IIT Roorkee working on National Energy Bioscience Program of DBT
 Govt of India for sustainable biofuel production

Institute hosts two-day National Workshop on Bioenergy to boost commercial success in the sector
ROORKEE, 10th July 2018: Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee hosted a two days’ workshop on 6th and 7th July, National Workshop on Bioenergy to bring together on a common platform the experts from all Four Centers of Bioenergy that were established by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
The objective was to facilitate exchanging of ideas and issues that can boost the commercial success of bioenergy sector in India. The workshop was coordinated by the Department of Biotechnology, IIT Roorkee.
Prof. M. S. Ananth, Chairman SAC, Former Director, IIT Madras in his message told that DBT-Pan IIT centre has altogether 13 technologies under different stage of development. It has good number of international publication and patent.
Delivering the opening remarks, Dr. Sangita M. Kasture, Scientist, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, said, “The DBT started four Centers on bioenergy dedicated to translational research. The centers are DBT-Pan IIT Centre for Bioenergy, DBT-IOC Centre for Advanced Bioenergy Research, Faridabad, DBT-ICGEB Centre for Advanced Bioenergy Research, New Delhi and DBT-ICT Centre for Energy Biosciences, Mumbai.” She briefed the workshop about the objectives and functionalities of these centers.
Prof. R. P. Singh Keynote speaker, IIT Roorkee said, “Among the key discussions of this workshop was 2G bioethanol, biodiesel and biohydrogen production, which is cleaner and greener form of energy. Speakers stressed on the role of microalgae in biofuel production which has various engineering strategies at gene level that can significantly enhance the efficiency of microalgal cell for biofuel production. Various speakers spoke on large scale manufacturing of 2G bioethanol which is necessary on an urgent basis to meet set target.”
Addressing the workshop, Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, said, “The Energy bioscience program is one of the key programs of DBT, GoIfor sustainable biofuel production. The DBT-Pan IIT center for bioenergy is an initiative with five IITs (IITs Bombay, Kharagpur, Guwahati, Jodhpur and Roorkee), which has all laboratories contributing towards science and technical breakthroughs for developing new generation of sustainable and cost-effective technologies for biofuel production.”
The conference had a total of eight sessions including a techno-entrepreneur development session.
Addressing the forum during the workshop, Shri Rajnath Ram, Joint Advisor, NITI Aayog, said, “Entrepreneur development in the bioenergy sector is very important. This event will enable industry academia collaboration to exchange their experience and share best practices for development and commercialization of advanced biofuels. The policy on bioenergy, 2018 has been out in which government is targeting to achieve 20% blending of ethanol in gasoline by 2020.”
Speaking about the contribution of IIT Roorkee to this field, Dr. Sanjoy Ghosh, Associate Professor, Department of IIT Roorkee, said, “A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee has achieved a measure of success in the area of second generation alternative biofuel technology. Biothanol obtained from lignocellulosic biomass are known as second generation biofuel.”
A total of 31 oral and 44 poster presentations took place during these two days. Professors, scientists, researchers from all four energy centers and all IITs participated in this two days’ national event.
Among the major conclusions of discussions during the Workshop was that India realizes the need of production of other high value product along with biofuel to make the biofuel industry self-sustainable. Gas fermentation for energy production was also a hot topic of discussion. It was decided to encourage young scientists to take up an objective-oriented project aiming for commercialization. Research work on enzyme engineering involved in biofuel production and genetic modification of biofuel needed further impetus from the Government.
Other important speakers included Dr. Anjan Ray, Director, IIP Dehardun, Prof. P. Wangikar, Coordinator, DBT-Pan IIT and Prof A.M. Lali, Coordinator ICT Mumbai Dr. S. Shams Yazdani, Coordinator ICGEB Delhi Center, Dr. S. K. Puri, Coordinator IOC Faridabad and Prof. D. Das, IIT Kharagpur. Since, it was an open platform, people came from all over India ranging from north eastern states such as Assam to Maharastra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Haryana participated. There was also participation from Government of India with the Union Ministry of Science and 
Technology and Niti Aayog sending representatives along with various industries and entrepreneurs.
The workshop will help to increase awareness in the policy makers about the challenges faced by the investors from industry for commercial scale up of advanced bioenergy projects. The outcome of this national event will be increasing collaboration and cooperation among the scientists and industries for speeding up commercialization of biofuel production through latest and advanced R&D.