Researchers from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India and Queensland University of Technology are collaborating on a multi-million dollar project to create bio-based chemicals. The researchers are hoping to create an environmentally sustainable chemical that is renewable and economically friendly. India has already made significant contributions to the chemical industry through IndiaChem 2014 as well as their research in the field, and there are high hopes that these efforts will pay dividends moving forward.
The goal of this research project is to create a chemical that will replace non-oil-based chemicals in adhesives, plastics, fire retardants and paints. In addition the project hopes to reduce production costs of bio-oils and other chemicals from agriculture waste, as this will help to diversify farming. Professor William Doherty from Queensland University said that the agricultural waste that is currently produced cannot be used as food and is derived from three primary crops in India and Australia; forest residues, rice straw and sugar cane bagasse. Doherty went on to say that the primary aim of this project is to create a biomass that can be used as an alternative energy source, but is also environmentally and economically sustainable.
Right now the researchers are creating tools that will help lower the costs of delivering the biomass while minimizing the costs associated with the supply change. Professor Doherty says the research is based on hybrid bio-refinery technology that brings together biochemical and thermochemical conversions, to maximize the end-product and carbon conversion efficiency. The researchers hope to test out their new technology at plants in India and in Queensland, Australia.