Archive for October 2010
“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.
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.
31 October 2010
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……..
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.
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.” ……….
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.
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……
30 October 2010
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.
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.