Indian Institute of Technology Mandi researchers have used hydrochar derived from orange peels as catalyst to convert biomass derived chemicals into biofuel precursors. The research will help to develop biomass-based fuel to overcome the socio-political instabilities associated with dwindling petroleum reserves.

The findings of the research team have been recently published in the journal ‘Green Chemistry’. The research was led by Dr. Venkata Krishnan, Associate Professor, School of Basic Sciences, IIT Mandi, and co-authored by his students Ms. Tripti Chhabra and Ms. Prachi Dwivedi.

Biomass derived products from naturally occurring materials – is currently the fourth most significant energy source that can meet the energy demand after coal, oil, and natural gas, in the country. Lignocellulosic biomass obtained from forestry and agricultural waste, for example, can potentially be converted to a variety of useful chemicals by various methods.

Of these methods, the use of catalysts for the conversion is particularly useful because such processes can be carried out with minimal energy input and the type of product obtained from the biomass can be controlled through the right choice of catalysts and reaction conditions.

venkata krishnan with his student