BIOENERGY AND BIOFUELS
With global energy demand increasing, the pressure to develop cleaner, greener alternatives has never been greater. The use of plants material (lignocellulose) in the production of liquid transportation fuels (biofuels) represent a possible solution. India and the UK face similar challenges in the sustainable, cost-effective conversion of lignocellulose into fuels. In recognition of this fact the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research council (BBSRC) and india's Department of Biotechnology (DBT) have launched a Sustainable Bioenergy and Biofuels (SuBB) joint research initiative involving leading UK and Indian researchers. The Ricefuel project is one of the four projects funded and aims to turn Rice Straw waste into fuel using the industrial microbe process organism, Geobacillus.
The RICEFUEL programme draws on the key strengths of the two research communities, and in particular INDIA's expertise/skills in rice straw pre-treatment and hydrolysis, process development and scale up combined with the UK skills/expertise in the enzyme characterisation, systems/synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. The project will cement the growing collaboration between the two communities to the benefit of both parties, and provide a natural extension to outputs from the Uk's BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC).