Role of microbes in production of environment friendly green energy: Biofuel

ফসিল ফুয়েল তো শেষ হয়ে আসছে। উপায় খুঁজছেন বিজ্ঞানীরা। নীল-সবুজ শৈবাল থেকে বায়োফুয়েল তৈরি করার উপায় খুঁজছেন গবেষকরা। অনেকটাই এগিয়ে গিয়েছেন তাঁরা। পড়ুন।

The reduction of fossil-based fuels lead to a need to find an alternative sustainable sources of clean and green energy. Biofuel may becoming an useful alternatve in the development and deployment of renewable energy resources for fuels. Biofuel is made from renewable biological sources. Biofuel can also be produced from microbial sources like algae, bacteria, fungi etc.

The researchers at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) of New Delhi centre are developing a method to improve the growth rate and sugar content of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002, a marine microorganism. Biofuel production is dependent on the availability of low-cost and sustainable supply of sugars and nitrogen source. Department of Biotechnology sponsored the research. Researchers have published a report on their work in journal ‘Biotechnology for Biofuels’.

pix of Microorganism
Microorganism Pix- Wikipedia

Sugars come from plants. Plants utilize light energy through the process of photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into biological components like sugar. However, blue-green algae too can perform photosynthesis and produce sugar by converting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The yield of sugars from blue-green algae could potentially be much higher than that of land-based plants. Further, these provide a nitrogen source in the form of proteins.

Blue-green algae are found in both fresh and marine waters. Using marine blue-green algae could be better as freshwater is increasingly getting scarce. But there is a need to improve their sugar content in order to confirm the economic feasibility. Researchers from ICGEB has achieved this by the leadership of Dr. Shireesh Srivastava and a Ph.D. student Jai Kumar Gupta. They have successfully engineered a marine cyanobacterium (blue-green algae) called Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 which showed a higher production rate of sugar (glycogen) content.

Dr. Srivastava said that Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 is a model marine cyanobacterium. When grown on air, the growth was doubled and the glycogen content increased by about 50%. They are now conducting several follow-up studies related to this work.

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