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.
Biofuels and Industrial Biotechnology
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.
The Group further uses the metabolic engineering and synthetic biology approaches to produce high density fuels and green chemicals. Current projects in the Yeast Biofuel Group (Gaur) aim to develop a cost-effective lignocellulosic material-based technology for fuels and chemical production.
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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