Director, Phycospectrum Environmental Research Centre (PERC), 52A, AK Block, 7th Main Road, Anna Nagar, Chennai 600040, India and Executive Editor, Journal of Algal Biomass Utilization (JABU). Secretary, Indian Biomass Association (IBA). Assistant editor, PHYKOS. Member of Editorial Board, Seaweed research and utilization Journal.. BEST REVIEWER AWARD 2014 - Bioresource Technology Journal, Former Director, Vivekananda Institute of Algal technology (VIAT- 2006 - 2012). Former Professor and Head, Plant Biotechnology, RKM Vivekananda College, Chennai. Member of expert committee of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), New Delhi, on Second generation bio-fuels. Member of Monitoring Committee on Algal Biofuels, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Member of project advisory and monitoring committee (PAMC) on CO2 sequestration projects of Department of Science and Technology (DST) and member of monitoring committee in projects on algal biofuels of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), New Delhi. member of Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC),DBT-IOC Centre for Advanced Bio-Energy Research, Faridabad. Member of international advisors of the Universidad del Norte Biotechnology Research Group - Biotechnology Research Group and the Group Rational Use of Energy and Environment Preservation, UREMA of Uni Norte. Member of the monitoring committee Technology Development Board (TDB) of DST. GCBR Award 2015, for popularisation of Biological Sciences.
Contact details: Phycospectrum, 52A, A K Block, 7th Main Road, Anna Nagar, Chennai 600040. Mobile: +91 9677144453: Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Sivasubramanian was presented with GCBR Award 2015 for Popularization of Biological Sciences at a function held during national conference on Algal Technologies at Andhra University, India on 4th January, 2016
Summary of the talk on Algal Biomass Production – Challenges - V Sivasubramanian
Algal biomass has become an important feedstock for the production of a variety of valuable compounds for human welfare. Nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, pigments, food colours, cosmetics and bio-fuels are some of the important applications of algal biomass. Seaweed cultivation for phycocolloids like agar, alginate, agarose and carrageenan are well known. CSMCRI, Bhavnagar has been involved in developing indigenous technologies for cultivation, harvesting and production of these phycocolloids and fertilizers from seaweeds and transferring the technologies to industries. Cultivation systems for seaweeds are well established and out of thousand and odd seaweed species in India only a few species are cultivated and there is a need to develop cultivation technologies for rest of the seaweeds.
With regards to micro algae production there are challenges and issues which should be addressed at every phase of technology development. Right from species collection, identification, isolation, cultivation in lab scale and at industrial scale we have several issues and bottlenecks which Indian scientists are trying to address to make the process commercially viable. The cost of algal biomass production is the major factor which determines viability. Nutrients costs constitute 30% of production cost apart from harvesting and processing costs. One of the suggestions provided by PERC, Chennai, which has been working on micro algae technology to treat industrial wastes for the last 15 years, is to integrate algal biomass production with wastewater treatment to cut down 30% cost. Production systems include photobioreactors, raceway ponds and hybridized systems. PERC recommends a vertical system which it has implemented with great success in industries in India and abroad which addresses the problem of CAPEX and OPEX, space restriction and many other drawbacks we find in other systems. Productivity issue could be addressed by improvement of algal strains through selection, metabolic and genetic manipulations, optimized designs of tanks, PBRs etc, growth engineering which involves nutrient input management and harvesting schedule and pond management practices.
Research Focus and consultancy offered
Dr V Sivasubramanian is involved in reasearch and development of algae based bio-remediation technology (PHYCOREMEDIATION) to manage a variety of industrial effluents inluding chemical, textile and leather industries. He is a pioneer in taking algae based technology to industrial scale to manage effluents from chemical industries, petrochemical industries, pharmaceutical industries, steel industries etc. Major parameters like BOD, COD, and sludge are reduced. R/O rejects from dyeing and leather industries can be better managed and a pretreatment with algal technology reduces hardness of most of the industrial wastewaters thus increasing the life of R/O membranes.(V Sivasubramanian, V V Subramanian, M Muthukumaran and R Murali. 2012. Algal technology for effective reduction of total hardness in wastewater and industrial effluents…Phykos. 42(1): …51 ..PDF). Consultancy is also offered to install micro algae based systems to sequester flue gas/CO2 in power, steel and other industries. Algal biomass production to develop bioenergy is another area Dr V Sivasubramanian is providing research support and consultancy to install pilot and largesacle production facilities.
