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Chilean Scientists Produce Biodiesel From Microalgae which can Power Vehicles

"What is new about our process is the intent to produce this fuel from microalgae, which are microorganisms," researcher Carlos Saez told Reuters

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biodiesel from microalgae
A biochemist shows different types of microalgae for the study and manufacture of a biofuel in high displacement diesel engines for reducing emissions of gases and particulate matter in Santiago, Chile. VOA
  • Experts from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses at Chile’s Catholic University said they had grown enough algae to fragment it and extract the oil which can be converted into biofuel.
  • Most of the world’s biodiesel, which reduces dependence on petroleum, is derived from soybean oil
  • The main challenge going forward would be to produce a sufficient volume of microalgae

Santiago, July 1, 2017: Biodiesel made from microalgae could power buses and trucks and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 percent, Chilean scientists said, possibly curbing pollution in contaminated cities like Santiago.

Experts from the department of Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses at Chile’s Catholic University said they had grown enough algae to fragment it and extract the oil which, after removing moisture and debris, can be converted into biofuel.

“What is new about our process is the intent to produce this fuel from microalgae, which are microorganisms,” researcher Carlos Saez told Reuters.

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Most of the world’s biodiesel, which reduces dependence on petroleum, is derived from soybean oil. It can also be made from animal fat, canola or palm oil.

Saez said a main challenge going forward would be to produce a sufficient volume of microalgae. A wide variety of fresh and salt water algaes are found in Chile, a South American nation with a long Pacific coast.

The scientists are trying to improve algae growing technology to ramp up production at a low cost using limited energy, Saez said. (VOA)

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IIT – Kharagpur Researchers develop Technology to make Biofuel manufacturing cheaper, quicker and free of Pollution

The 'soil-to-soil' manufacturing technology developed at the P.K. Sinha Centre for Bioenergy at IIT - Kharagpur is in the process of being patented

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IIT Kharagpur, Wikimedia
  • The ‘National Policy on bio-fuel’ targeted 20 per cent blending of biofuel with petrol by 2017
  • This project is funded by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Department of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Human Resource Development
  • Bioethanol can be produced from various naturally available ligno-cellulosic components

Kolkata, May 31, 2017:  Researchers at IIT – Kharagpur have developed a technology that has the potential to make biofuel manufacturing cheaper, quicker and free of pollution.

The ‘soil-to-soil’ manufacturing technology developed at the P.K. Sinha Centre for Bioenergy at IIT – Kharagpur is in the process of being patented.

Researchers say bioethanol can be produced from various naturally available ligno-cellulosic components, but to do so the biomass needs to be treated chemically and in some cases physico-chemically. Because of chemical treatment, the process contributes to polluting the environment.

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“We have replaced this chemical treatment with enzymes which degrade the lignin specifically, thereby making the manufacturing process pollution-free,” said Rintu Banerjee, Professor of Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering at the P.K. Sinha Centre for Bioenergy.

“Also unlike the chemical treatment, here the waste product is pollution-free and hence utilising the residual biomass to make organic fertiliser is possible,” Banerjee said.

The ‘National Policy on bio-fuel’ targeted 20 per cent blending of biofuel with petrol by 2017.

With the government expecting the bio-fuel business in India to touch Rs 50,000 crore by 2022, this new green technology with lesser manufacturing cost and time could become a game changer, the researchers said.

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“The technique that we are suggesting will ensure relatively quicker production of bio-fuel and ensuring that the process is completely green, not creating any secondary pollution. This, we feel can change the future of bio-fuel manufacturing in India and make it more cost effective,” said Banerjee.

This project is funded by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Department of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. (IANS)

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Microscopic Mites known as Chiggers cause Deadly Scrub Typhus, kill 140,000 people a year in Chile

Chiggers transmit the bacteria, Orientia tsutsugamushi , they spread through the lymphatic fluid and show a number of symptoms

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FILE - A fisherman walks on the shore of the fishing village Quetalmahue in Chile's Chiloe island, May 10, 2016. Scrub typhus has been confirmed in a cluster of cases on the island, far from places it usually strikes. Image source: VOA
  • Sept 09, 2016: Microscopic biting mites known as chiggers leads to a deadly disease know as Scrub Typhus. Scientists quoted on Wednesday that “This disease is common in Southeast Asia and has been rapidly spreading in parts of South America and it could have become endemic there.

The bacteria that caused this disease were first identified in Japan in 1930 and it has been known since many years.

Scrub typhus is a tropical disease which kills at least 140,000 people a year in the Asia-Pacific region. This has been confirmed in a cluster of cases on a large island off Chile. This island is 12,000 kilometers away from its usual haunts on the other side of Pacific.

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Chiggers transmit the bacteria, Orientia tsutsugamushi , they spread through the lymphatic fluid and show a number of symptoms. Sudden illness with shaking chills, fever, severe headache, infection of the mucus membrane in the eyes, and lymph node swelling are the symptoms of this disease.

It was Mis conceptualized until 2006 that Scrub typhus was restricted to a limited area. This was called the “tsutsugamushi triangle,” which ranged from Pakistan in the west to far eastern Russia in the east to northern Australia in the south.

Wider distribution?

Researchers from Britain’s Oxford University and the Pontificia Universidad Católica and Universidad del Desarrollo in Chile while writing to “The New England Journal of Medicine” said that, cases found off Chile’s mainland, “suggest there may be a much wider global distribution than previously understood.”

Charles Nicolle received the 1928 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his identification of lice as the transmitter of epidemic typhus. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Charles Nicolle received the 1928 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his identification of lice as the transmitter of epidemic typhus. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Two cases of scrub typhus were found outside the triangle in the year 2006. One, in the Middle East, was caused by a previously unrecorded bacteria related to tsutsugamushi and namedOrientia Chuto. The second was found on Chiloe island, just off mainland Chile.

Paul Newton, director of the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit said “Scrub typhus is a common disease but a neglected one.”

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In January 2015 and again in early 2016 on the northern coast of Chiloe that is, in Ancud, three more cases were discovered.

This disease causes approximately a million clinical cases, and kills at least 140,000 people each year,there’s evidence of an even bigger burden of disease in another part of the world highlights the need for more research and attention to it.”

– prepared by Manthra Koliyer with inputs from VOA

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Chile gives legal recognition to Sikh Dharma

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Photo: prabhukhalsa.blogspot.com

Chile: Chile has over 200 legally recognized spiritual paths. But until January 25th 2016, the Sikh religion was not one of them.

After 4 years of consistent effort, however, the fledgling Sikh community in Chile achieved legal recognition of Sikh Dharma as a religion.

“Now we will be protected, with more safety in our jobs, in our health system and political system,” Rupinder Kaur Khalsa of Sikh Dharma Chile said of the legalization. “That is very good news for all of us…We can have the right to have gatherings in public places, also.

“We started the legalization process 4 years ago. Creating legal documents that describe what a turban is, what Sikh Dharma is, who we are, what do we want to legalize for Sikh Dharma Chile, and what our values are as Sikhs. Then, the legal process was about waiting for the government to approve this.”

The Chilean government did so in January.

The Sikh religion was introduced into Chile in the late 20th century by the Sikh missionary Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji, also known as Yogi Bhajan.  Through his inspiration, people in Chile began to adopt the Sikh faith. Now, there is a thriving community of Chilean born Sikh families in Chile, who host many spiritually uplifting events in their country.

Source: http://www.sikhnet.com