Algae.Tec Limited has announced that the Reliance Group has converted the first tranche of options following the positive progress achieved...
Channelnewsasia.com reports on three young Spaniards who harvest seaweed, a culinary delicacy, as a way for them to stay out of Spain’s troubled financial waters. 35-year...
The EPA has released the Annual Use of Pesticides in the U.S. Report. We now know that American farmers apply roughly a billion pounds of toxic chemicals intentionally in...
Using a combination of satellite imagery and laboratory experiments, researchers have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are driving the life-and-death d...
Portuguese cement facility, Secil, and microalgae biotechnology company, A4F, also based in Portugal, have formed AlgaFarm, a joint venture to develop the use of cement f...
SCHOTT AG, of Mitterteich, Germany, and Algatechnologies Ltd. (Algatech), based at Israel’s Kibbutz Ketura, have signed an R&D agreement to strengthen their partnersh...
Biplab Das reports in NatureAsia.com that a research team has found aqueous extracts of the marine brown algae Lobophoro variegate that can inhibit the replication of hum...
U.S. farmers and biofuels makers are watching for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final decision on the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard rules, which will set t...
A team of Michigan State University algae researchers have discovered a cellular "snooze button" that has the potential to improve biofuel production and offer ...
Renewable fuels company Muradel has launched Australia’s first integrated demonstration plant to sustainably convert algae into green crude, as a first step towards a com...
Hortidaily.com reports that in Nevele, Belgium, Tomalgae is growing algae in a former tomato greenhouse. Their company was formed when tomato cultivation entrepreneurs Pi...