March 15, 2007

        News        Recruitments        Site Map        Feed  back


Spirulina Algal Technology

Phototrophic Bacteria



Microbial Pigments




Indigenous fermented food

Plant Tissue Culture

Tea Plantation


Bio-Fuel Technologies

Biohydrogen – A Solution to Pollution

Changes in the environment, which sustains human life are an inevitable consequence of economic development and people’s desire to expand their excellence of life. In pursuit of a better life, resources are being extracted for energy and commerce. Consequently, dispersing of pollutants to the environment and resource depletion can increase human exposure to threat in the environment. This is where MCRC is doing vital activities on ‘Saving Our Nature’ through a number of cost effective “Environmentally friendly technologies”. One among the imperative is “Biohydrogen” production from organic wastes.

Hydrogen is the promising fuel for the future due to its high conversion efficiency, recyclability and non-polluting nature. The choice of hydrogen production methods depends on the availability of feedstock or resources, the quantity and purity of hydrogen required. Biological hydrogen production is the most challenging and exigent prefecture of renewable energy technology development, especially where it involves the treatment of organic waste.

Currently, hydrogen is produced mainly from fossil fuel, biomass and water. Around 90 % of hydrogen is produced by the reactions of natural gas or light oil fractions with steam in high temperature. Coal gasification and electrolysis of water are other industrial methods for hydrogen production. These non-biological methods mainly consume fossil fuel as energy source and sometimes hydroelectricity. However, both thermochemical and electrochemical processes of hydrogen production are energy intensive and not ecofriendly, whereas, biological hydrogen production is not only ecofriendly but also lead to open up a new avenue for the utilization of renewable energy resources.

Scientists around the world are developing a wide range of processes for producing hydrogen from water using expensive technologies. MCRC is the first one who attained the pre-commercial echelon in biological hydrogen production with an ecofriendly genre after an epoch of intensive groundwork research activities over two decades by MCRC.

The idea of waste recycling (utilization) – is the most ideal alternative technology for removing pollutants from environment for bio-hydrogen generation, considered as an intriguing move toward future fuel for the next generation. Our primary focus is to develop a cost effective new technology to produce pure hydrogen from organic wastes viz., distillery, sago, and whey. Of the various wastes screened for BHP, distillery waste favoured both hetero and phototropic hydrogen producing bacterial strains of our own isolates. From our preliminary studies with bench scale, at this instant we have succeeded to pre commercial level (Treating 125 M3 distillery effluent / day) with sustained hydrogen production. Apart from energy, treatment of distillery waste also accomplishes a drastic reduction of COD and BOD upto 65 % and 90 % respectively within 48 h. Consequently, though the individual culture possesses the capability of hydrogen production, the cocktail of strains would ensure the complete exploitation of distillery waste with maximum hydrogen production. After production of hydrogen, due to the potential, the effluent can be subjected to composting, using which farmers would be benefited with concomitant profitability.

We are the first one documented the biohydrogen for electricity generation using PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) fuel cell and currently involve in developing technology package for commercialization. This work is being encouraged by Ministry of Non conventional Energy Sources (MNES) Government of India.

Either way, this technology for the scenario at this stage is good for society. For that, MCRC is pompously expressing its depiction in making emission free fuel from distillery waste by Ecofriendly route.

Research paper entitled “Hydrogen production from organic waste using defined co-culture of bacteria” has been presented and awarded as best research paper at the World Renewable Energy congress-VII, Cologne, Germany on 29th June - 5th July 2002.