CSIR in the news..

An aggregation of news on the web about CSIR and its laboratories

Archive for October 2010

Scientists join hands to develop biofuel from microalgae

30 October 2010
BHAVNAGAR: Scientists from across the country, belonging to a consortium of nine laboratories, are working on an ambitious project called ‘New Millennium India Technology Leadership Initiative’ ( NMITLI), to develop a viable and scalable process of biofuel from microalgae, undertaken by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi. 

The laboratories are Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavnagar, Department of Marine Living Resources, Andhra University (AU), Vishakapatnam, Calcutta University (CU), Kolkata, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Technology, Khargpur (IIT-KGP), National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune, National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) and Chennai, National Institute of Interdisciplinary Science & Technology (NIIST), Thiruvananthapuram. 

“One of the objectives of this project is to generate primary data at sufficient scale and in realistic manner to ascertain the feasibility of large-scale marine microalgae biodiesel production with the most promising cultures from Indian coasts, estuarine and other water bodies. Also, the development of a viable and scalable process is the ultimate target. Scientists are also trying to figure out the solutions of hurdles in switching over to high volume, relatively inexpensive products such as microalgal biodiesel. The problem is not making microalgal biodiesel but producing sufficient algal biomass having high oil content with ease and in a cost effective manner,” said Dr Sandhya Mishra, scientist, Discipline of Marine Biotechnology and Ecology, CSMCRI.

Dr PK Ghosh, director, CSMCRI, said developing new energy sources is of prime importance for sustaining needs of the present and future Indian society. The concept of algal biofuel, a non-food source, has not yet been examined in India. India has several areas such as salt pans, tidal mudflats of Kutch in the west, lagoons and tidal deltas in the east that can be profitably explored for future exploitation.

Scientists said, at present there is large-scale production of first generation biofuels (bioethanol) from food crops such as, sugarcane, sugar beet, corn, sorghum and wheat, utilizing vast area of fertile cultivable farmland and large quantity of potable water which competes with food production and creates “food versus fuel” controversy. The second-generation biofuels derived from non-food sources such as jatropha, karanja, microalgae, microbial sources, ligno-cellulosic biomass and bio-ethers are better options for addressing the energy security and environmental concerns. Among the second generation biofuels, micro-algal biofuels appear to be most promising alternative. 

However, Mishra said, “There are hurdles like absence of Indian microalgal database available to facilitate selection of the best strains which is one of the objective that we are fulfilling through this project.”

The manufacturing process for biofuels produces less CO2 than petroleum-based fuels, but all conventional biofuels result in net positive emission of CO2. The microalgal-based HRBP process, in contrast, results in a net reduction of CO2 emission through carbon sequestration, she said.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/Scientists-join-hands-to-develop-biofuel-from-microalgae/articleshow/6843392.cms#ixzz13u2NK2ex

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Written by csirindia

October 31, 2010 at 8:49 am

Posted in CSIR

First expedition to South Pole on Nov 1

31 October 2010

NEW DELHI: India will kick off its first scientific expedition to the South Pole on Monday to analyze environmental changes in the frozen continent over the past 1,000 years, the mission leader said on Saturday.

Rasik Ravindra, head of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, is to lead a team of seven Indian scientists on the 40-day expedition from an Indian research base in the Antarctic to the South Pole.

“No one has taken the route we will be taking to the South Pole,” the 62-year-old researcher said, speaking from the centre’s headquarters at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Dona Paula.

The expedition is part of India’s ambition of drawing international attention to its scientific presence in the desolate, icy region, say scientists. The Russian-built Ilyushin-76 plane will fly out Ravindra’s scientists to the frozen continent via Cape Town in South Africa……..

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/First-expedition-to-South-Pole-on-Nov-1/articleshow/6844096.cms#ixzz13u1c2ZLL

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2010 at 8:45 am

Posted in NIO

Safer aircraft, tanks with CSIO sensor application

30 October 2010

CHANDIGARH: A fibre optic sensor, which can scan any malfunction in an aircraft while in flight or a tank, has been recently devised by Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIO) in Chandigarh for defence application. The scientific organization has been sponsored by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for making these sensors.

The sensors can pick up any mechanical, thermal or physical changes inside tanks or airplanes even in the presence of nuclear radiation which otherwise block the sensors. “These fibres are so fine that a single one can function as multiple sensors. They are light and cost effective. The sensor can also be used to gauge the explosive properties of bombs,” said CSIO director Dr Pawan Kapur.