1. Phycoremediation (HINDU article) (BIO-REMEDIATION using Algae)
Effluent treatment employing micro algae, popularly known as PHYCOREMEDIATION,(Click here for FAQ on Phycoremediation) is a natural and eco-friendly way of treating effluents for safe disposal. Dr V Sivasubramanian undertakes feasibility studies under laboratory conditions and also at field level and suggests algal technology to treat the effluent. Over the years he has developed a culture collection of potentially valuable micro algae and technology to successfully employ them at the field level with a very high percentage of success. He also suggests technology to utilize the biomass generated through phycoremediation. Based on his research support World's First Phycoremediation plant was developed at Ranipet, India in 2006. The highlights of the technology includes 1. pH correction without using any chemicals 2. Reduction of TDS, BOD and COD 3. Prevention of sludge formation 4. Degradation and decolourization of dyes and very effective way of treating dyeing industry effluents. CLICK HERE FOR NEWS ITEM IN DECCAN CHRONICLE ON EFFLUENT TREATMENT . For more details on other industrial projects click here.. Click here for HINDU article
Bio- Remediation technology in Management of R/O rejects : Dr V Sivasubramanian presented algae based BIOREMEDIATION technology to treat R/O rejects at a Brain Storming Session (BSS) and working group meeting on management of R/O rejects of Leather and textile industries organized by DST at Anna University, Chennai on 9th and 10th March 2013. It was appreciated by the participanting industries.
2. Algal farming for biofuels and other valuable products
Dr V Sivasubramanian has developed technology to cultivate micro algae including marine diatoms by employing a combination of open ponds (phototrophic) and bioreators (heterotrophic). He has also developed through collaborative research an economically viable photobioreactor technology to grow algal biomass. Simple, efficient and cost effective harvesting technology (PHYCOFLOC) has been develpoed and put into operation in a number of algal farms all over India. Oil cake is used to make aquaculture feed and cattle feed. For more details on algal farming click here
3. Algal inoculum for aquacultre ponds
Dr V Sivasubramanian and his team has developed a gel type micro algal product for aquaculture ponds. This product reduces the cost of fish feed to a great extent. Fish become more active associated with better growth and weight gain. more
4. CO2 sequestration and flue gas mitigation ( Click here for News item in Deccan Chronicle)
The advantages of algae based technology: The microalgae for CO2-mitigation strategy offers numerous advantages. The microalgal CO2bio-mitigation could be made more economically cost-effective and environmentally sustainable, especially when it is combined with other processes such as wastewater treatment.
TECHNOLOGY: Dr V Sivasubramanian has developed algae based technology to mitigate flue gas and produce valuable algal biomass. Culture collection at PERC has some of the robust freshwater and marine micro algal species which can be very effectively employed in largescale mitigation at various industries. The technology developed by Dr V Sivasubramanian is being implemented at pilot scale and largescale flue gas mitigation in some of the industries. Dr V Sivasubramanian is collaborating with JSW Steel, Bellary and ONGC, New Delhi and a few other plants to implement this technology.
Successful development of algal consortium for flue gas mitigation:
Dr V Sivasubramanian has recently identified and developed a consortium of micro algae which can be successfully employed at large scale sequestration plants for flue gas mitigation. In the recently concluded dmomstration project he has employed this algal consortium at ONGC's Hazira plant at Surat and demonstrated its efficiency to capture flue gas CO2.
The objectives of selection of micro algae, growing in a pilot plant at Hazira using scrubbed water have been achieved. Very high growth rate and dry weight were achieved with raceway pond and this productivity will improve considerably if a hybridized vertical system with advanced illumination system (PERC’s) is installed while scaling up.
A hybridized vertical system fitted with advanced illumination/aeration panel (PERC’s design – Patent pending) with a tank depth of not less than 2 meters is suitable and only viable process for large scale flue gas mitigation systems based on micro algae. This will address the problem of space availability (100 times lesser space required than the conventional system) and efficiency required to handle the flue gas generated by the industry.
4. Restoration of natural water bodies - Lakes, rivers etc
Millions of tons of inadequately treated sewage and industrial and agricultural wastes are dumped into the world’s waters. Water contamination of natural ecosystems affects humans directly by destroying fisheries or causing other impacts on biodiversity that affect food production. Most polluted freshwater ends up in the oceans, causing serious damage to many coastal areas and fisheries and affecting our ocean and coastal resource management challenges. A wide range of human and natural processes affect the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of water, and thus impact water quality. Contamination by pathogenic organisms, trace metals, and human-produced and toxic chemicals; the introduction of non-native species; and changes in the acidity, temperature, and salinity of water can all harm aquatic ecosystems and make water unsuitable for human use.
Micro algal technology provides an effective solution
Phycoremediation employs photosynthetic micro algae which are capable of removing inorganic nutrients and in symbiotic association with bacteria can also effectively handle organic load of natural water bodies thereby increasing dissolved oxygen levels (reduction in BOD and COD).
