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Tirath Raj, Speaker at Catalysis and Green Chemistry Congress
University of Illinois Urbana Chaimpaign, United States
Title : Green deconstruction approaches for processing of lignocellulosic crops for sustainable production of production of fuels and chemicals


Biofuels are a drop-in, environmentally nontoxic, biodegradable, and less contaminating alternative to conventional fuels with comparable energy efficiency, with strong potential for lowering CO2 emissions. Cellulosic biomass has immense potential as a renewable feedstock for global energy needs. Bioenergy from traditional biomass such as cereal grains, forestry, and other energy crops constitutes approximately 7% of total global energy consumption. Oils from plants are particularly valued since they can be easily converted to biodiesel and bio-jet, serving markets that are unlikely to be electrified. To this end, bioenergy crops such as sugarcane, energycane, sorghum, and miscanthus are being metabolically engineered to shift the carbon flux from sugar to lipid synthesis and accumulation in their vegetative tissues. The accumulation of energy-rich triacylglyceride (TAG) molecules enhances the energy density of these transgenic bioenergy crops as compared to their wild-type varieties. These metabolically engineered transgenic bioenergy crops can be used to produce both fermentable sugars and lipids/oil. Moreover, extraction of sugars and lipids from cellulosic crops is considered as a limiting factor and involves high costly, non-economic pretreatment method. Thus, herein, we have introduced the concept of bioenergy crops, their natural recalcitrance, and mentioned certain green pretreatment processing methods to extract maximum amount of sugars and oils for sustainable energy development.


Dr. Tirath received his PhD in Chemistry from the Indian University of Petroleum and Energy Studies. He has more than 10 years of expertise in the field of environmentally friendly biomass processing for the generation of fuels and chemicals at the laboratory and pilot scale while working at the greatest laboratories in the world in India, South Korea, and the United States. Presently, he is working as a post-doctoral research associate at University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA, where in majority he is involved involve in development of efficient bioprocess for conversion of bioenergy crops for chemicals, biofuels, and other bioproducts at CABBI, the fourth Bioenergy Research Center supported by the US Department of Energy. Scientifically, he has contributed >40 publications in peer-reviewed international review journals, co-invented 3 international patents, coauthored 3 books and has been serving as an editorial board member of three reputed Journals.