A New Dimension To Algae Fuel: Far From Light And Closer To Human Needs | 12239
Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials
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The source and sink balance of fuel on earth, has been time and again challenged by the growing consumerism of fuel by
people. To meet these demands, alternative fuel technology is currently a growing industry of research, especially the use of
organisms like algae to harvest fuel, has been one of the recent developments in plant biotechnology. Algae being photosynthetic
in nature, utilizes the sugar they produce, to harvest fuel in a scientifically driven manner. However there is a limitation to the
variety of oil produced from the same algae decreasing the yield efficiency. But thanks to science, we have come up with new
skills to harvest different types of oil products from the same algae using different sugar inputs in a dark acclimatized metabolic
pathway. A few algae like Chlorella protothecoids and Botryococcus braunii are fed with rich carbohydrate sources (grass and
woodchips) in dark, where it gets converted into oil using underlying principles of fermentation. The heterotrophic growth mode
of algae favors an oil yield 3.4 times higher than autotrophic one, with a cetane rate of the fuel obtained as 74, which is ideal for
any fuel. The Oil can further be upgraded using nano-sized catalysts like commercially available calcium oxide nanocrystals
which can increase the reaction rate upto 99%.
Sandeep is pursuing his integrated MS course (majoring in biology) at the age of 20 years at Indian institute of Science Education and Research,
IISER He has also published a paper in International Journal of Biology and Pharmacy.
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