The Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has sanctioned Rs. 13.33 lakh to the Department of Botany, PSGR Krishnammal College for Women here, to undertake research on biodiesel production in a cost-effective method from karanja oil and jatropha oil using microbial enzyme as catalyst.

According to press note from N. Yesodha Devi, principal of the college, conversion of animal fat or vegetable oil into biodiesel by chemical process requires higher temperature and the processing of raw materials which contain impurities.

Besides, chemical processing is costly and complicated. Therefore, enzymatic methods are preferred.

The current project, with R.S. Meerabai, Associate Professor of the Department of Botany of the college as the Principal Investigator, proposes to identify lipase producing microbes, optimize the process parameters for high lipase production and application of such lipases for transesterification of jatropha and karanja oil for biodiesel production.