Bangalore, June 08, 2010 : In a major discovery, the Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavnagar, India, has found a microbe useful in the manufacture of biodegradable plastic from aside-stream product of jatropha called ‘glycerol’, which is found during extracting biodiesel from the plant seeds. The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)-led Institute is all set to scale up its commercial production.
It is considered as a revolutionary advancement that is poised to tackle the challenge of ever-increasing environmental pollution posed by non-degradable plastics. As part of the Budapest Treaty on international recognition of deposit of microorganisms for patent procedure, the identified microbe has been deposited by CSMCRI with a repository.
In another significant development, General Motors in partnership with the US Department of Energy (DOE) is developing a new16-hectare plot and an existing 30-hectare jatropha farm in Bhavnagar. The joint DOE-GM funding would enable the CSMCRI to manage various activities at these farms. It is envisaged that lab-optimized strains of jatropha, produced through selective and marker-assisted breeding, would be cultivated at these farms. A complete life cycle analysis of jatropha plant would also help in evaluating the environmental impacts on this oil-yielding crop.
I was very excited about this news and wanted to share with you all. We at Project Jatropha have been very busy with the project work. We will be updating our work though the blog posts as the summer is here.