With a decade long experience in handling highly hostile industrial waste waters, Dr V Sivasubramanian (PERC) has developed a treatment system (which can be also customized) to restore water bodies which are heavily contaminated. TYPE I:
A simple algal treatment tank system with the conventional pretreatment facilities which can be installed at specific locations identified based on a pre-installation survey of water body. TYPE II: Micro algal treatment system with a sequence of algal treatment tanks with reduced retention time for more efficient treatment of contaminated water. Algal treatment tanks will be designed to suit the treatment site ( horizontal system or vertical systems). When the space available is sufficient micro algal treatment tanks may be installed as shallow high rate oxidation ponds. If the space is limited a vertical system supported by an advanced illumination/aeration panel (designed and developed by PERC) may be installed.
Phycovolatilization of heavy metals:
Using algae to treat industrial effluents containing heavy metals presents an alternative to the current practice of using other biosorbents and physical and chemical methods. In this study, effluent from a leather-processing chemical industry in Ranipet, Tamil Nadu, India, was treated for the removal of heavy metals using the microalga, Chlorella
vulgaris, which was isolated from the effluent itself. The results of the study show that after 8 hours, Chlorella vulgaris exhibited a better adsorption capacity under sunlight compared to laboratory conditions (i.e., 30.6 mg/g dry weight vs 10.5 mg/g dry weight, respectively). Similarly, reduction of heavy metals and mass balance in pilot-scale field studies conducted in a high-rate algal pond showed that the microalga, apart from adsorption, complexation, and entrapment mechanisms, is likely to possess phycovolatilization capability probably via biotransformation processes. (Water Environ. Res., 83, 291 (2011)).
Dr V Sivasubramanian was invited by Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia, to conduct a week long workshop/seminar on Algal Technology during March 2012. He is also the member of international advisors of the Universidad del Norte Biotechnology Research Group.This programme was organized by The Biotechnology Research Group and the Group Rational Use of Energy and Environment Preservation, UREMA of Uni Norte.Click here to view news video. is JV between CORE BIOTECH, Colombia and PERC, India for implementing algae based technologies in Latin America
Dr V Sivasubramanian at Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia
PHYCORE : Algae Power: A joint technology implementation programme between CORE BIOTECH, Colombia and Phycospectrum has been initiated with the successful installation of a 20 KL integrated tanks system (Pilot demonstration plant) at Pacific Rubiales oil drilling site near Bogota to treat petrochemical wastewater by employing micro algae.
Dr V Sivasubramanian with CORE team at Pacific Rubiales pilot plant, Colombia
PHYCORE at Colombia PHYCORE's Project on treatment of slaughter house effluent, Colombia PHYCORE has started a pilot plant installation to clean waste water from Camaquey slaughter house, Barranquilla, Colombia using its improved micro algal technology. Scaled up plant would be handling 850m3 every day.
Collaborative project with Plymouth Marine Laboratory, (PML), UK
Project entitled “Using flow cytometry and genomics to characterize, understand andoptimize micro algal:bacterial consortia cultivated on waste water for the production of biofuel” supported by DBT, India and BBSRC, UK. (Reference: BT/IN/Indo-UK/SuBB/23/NT/2013 dated 30th August, 2013)
Micro algae are considered as favourite organisms for biofuels due to their higher photosynthetic efficiency and productivity than higher plants. Algal production still seems to be very expensive due to higher capex and opex costs. Integrating algal production systems with waste water treatment can reduce dependence on valuable freshwater and expensive nutrients. PERC, India has been involved in installing micro algae based effluent treatment systems in India and has a collection of robust algal species isolated from industrial effluent treatment sites. Interaction between symbiotic bacteria and micro algae plays a significant role in remediation and algal biomass production. Presence of bacterial population also would help in harvesting micro algae due to bioflocculating potentials. In depth study of this micro algal – bacterial interaction would help us understand the system better. This knowledge may help us in improving algal productivity and oil content and reducing cost of production considerably. Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK has the expertise and latest techniques to investigate this interaction and PERC and BDU, India have the expertise in handling micro algal – bacterial systems in pilot scale and beyond.
The present collaboration will benefit both the countries in gaining more knowledge on this very crucial aspect of bacterial and micro algal symbiotic association.
The research team: Dr. V. Sivasubramanian, Director-Tech, Phycospectrum Environmental Research Centre (PERC), Anna Nagar, Chennai - 600 040.IndiaDr. N. Thajuddin and Dr G. Muralitharan of Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli - 620 024, India. Dr. Carole Llewellyn, Dr Daniel White and Dr Karen Tait of Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, United Kingdom.
