Energy Science & Waste to value

Department of Biotechnology has been promoting R&D for biofuel technology development recognizing the need for clean and renewable energy for transportation. Government of India has recently in June 2018 announced new policy on Biofuels and an indicative target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel is proposed by 2030. Department has taken significant efforts in this direction with major focus on 2nd generation biofuels. A platform created to connect more than 200 Scientists working in Biofuel area.

Energy Bioscience Division has been promoting cutting edge research in Biofuel areas through Centre of Excellence, extramural projects, fellowship schemes and international co-operation. Capabilities developed in Systems and Synthetic Biology with demonstrated laboratory work. International cooperation in Biofuel is strengthened through Mission Innovation and Biofuture Platform.


Mandate of DBT is to make available cost effective biofuel technology by improving feedstock or developing new feedstock, improvement of biofuel production technologies, development of enzymes/ microorganisms for higher yields of biofuels, development of advance biofuels, development of value added products from by-products etc. During 2018 the major focus has been on generating energy from Waste like Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and Municipal Liquid Waste (MLW) under Swachh Bharat Mission.

DBT has setup following 4 Bioenergy Centres:

Success Stories

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  • Technologies/ products developed at following 4 DBT-Bioenegy Centers are taken forward for scale up/ demonstration at pilot scale. Most of the research outcome published in 40 publications and protected by filing 7 patents. Details can be seen at respective websites.
  • The DBT-IOC Centre for Advanced Bioenergy has installed and commissioned India’s first continuous Steam Explosion pilot plant & Extractor system. This 300 kg/day pre-treatment pilot facility shall be used for developing process technology for 2G ethanol agnostic to feedstock (cotton, mustard stalk etc). The Centre has successfully scaled up its enzyme technology at 5 KL fermenter at third party premises with 8 FPU/ml activities. The whole enzyme broth material was evaluated at 1MT/Day pilot plant of M/s Praj Industries, Pune. The enzyme showed comparable hydrolysis efficiency to the commercial enzyme. Center has filed 3 patents and published 5 papers.

CO2 to High Value Lipids Pilot Plant at DBT-IOC Center, Faridabad

  • DBT-ICT Centre added two major milestones. The first-of-its-kind robotic platform explorerTM G3 Workstation for high-through put microbial & enzymes screening and molecular biology routines, was installed at the Centre in partnership with Perkin-Elmer, India/Germany/USA. The facility has resulted in giving speed to developments in enzyme and microbial innovations alongside synthetic biology involving multiple microbial chassis for various target products.
  • DBT-ICGEB Centre for Advanced Bioenergy Research developed the efficiency of cellulase enzymes, which can be used for hydrolysis of pretreated biomass to produced sugars. These sugars are than fermented to produce ethanol named DICzyme-1 developed using engineered fungal strain also validated from third party. Industrial collaboration with industry partner initiated for scaling up the enzyme production. In addition to catabolite repressor Mig1 deletion to obtain PfMig188 fungal strain, a fungal enhancer ClrB has been over expressed to improve the enzyme efficiency further and reach the cellulase protein titer to 16 g/L in the extracellular medium.

Waste to Energy (Swachh Bharat Mission)

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  • DBT has participated in National Swachh Bharat Mission through supporting research projects on generation of energy from waste. A total 8 waste to energy projects initiated to develop / demonstrate novel and viable technologies for sustainable utilization of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) for cleaner and pollution free environment as well as generation of the energy.
  • During year 2018 focus has been on demonstration of technologies to convert waste into energy and value added products. A major demo plant for Barapullah sewage treatment technology demonstration is being set up by DBT-ICT Centre demonstration plant of capacity 1 MLD based on microalgae tubular photobioreactor technology.
  • Efforts taken to bring together stakeholders by organizing National Workshop on Waste to Energy Technologies and Way Forward in Sept 2018 in Pune.

Mission Innovation Programme

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  • International Cooperation in Clean Energy has been strengthened with significant progress made under both Mission Innovation (MI) and Biofuture Platform (BP) programs. Department of Biotechnology as the nodal agency has been coordinating these programs in coordination with other line ministries. Sustainable Biofuel is one of the eight Innovation hallenges and Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) made of commitment of USD 5 M. Against this FOA for proposal, 111 LoIs received and detailed proposal are invited for shortlisted LoIs. The selected projects would be announced during Mission Innovation 4th Ministerial in May 2019. Based on proactive participation of India in various MI activities, India has been given additional responsibility to Co-lead Analysis and Joint Research sub group along with Canada. More details about Mission Innovation India activities elaborated under Mission Programmes can be accessed at
  • Bio- Fuel

  • Under Mission Innovation program, Funding Opportunity Announcement made for Sustainable Biofuel Innovation challenges to invite proposals for identified gap areas for R&D and demonstration. India is also an active member of Biofuture Platform which is an action oriented program to accelerate development and deployment of Biofuels and bio coordinated currently by Brazil.
  • India is actively engaged in global calls (MI Challenges), to action aimed at accelerating Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) for Clean Energy Development. India is an active participant in all the eight MI challenges and is a co-lead in three challenges (Smart Grids, Off-Grid access to Electricity and Sustainable Biofuels). In 2018, India has been actively focusing and working, on key Mission Innovation tasks of Information sharing, Analysis and Joint Research, Business and Investor Engagement and being part of the MI Ministerial Planning team. Active participation in 3rd Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI-3) in Malmos Sweden from 22nd - 23rd May, 2018: The Hon’ble Minister Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan led the delegation for the 3rd Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI-3) and Ninth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM9) meeting held at Malmo Sweden where Minister announced Champions Programme and Launch of International Clean Energy Incubator.
  • An International Conference on Sustainable Biofuels was organized with active participation of Biofuture platform in February 2018. The New Delhi declaration was released for Sustainable Biofuels, highlighting intent of MI countries to work in collaboration mode in development and deployment of sustainable biofuels on commercial scale by sharing best practices