In charge decision unit photonics at CSIO, Nahar Singh Mehla said, “These fibres are nuclear radiation resistant. And, can be used for other applications like detecting the life of a bridge or a building.” ……….

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Safer-aircraft-tanks-with-CSIO-sensor-application/articleshow/6839452.cms#ixzz13tyhKNKv

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2010 at 8:34 am

Posted in CSIO

Punjab Governor asks scientists transfer advanced technology to Industry

30 October 2010

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Shivraj V. Patil while addressing the closing ceremony of Golden Jubilee Celebration of Central Scientific Instruments Organization, here Saturday, stressed upon discussing new technological policy drafted in 1983 by Government of India which would help scientist to plan their long, medium and short term technological plans in proper manner.

He said that very few know about the directions given in this policy which was framed to help the consumers, industries and scientific institutions.
Patil said that the latest and scientific technologies are not easily available, so need of the hour is to develop latest relevant technology. He said research and development is a task which has to be done. Private and public industries are lacking behind in research and development which they should do. He said we have the resources, therefore, our long term approach should be to develop advanced technology. He said for research and development scope is enormous, strengthen is enormous, which should be used in bringing knowledge together……
Read more: http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/punjab-governor-asks-scientists-transfer-advanced-technology-industry/25511

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2010 at 8:32 am

Posted in CSIO

Task force set up for barrier-free public buildings

29 October 2010

NEW DELHI: A task force has been set up to work out details for a national centre to facilitate and support development of a barrier-free environment in public buildings, an official said Friday.

The task force headed by Samir K. Brahmachari, director general of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), will work out the establishment of the proposed National Centre for Universal Design and Barrier-free Environment (NCUDBE), said the official from the social justice and empowerment ministry.

The centre was envisaged in the Eleventh Five Year Plan……

Read more: http://sify.com/news/task-force-set-up-for-barrier-free-public-buildings-news-national-kk3t4rdgjib.html

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2010 at 8:30 am

Posted in CSIR

`More emphasis on use of alternate animal models in laboratory’

30 October 2010

LUCKNOW: The three-day international symposium of Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) has drawn participants from various parts of the world. The symposium — Alternate Animal Models in Biological Research: Present and Future Perspectives in Toxicology — was inaugurated on Friday.

D Kar Chowdhuri, convener of the symposium and deputy director, IITR, said that the symposium was conceived in 2007 as part of an international collaborative research programme between IITR and Nottingham University, UK and IIT-Kanpur as a satellite partner. He said that from traditional toxicological studies of measuring adverse effects of chemicals in laboratory animals, a shift has taken place with large-scale use of alternate animal models or in silico approaches that are likely to be of higher predictive value and avoidance of animal experimentation. Model organisms such as Drosophila and zebra fish, whose genomic functions are parallel to that of humans for key functions, have gained importance for ease of their handling, lesser ethical concern and robust predictive information relevant to humans.

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/More-emphasis-on-use-of-alternate-animal-models-in-laboratory-/articleshow/6838130.cms#ixzz13twlY1tH

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2010 at 8:26 am

Posted in IITR

Cheaper fertiliser on cards

29 October 2010
BHAVNAGAR: Farmers across the country will soon have a reason to smile as they may get fertilisers for their agricultural operations at affordable price. In a major development toward fostering domestic raw materials required for different sectors in the country, scientists of Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavnagar, a national laboratory working under the aegis of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, have undertaken an ambitious project funded by Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. DST has allotted Rs 8 crore for the project.

CSMCRI is setting up a test bed for integrated production of 0.75 TPD FCO grade SOP (sulphate of potash), 0.75 TPD of ammonium sulphate and 0.3 TPD of high purity magnesia from seawater bittern-based mixed salt through patented process at its experimental farm in Bhavnagar.

The country at present relies on potash imports, bulk of which comes as muriate of potash (potassium chloride), an important material for fertilisers. According officials, in 2008, India imported 3.25 million tonnes of potassium chloride.

Scientists say that potassium sulphate is more soil nutrient than potassium chloride and will be cheaper once largescale production begins in the country.

Deputy director of CSMCRI, MR Gandhi, who is associated with the project, said test bed, wherein integration with ammonium sulphate fertiliser and ultrapure magnesia is proposed, would add a new dimension to the nationally important project on indigenous potassic fertilisers and enable continuous technology upgradation at demonstrable scale.

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/Cheaper-fertiliser-on-cards/articleshow/6837291.cms#ixzz13twDsE5X

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2010 at 8:24 am

Posted in CSMCRI