Microorganisms have been used for decades as sources of antibiotics, vitamins and enzymes and for the production of fermented foods and chemicals the discovery of new antibiotics, manufacture of biofuels and bioplastics, and production of fine chemicals via biotransformation.
The development of industrial microbial processes is gaining unprecedented momentum. Increased concern for environmental issues and the prospect of declining petroleum resources has shifted the industrial focus increasingly to microorganisms as biocatalysts. At the same time systems biology and synthetic biology supply industry and academia with new tools to design optimal microbial cell factoriesTM.
Among the tools are systems biology approaches allowing the modelling of cellular networks for rational strain design, single cell analyses methods for gaining insight into population hetereogeneity, and an exciting combination of tools from structural biology and synthetic biology, permitting the catalysis of new (unnatural) enzymatic reactions or the production of new (unnatural) chemicals.
Solid-state fermentation has emerged as a potential technology for the production of microbial products such as feed, fuel, food, industrial chemicals and pharmaceutical products.Its application in bioprocesses such as bioleaching, bio-beneficiation, bioremediation, bio-pulping, etc. has offered several advantages. Utilization of agro-industrial residues as substrates in SSF processes provides an alternative avenue and value-addition to these otherwise under- or non-utilized residues. Today with better understanding of biochemical engineering aspects, particularly on mathematical modelling and design of bioreactors (fermenters), it is possible to scale up SSF processes and some designs have been developed for commercialization. It is hoped that with continuity in current trends, SSF technology would be well developed at par with submerged fermentation technology in times to come.
We are exploring the oppurtunities in SSF to development an effective fermentation technology for various industrial processes.
Algae are simple plants that can range from the microscopic (microalgae), to large seaweeds (macroalgae), such as giant kelp more than one hundred feet in length. Microalgae include both cyanobacteria, as well as green, brown and red algae
Algae can be grown using water resources such as brackish-, sea-, and wastewater unsuitable for cultivating agricultural crops. When using wastewater, such as municipal, animal and even some industrial runoff, they can help in its treatment and purification, while benefiting from using the nutrients present
We are looking to explore different bio-diversity of algae for the development of the following technologies:
Bioactive Nutraceuticals: Omega 3 PUFAs DHA and EPA Macro- and microalgae-derived cosmetics Pharmaceutical terpenoids
Food and feed: Premium sea vegetable and condiments, Animal feed, Chemicals, Ethanol, Organic fertilizer, Hydrocolloids
Bioenergy and biofuels Biomethane via Anaerobic Digestion Synthetic biofuels via thermochemical conversion.