Renewable Carbon Engineering Confluence of Modern Biological & Chemical Sciences
World depends heavily on non-renewable fossil products for its energy, materials and chemical needs. Climate trends over past two decades necessitate an aggressive path towards reducing carbon emissions and increasing use of renewable carbon. The total of available renewable carbon is likely to be a combination of first generation (food derived), second generation (non-food derived), third generation (non-land use change) and fourth generation (CO2) carbon. Mankind generates substantial quantities of under-utilized surplus agricultural wastes as also other wastes such as municipal solid wastes, municipal liquid waste and industrial wastes. All these put together have the potential to fully substitute petroleum fuel and materials requirements of the world. Thus there is a need to be able to engineer the available renewable carbon to the products in use today.
Renewable carbon however presents itself in varied and complex forms, and novel science and technology platforms are needed in order to derive desired products from these at reasonable costs. Sustainable and scalable technology platforms are being conceptualised, designed and scaled up at the DBT-ICT Centre for Energy Biosciences using combinations of chemical and biological processes that can convert carbonaceous wastes into products that are today derived from petroleum. The presentation shall broadly discuss these platforms that are likely to have impact on designing sustainable economies.