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  • TERIs state-of-the-art ‘Fermentation Technology Research Centre’ and Biopesticide Laboratory inaugurated at TERI Gram, Gual Pahari, Gurgaon

    17 January 2010

    Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge), Minister of Science and Technology along with Dr M K Bhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, Dr T Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology inaugurate the pilot scale facility.

    Reiterating its commitment to every aspect of sustainable development, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) today launched its state-of-the-art ‘Fermentation Technology Research Centre’ and ‘Biopesticide Laboratory’. Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge), Minister of Science and Technology inaugurated the facility along with Dr M K Bhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Dr T Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Gurgoan/New Delhi, January 17th 2009:.

    While calling the facility an important landmark in the field of biotechnology, Sh. Prithviraj Chavan said, “TERI is one of the top-ranking organizations in the field of research and innovation and this facility and the product “Oilzapper” will be one of the most powerful bio-products in the emerging scenario providing great significance to bioremediation in the worldwide effort to tackle oil spill and oily sludge.” He said that for India to surge ahead in the worldwide race of fuel security it is necessary for both the public and private sector to embark on some major science projects and R&D which have relevance to national needs and which will also be relevant for tomorrow's technology.

    Dr M K Bhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology and Dr T Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology in their addresses congratulated TERI on opening the state-of-the-art facility -- a fully automated platform that will be able to provide the required produce of Oilzapper for the demand necessitated due to the projects taken up for environmental restoration and remediation by the various oil corporates in the country. Calling TERI’s Oilzapper technology a total end-to-end solution, both Dr Bhan and Dr Ramasami said that “Science and Technology has played an important role in bringing about a major transformation in Indian economy, which is showing a shift from a predominantly agriculture based economy to manufacturing and services based economy and is now increasingly integrating with the world economy to become globally competitive. With research organizations like TERI partnering the government, strengthening and expansion of S&T and R&D base in the country is bound to take new leaps.”

    The oil and gas sector despite their best efforts produce enormous amount of hazardous wastes that constitute a potential threat to the environment. There are over 50,000 metric tonnes of oily sludge and oil contaminated soil and water documented through out the country along with continual generation of such wastes due to their scheduled operations. The oil industry incurs huge amount of costs in storage or disposal of the same. In most cases the disposal approached are not environment friendly and lead to other tertiary issues.

    TERI has been working on the basic and applied research for development of microbial technologies for control of environmental pollution using an indigenously developed microbial consortium ‘Oilzapper’. The Oilzapper technology developed by TERI with the help of Department of Biotechnology’s support offers a very cost effective and environmental friendly approach to mitigate this problem. The indigenously developed bacterial consortiums can biodegrade different types of crude oil, oily sludge and other wasted generated by oil and gas industries and it is environment friendly as the end product of bioremediation is CO2, water and dead biomass.

    Owing to the increasing demand of this product for curbing environmental damage, the ‘Fermentation Technology Research Centre’ pilot scale facility has been set up with enhanced production capacity of two metric tonnes per month. This facility is jointly funded by DBT along with Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Oil Industry Development Board and TERI.

    It is a fully automated platform with facilities for up scaling from 10 liter to 1000 liter fermentation. The facility will be able to provide the required produce of Oilzapper for the demand necessitated due to the projects taken up for environmental restoration and remediation by the various oil corporates in the country.

    The facility is also intended to be utilized in research & development and commercial scale demonstration as well as in imparting training and human resource development. Training imparted by working in the proposed fermentation set up will further enhance the manpower expertise for application and operation of high volume fermentation processes.

    Oilzapper has been in use since 1997 and this technology is successfully used for cleanup of around 1,30,000 metric tonnes of hazardous wastes generated by nearly all the oil and gas companies in India, both in upstream and down stream processes. The various types of oil contamination are crude oily sludge, oil contaminated sites (lands and lakes), oil contaminated drill cuttings, synthetic oil based muds (SOBM), emulsion oily sludge, acidic oily sludge, high sulfur containing oily sludge, oil contaminated spent clay etc, which can be bioremediated by using Oilzapper technology. The microbes has been demonstrated very successfully in all the oil companies including Hindustan Oil Corporation Limited (refineries and depots), Bharat Oil Corporation Limited (refineries and depots), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (Refineries and depots), Oil and Natural Gas Commission (Ankleshawar, Ahmedabad, Assam, Cauvery, Meshana assets and Uran plant), Cairn Energy Ltd, BG Exploration and Production India Ltd, Tata power in various parts of the country.

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