International Conference on Sustainable Biofuel 2018

Bio- Fuel

  • Supporting Public Private Partnerships and Innovation in India: Clean Energy International Incubation Centre (CEIIC): The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India and its Public Sector Undertaking, BIRAC have joined hands with Tata Trusts, to set up the first “Clean Energy International Incubation Centre (CEIIC)” in Delhi under “Mission Innovation”. The incubator will support a wide spectrum of clean energy innovations and the centre is open to innovators from MI countries ensuring synergy in fund flows and more concerted efforts in supporting the growth of new and clean energy solutions internationally.
  • Clean Energy Investments and Technology Innovation in India: IEA and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, a joint project focused on assessment of Indian R&D investments in clean energy development by Public and Private sector in India has been proposed. The project is conceived to provide support to India’s actions under the Mission Innovation initiative, in cooperation with key relevant national stakeholders and government entities. A successful round table meeting between MST and IEA concluded on 6th December 2018.The round table meeting worked around to develop a working relationship between the key staff from the IEA and relevant Government of India Ministries(MEA, DST, DBT, Ministry of Power, MNRE, MoPNG, MoES, MoEFCC), Public Sector Units (BEE, BIRAC), energy RD&D funding and policy organizations, Indian R&D Data and Energy programmes, building a common foundation for the ensuing project work to implement the MoU. The roundtable meeting effectively brought out a range of valuable information and experiences on energy innovation in India and data tracking methodologies being used by IEA in other countries of the world.
  • Supporting the Clean Energy Champions: Mission Innovation Champions proposed a recognition programme to celebrate and support innovative individuals who are accelerating the clean energy revolution. India has actively participated in the MI Champions programme and screening is ongoing. Currently 21 applications from India have been selected and after a peer to peer review a Panel review is currently under process. The selected International Champion selected from India side, shall get an opportunity to meet the Ministers at the 4th Mission Innovation Ministerial. Four national champions shall be selected exemplifying innovations to accelerate clean energy innovations in India.
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  • Supporting Breakthroughs in Global Cooling Technologies (Affordable Cooling Technologies):Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Union Minister of Science and Technology, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Earth Sciences, Government of India formally launched the Global Cooling Prize - an innovation challenge to develop a cooling technology with 5X less climate impact.
  • Analysis and Joint Research Support: India being an active member of AJR sub-group, has actively participated in the design, schedule, conduct and scoring of ongoing assessment of the Innovation challenges as set by the Mission Innovation Secretariat.

Outcome of last 5 years

  1. No. Of Publications 232
  2. No. Of patents filed/granted 11/8
  3. No. Of technologies developed/licensed/commercialized/Start-up created 11/1
  4. No. Of manpower trained 150
  5. Major facilities supported/created
    1. National Repository for Microalgae and Cyanobacteria - Freshwater (NRMC-F) is a sponsored project by Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India (DBT) from the year 2015. The Repository would carry out an extensive survey of the freshwater bodies including those in coastal areas of South India to explore the spatial and temporal diversity of freshwater microalgae and cyanobacteria and their relation to abiotic ecological factors. Along with this the diverse biotechnological applications of microalgae and cyanobacteria towards production of biofuels, proteins, pigments, bioactive compounds will also be explored.
    2. Bio- Fuel

      Microalgae and Cynobactrial repository (NRMC) at Bhartidasan University
    3. DBT-TERI Center of Excellence Project Integrated Production of Advanced Biofuels and Biocommodities
    4. Three demonstration projects are being commissioned for converting Municipal Solid Waste into Energy based on three different technologies.

Any other relevant information which needs to be highlighted (if any)

India is also an active member of Biofuture Platform which is an action oriented, country-led, multi-stakeholder mechanism for policy dialogue and collaboration among 20 leading countries to accelerate development and scale up deployment of modern sustainable low carbon alternatives to fossil based solutions in transport, chemicals, plastics and other sectors. Based on inputs provided by 20 member countries and partners a report on Creating Biofuture for low carbon bioeconomy has been developed and released on 10th December during High Level meeting at COP 24 held in Katowice, Poland. More details about Biofuture Platform may be seen at website

Call for Proposal for current FY or New Programme Launched (if any)

Mission Innovation is a global initiative to accelerate widespread public and private clean energy innovation for an effective long term global response towards climate challenge. The aim is to provide an affordable and reliable energy for everyone, promoting economic growth which is critical for energy security. The Mission Innovation programme is being coordinated by Department of Biotechnology, as a key nodal agency and facilitating national efforts in collaboration with concerned ministries to promote RD&D efforts to accelerate clean energy innovations. Funding Opportunity Announcements for Carbon Capture and Utilization (IC#3), Sustainable Biofuels (IC#4) and Converting Sunlight to Storable Fuels (IC#5) Innovation Challenge were announced in 2018. Total number of applications received (LOI) were IC#3(96), IC#4(127) and IC#5(67). The number of selected proposals in each category invited for review and to submit full length proposals are IC3 (33), IC4 (29) and IC5 (15). The selected proposals will be announced in early 2019.

Concerned Officer for more information

Programme HeadDr. Sangeeta Kasture, Scientist F
Phone No.011-24365438
Program OfficerDr. Vamsi Krishna, Scientist E
Phone No. 011-24363725
Attached OfficerDr. Balendra Singh, Scientist C
Phone No.