EVENTS AND NEWS
Dr Alla Silkina from Swansea University, UK, visiting PERC lab on 17th August 2016
Alla at PERC algal culture collection ..............................Alla with Anu......................................... Alla in PERC office with Dr V Sivasubramanian
Visit to Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, UKDr V Sivasubramanian visited Plymouth Marine Laboratory during June 2014 to discuss Indo - UK project on Bio-energy. He also visited Southwest Water Company, Langage Farm and Tamar foods.
Implementation of micro algal remediation technology in UK
Dr V Sivasubramanian visited a few industrial waste water treatment sites in Southwest England and had discussions with authorities and explored the possibilities of implementing PERC's algae based technology to remove nutrients like P and ammonia.
Dr V Sivasubramanian visiting Southwest Water Company near Exeter, UK in June 2014 and also visiting Tamar Foods Industry at Cornwall, Southwest England
Dr V Sivasubramanian at Langage Farm at Southwest England and also visiting Welsh Waters, Wales, UK during May 2016
Visit to Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), Plymouth, UK during May 2016
Visit to TATA STEEL, Swansea, Wales UK, during May 2016. Dr V Sivasubramanian with Dr Alla Silkina and Dr Carole LLewellyn at the PBR facility, Swansea University, UK
A joint collaborative programme between the UK and India is working on a bioenergy project where algae could help solve social problems by cleaning industrial effluent.
Dr Carole Llewellyn from the Swansea University College of Science recently hosted a visit by two experts from India to see the Swansea University’s CSAR aquaculture and microalgal facilities and to meet Welsh Water and Tata Steel Industry. The visitors Professor, N Thajudden, a microbiologist and expert in cyanobacteria from Bharathidasan, Thiruchirappali and Dr V Sivasubramanian, Director of Phycospectrum Environment Research Centre (PERC), an international company based in Chennai, met Carole and Dr Alla Silkina from the College of Science to discuss future projects under the jointly funded UK-BBSRC and India-DBT programme. MORE ON THIS STORY
Visit to Lund University, SwedenDr V. Sivasubramanian, Director of Phycospectrum Environmental Research Centre (PERC), hold a SASNET lecture at Lund University on Monday 23 May 2016, 13.15–14.00. The seminar, organized in collaboration with Division of Environmental and Energy Systems Studies, Department of of Technology and Society, at Lund University, is entitled ”Microalgal Biotechnology and Phycoremediation technology research in India”. Venue: Seminarierummet, Miljö- och energisystem, V-huset second floor, entrance G2, John Ericssons väg 1, Lund. MORE ON THIS STORY
Visit to Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland.
Dr V Sivasubramanian was invited to deliver a talk on algal technology research in PERC and discuss about collaborative research programme with Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland during May 2016. Dr Jukka Rintala, Professor and Head Department of Chemistry and Bioengineering discussed with Dr V Sivasubramanian about collaborative programmes.
INDO- EUROPEAN BIO - ENERGY PROGRAMME
Dr V Sivasubramanian was invited to participate in Mini-SYMPOSIUM and TWINNING WORKSHOP- Developments in Sustainable Biomass Valorisation,EU-India R&D collaboration on Biomass and Biowaste held at Untrecht, The Netherlands during October 2013 under SAHYOG programme.
International conference on Sustainable industrial algae production and related business opportunities, New Delhi, India, held on 27th March, 2014. (Web page)
Dr V Sivasubramanian addressing industries at CII (Confederation of indian Industry) meet on Roadmap for Zero waste, conducted at Vadodra, Gujrat, on 21st August 2014.
Pilot plants in Hettich Appliances at Vadodra, India and in Pasupati Acrylon, India
Hettich India, Baroda - Pilot plant to manage high Nickel effluent
Pilot plant at HETTICH, Baroda
Installation of Scaled up plant (550KL) at Pasupati Acrylon, Kashipur, India
Installation of Pilot Plant at Brintons Carpets, India
R/O Reject at Brintons Carpets is being treated with Phycoremediation technology as the alternative to Multiple Effective Evaporators
Pilot plant at Yuti Textiles, India
Iran's First Algal cultivation facility at Chabahar
With technical support from PERC, Chennai, ALGIRAN, an Iranean algal biotech company has established a pilot demonstration facility at Chabahar Freezone, Iran.. MORE
FLUE GAS/CO2 MITIGATION USING MICRO ALGAE TECHNOLOGY AT ONGC PLANT
V Sivasubramanian has successfully installed and demonstrsted micro algae technology to mitigate flue gas at Hazira Natural Gas processing Unit of ONGC. Small scale algae system is successfully capturing flue gas at this demo plant- On an average dry weight of 0.5 g/L/day was achieved which is very significant in terms of productivity, as productivity is a measure of carbon fixation (for 1 g dry weight of algal biomass 1.86 grams of CO2 is fixed). The CO2 fixation potential of raceway pond is approximately 1 gram/L/day.