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Present position
Professor, Department of Bioscience and Bioengineering, IIT Jodhpur, 

Email: meenuchhabra@iitj.ac.in, meenuchhabra@gmail.com

Phone: 02912801205

 

 
Career
  • July, 2023 to date , Professor, Indian Institute of Technology- Jodhpur

  • March, 2019 to July 2023, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology- Jodhpur

  • August, 2011 to March 2019- Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology- Jodhpur

Research interests 

  • Microbial fuel cells

  • Algae biofuels

  • Oleaginous yeast

  • Microbial fuel cells as biosensors 

  • Bioremediation

  • Saline wastewater treatment

Education
  • Ph. D in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology, 2010, from Department of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India

  • Master of Science in Microbiology, 2003-2005, from Department of Microbiology, University of Delhi, South Campus, Delhi, India

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Microbiology, 2000-2003, from Gargi College, University of Delhi, South Campus, Delhi, India

RECENT ARTICLES

Co-culturing Chlorella vulgaris and Cystobasidium oligophagum JRC1 in the microbial fuel cell cathode for lipid biosynthesis
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-023-29232-y

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This study investigated the effect of co-culturing the photobiont and mycobiont in the microbial fuel cell (MFC) cathode on biomass production, lipid generation, and power output. Chlorella vulgaris provides oxygen and nutrients for the yeast Cystobasidium oligophagum JRC1, while the latter offers CO2 and quench oxygen for higher algal growth. The MFC with co-culture enhanced the lipid output of biomass by 28.33%, and the total yield and productivity were 1.47 ± 0.18 g/l and 0.123 g/l/day, respectively. Moreover, with co-culture, the open circuit voltage of 685 ± 11 mV was two times higher than algae alone. The specific growth rate (day−1) at the cathode was 0.367 ± 0.04 in co-culture and 0.288 ± 0.05 with C. vulgaris only. The power density of the system was 5.37 ± 0.21 mW/m2 with 75.88 ± 1.89% of COD removal. The co-culture thus proved beneficial at the MFC cathode in terms of total energy output as 11.5 ± 0.035 kWh/m3, which was 1.4-fold higher than algae alone. 

11356_2023_29232_Fig1_HTML.webp
Carbon capture from petrol-engine flue gas: Reviving algae-based sequestration with integrated microbial fuel cells 

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2023.146578

 

 

 

Strengthening the existing CO2 capture technologies is crucial for averting the imminent climate crisis. The present study undertakes the algae-assisted microbial fuel cell (MFC) for indirect CO2 capture via bicarbonate utilization through natural photosynthesis process. The flue gas is first cooled using a heat exchanger and then directed to a sieve-plate absorption column where sodium carbonate supplemented wastewater absorbs CO2 generating flue gas-derived bicarbonates (FGDBs). The FGDBs are added in the plastic bag photobioreactors (PBRs) coupled with the MFC for absorption by Chlorella vulgaris. Adding FGDB at the MFC cathode increased the algae biomass productivity two times (0.677 ± 0.086 Kg/m3/d) compared to the cathode without FGDB. The algae could efficiently utilize 76.84 ± 1.23 %. More than 50 % of sodium carbonate can be recycled for the next round of CO2 capture. FGDB supplementation at the cathode improved MFC’s electrical energy production (0.0066 kWh/m3) by 1.5 times through enhanced anodic and cathodic currents. Therefore, the present study offers a biochemical CO2 sequestration process that generates power, algae biomass, and treats water by utilizing algae-assisted MFC for flue gas carbon capture.

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