BY ANU (CHANDIGARHCITYNEWS)
Methane, as natural gas or biogas, is the least expensive source of biofuel. The main problem with the use of methane is its non-compressing nature. The biological upgrading of this single carbon source to biofuel and high value chemicals can bring new sustainable solutions to a number of industries with large environmental footprints.
Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) in partnership with the bi-national Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), Government of India awarded prestigious SERB Indo-US Postdoctoral Fellowship to Dr. Mamta Gupta, a researcher serving the Department of Environment Science at DAV University, Jalandhar. Dr. Gupta did her Ph.D. from the Department of Environment Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India in the guidance of Professor Rupinder Tewari. After that she also worked as a Research Associate in the lab of Dr. Pradip Sen in CSIR Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, India.
This yearlong scholarship has taken her to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York the most reputed and oldest technological research university of USA. Dr. Gupta’s proposed approach is to engineer E. coli bacteria to simultaneously use methanol to produce biofuels. The proposed technology is unique and innovative and has a high probability for commercial success. As global energy requirements change and grow, it is crucial that energy infrastructures need to be adapted and changed to fulfill the promises of increasing population for power generation. Hydrocarbon liquid fuel production from natural gas/methane or methanol will help to replace a significant amount of petroleum-based liquid fuel usage while at the same time will also harvest value from a wasted resource and help to mitigate climate change issues. This project will help in exchanging information and sharing of experiences between India and US. Dr. Gupta said “I am fortunate enough to be the first one from the DAV University as a recipient of this prestigious fellowship and It was quite an honor knowing this.”