Published: 17th May 2019
Shoolini University researchers come up with eco-friendly, low-cost plan to produce biodiesel from biowaste
A provisional patent entitled 'Low cost and eco-friendly process for the production of biodiesel from biowaste' was filed by Dr Saurabh Kulshreshtha and one of his students
Depleting levels of fossil fuels and air pollution are a major concern for environmentalists around the world and a lot of emphasis is being put on biofuels and renewable resources. Biodiesel seems to be just the right solution for meeting the energy requirements of the future.
In their attempts to find a low cost and eco-friendly process for the production of biodiesel from biowaste, researchers at Shoolini University's School of Biotechnology are working on biodiesel derived from a microalgae species, Chlorella pyrenoidosa utilising Dairy wastewater as natural feedstock for the algae.
Dr Sourabh Kulshreshtha, Shoolini University, Dean of Research & Development said, "A lot of research is going on around the world on biodiesel and utilising waste for biodiesel production and it has been reported as renewable, green fuel with better engine emission properties.''
He added that biodiesel is expensive as compared to conventional diesel but researchers are working towards reducing its pricing. "Not everyone in our country is rich and can afford such items. Our land is getting degraded with pollution and conservation of energy is the most important thing that our society currently needs. Air pollution is one of the major concern for environmentalists around the world too. Thus we are always in need of biodiesel and all renewable sources," Sourabh explained.
Microalgae-derived biodiesel has also emerged as a sustainable third generation biofuel accepted worldwide. He said, "Microalgae derived biodiesel is a step towards the sustainable supply of liquid fuel to drive the world economies and our research is distinctive because we have obtained better yield utilising dairy wastewater as feedstock." He shared that the physicochemical properties of the biodiesel produced were also analysed and compared with the petrodiesel and biodiesel produced from microalgae grown in chemical fog's medium using standard analytical methods.
All the engine parameters were found to be well within the range of international standards. The results demonstrated that the engine performance parameters and emission parameters of the biodiesel produced were better than the conventional petrodiesel with a significant reduction in emission of Carbon dioxide.
Further, it was also found to be consistent with biodiesel produced from microalgae grown in chemical fog's medium but the formation of Nitrogen oxide (NOx) for B100 biodiesel from microalgae grown in dairy wastewater medium was found to be in line with petrodiesel ~ 356 ppm as per one of the limiting factors of using biodiesel as a fuel.
A provisional patent entitled 'Low cost and eco-friendly process for the production of biodiesel from biowaste' was filed by Dr Saurabh Kulshreshtha and his PhD student Sunny Bindra recently. "It was my PhD students who helped me to work on this research and made it successful," said Sourabh.
Asked about how difficult it was to get the patent for pilot services, the professor said it was not an easy task. "It would definitely take two to three years to get a patent right. So I've just filed a patent right for 'Low cost and eco-friendly process for the production of biodiesel from biowaste'. Our university is also planning to set a pilot scale plant for the biodiesel production and subsequent commercialisation," he said.
However, he also noted that it is going to take time but they will be filing the complete application for the patent by the end of this month itself.
Speaking about his future plans, he said, "As of now I'm focusing to get the patent right for my research and then to make use of the conventional energy in day to day life. Currently, I am just working on this and have not thought about future plans yet."