Name of research group: Bioprocess and Renewable Energy
Considering the detrimental effect of fossil fuel utilization on the environment and energy depletion, there is a pressing need to develop clean-burning and renewable energy that can replace fossil fuel derived energy. In this regard there is growing interest on research in renewable energy and friendly bio-fuel such as ethanol, butanol, propanol, hydrogen and methane. Today the largest ethanol producing countries are USA and Brazil and the ethanol is mainly produced from sugar and starchy biomas. Ethanol production is divided into several groups depending on the starting material used; the first-generation bio-fuels use agricultural crops to produce simple sugars, which are subsequently converted to ethanol. The second- generation bio-fuels use specific native, perennially growing plants that require no cultivation, or entire prairie system flora for sugar and eventually ethanol production. The use of photosynthetic algae to produce biodiesel is now referred to as the third-generation biofuels. There are still lots of challenges with the technologies for second generation bio-fuel however; Brazil and U.S.A have highly developed technologies for the production of the first generation.
Multiple approaches are currently being researched for the use of microorganisms in the production of value added products. The microbial production of metabolites contributes significantly to the quality of life. Fermentative production of these compounds is still an important goal of modern biotechnology. Through fermentation, microorganisms can grow on inexpensive carbon and nitrogen sources to produce, bio-fuel, amino acids, nucleotides, organic acids and vitamins which can be added to food to enhance its flavour, or increase its nutritive values. The contribution of microorganisms to life cannot be overemphasized especially with the renewed interest in solvent fermentations. Microorganisms have increasingly shown great potential in providing many petroleum-derived products including ethanol necessary for liquid fuel. More recently, methods of molecular genetics have been used for the overproduction of microbial metabolites. The development of modern tools of molecular biology enabled more rational approaches for strain improvement. Techniques of transcriptome, proteome and metabolome analysis, as well as metabolic flux analysis have recently been introduced in order to identify new and important target genes and to quantify metabolic activities necessary for further strain improvement.
Our Research Focus and Requirements:
Our research focus is in the optimal exploitation of microorganisms in the advancement of bioprocesses for improved reduction in production costs and increased yields.
Develop processes for industrial scale production of useful microbial metabolites and bio-fuel from renewable resource.
Name of research group: Bioprocess and Renewable Energy
Research Team
  1. Prof B.N. Okolo.
  2. Prof A.N. Moneke.
  3. Prof R.C. Agu.
  4. Dr C.I. Nnamchi.
  5. Dr T.N. Nwagu.
  6. Dr O. C. Amadi.