The use of genetic engineering and other modern biological technologies has enormous potential for the production of clean and renewable energy from biological sources. Devising cost-effective processes to produce second-generation biofuels using microalgae, and the identification of novel enzymes effective against the cellulosic biomass are two examples of how energy can be extracted from biological sources. Biotechnology also offers a concrete promise for the development of more effective, sustainable agriculture in the ICGEB Member States.
Five Groups in New Delhi develop technologies for the production of clean energy from biological sources. The goal of the Microbial Engineering Group (Yazdani) is to develop cost-effective processes to produce second generation biofuels; the Group isolates novel enzymes (cellulases, xylanases) with higher specificity towards cellulosic biomass and engineers bacteria with enzymes capable of producing biofuel from this energy source.
Current projects in the Yeast Biofuel Group (Gaur) also aim to develop a cost-effective and viable lignocellulosic biofuel technology; developing yeast strains capable of utilising C5 and C6 sugars for improved fermentation performance.
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Systems biology approaches for designing new biofuel production pathways, developing organisms which can utilise such pathways, and ultimately ensuring such products enter the production chain