Promise of a Better Future: Dr. Balasubramanian

Promise of a Better Future: Dr. Balasubramanian

Swetaparna Sarangi | Aug 22, 2016

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Yet another feather was added to his cap when Dr. Balasubramanian Paramasivan from the Department of Biotechnology & Medical Engineering was presented with the Best Research Paper Award by Asia-Pacific Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering Society (APCBEES) during the 7th International Conference on Environmental Engineering and Applications (ICEEA) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 25th to 27th, 2016. ICEEA is one of the leading international conferences for presenting novel and fundamental advances in the fields of Environmental Engineering and its Applications. It also serves to foster communication among scientific researchers and practitioners, working in many different areas with the common objective of improving technology and techniques. In an exclusive interview with Team MM, Dr Balasubramanian explained the subject of his award-winning research paper, “Effect of geographical coordinates on carbon dioxide sequestration potential of microalgae.” He says,

In the entire history of existence of human beings on the face of Earth, the carbon concentration in the atmosphere has never been higher. It is currently at 404ppm and is predicted to rise in the future. At the same time, the world is also facing an energy crisis and is looking for renewable sources of energy. In the process, more and more fossil fuels are consumed. We tried to address this dual problem and come up with a possible solution, using the autotrophic, that is, the carbon capturing property of microalgae.

Most of the conventional renewable energy sources like solar energy or wind energy only get rid of the energy crisis. To address the dual problem scenario, new technologies are being developed under the Carbon Capture Storage or Sequestration (CCS) Project, which has two parts, of which the first part was the development of a mathematical model to estimate the production and carbon dioxide capturing potential of microalgae; the second part included finding the effect of geographical coordinates on carbon dioxide sequestration by microalgae. The mathematical model was run on the geospatial conditions (like wind speed, wind temperature, etc) of Rourkela collected daily over the last 21 years to predict the production of energy and to observe the growth of algae under the almost-extreme weather. For the validation of the mathematical model, 10 different countries where chosen and the same mathematical model was run on their geospatial conditions. Lastly, the results were compared to find the effect of geographical coordinates on carbon dioxide sequestration potential.

Team MM congratulates him for his accomplishment and hopes that his work finds utility in combating some of the pressing problems that plagues the scientific community!

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