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Bacterium to convert agro waste into industrial enzymes 

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Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, have identified a bacterium that can convert agricultural waste into industrial enzymes.

Bacillus sp PM 06 that researchers Sathyanarayana N Gummadi, faculty – biotechnology department and Rekha Rajesh, a research scholar, isolated, could hydrolyse very low-cost waste without pre-treatment.

There has been international interest in using agricultural waste to produce industrial enzymes and second-generation ethanol as an alternative fuel source.

Certain enzymes such as alpha-amylase and cellulase are in high demand in textiles, paper, detergent and pharmaceutical industries.

ITT researchers studied wheat bran – sago waste and rice bran residues that have a hight potential to produce industrial enzymes. However, the complex structure of these residues has made it difficult to hydrolyse the enzymes, requiring an expensive pre-treatment process. They isolated a novel strain from sugarcane press mud. 

Their study works on the principles of biomass-based bio refineries, which offer potential benefits for energy and environmental sustainability.

“The organism that we have isolated has a fermentation capacity  to hydrolyse very low lignocellulosic waste, without treatment, therefore, reducing the cost of the bioprocess,” said Mr Sathyanarayana.

“They demonstrated simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of different agro residues,” he added.

The researchers found that wheat bran was the most effective followed by sago waste and rice bran.

 






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