Abstract: Biofuels, derived from living organisms, are sustainable and eco-friendly. Unfortunately, the present biofuel projections are based on feed-stocks that are also food commodities and resources suitable for conventional agriculture. One possibility to overcome the problem is the cultivation of microalgae and switching to third generation biofuels, which seem to be a promising source since algae are able to efficiently convert sunlight, water, and CO2 into a variety of products suitable for renewable energy applications. The carbohydrates present in microalgae are considered an appropriate feedstock for microbial growth and for the production of various fermentation products. The high lipid content in algal biomass makes it promising for biodiesel production, while the related long-chain fatty acids, pigments and proteins have their own nutraceuticals and pharmaceutical applications. Therefore, microalgal biorefinery processes deserve further investigations and if the biorefinery can be coupled with enhanced CO2 sequestration then it can be a win win situation for everybody.
About the Speaker: Kaustubha Mohanty has obtained his PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur and is currently working as a Professor of Chemical Engineering at IIT Guwahati. His key research areas are biofuels, bioseparation, biological wastewater treatment, membrane technology, ionic liquids, and microalgae biorefinery and biomass pyrolysis. He has published more than 120 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and edited one book on Membrane Technology & Applications (Taylor & Francis, USA). He has supervised twelve PhD students. He is recently admitted as a Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry, UK. He is also Member of Society of Chemical Industry, London; Member of Canadian Society for Chemical Engineers.