With rapid industrial growth and globalization, an energy crisis is looming over the industrial world and production of alternatives to fossil fuels is increasingly becoming the necessity of the hour. Nepal is no exception to this scenario as it faces acute electricity and energy crisis and still is using more energy per GDP than other countries in the South East Asia region. This clearly indicates a lack of sustainable plan implementation policies for efficient energy consumption resulting in an energy crisis which has severely hindered the industrial and economic growth of the country.
Countries such as Brazil and the USA are already producing 73.7 billion liters of bioethanol used as fuel from staple crops mainly, corn and sugarcane. And on the other hand, most organic residues (agricultural products, municipal waste, animal waste etc.) are left to decay on their own causing a significant increase in CO2 in the atmosphere which has been proven to play a role in climate change, and this also causes a loss of nutritional value.
Thus, it is imperative that the research and implementation process should focus towards utilization of biomass and industrial wastes to produce bioenergy, which not only manages such wastes but also has minimal carbon footprints as compared to fossil fuels.
Dairy waste management as renewable source: Lessons dissemination in Nepal.
Korea Green Foundation (KGF), South Korea
Whey is a major waste of the dairy industry around the world. For the production of 1 kg of cheese, 10 kg of milk is needed resulting in 9 kg of waste (cheese whey). Cheese whey is an organic waste which primarily comprises lactose (4-6 %), proteins (0.8-1%) and other components in trace amounts. Globally around 108 tons of cheese whey is produced per year. Due to its high Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) (30–60 g/l) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) (60–80 g /l), such dairy wastes create significant environmental and ecological problems when directly disposed into water bodies.
Therefore, in a country like Nepal, where we lack basic infrastructure for science and technology, inception workshops among dairy industries, interaction and awareness to local dairy farmers, conferences among university students about environmental hazards of dairy waste is need of the hour. This project helps to centralize scattered dairy cooperatives, dairy development centers, and dairy industries into one platform so as to work towards proper management of dairy wastes. It also helps to make the local dairy farmers aware on how to manage such dairy waste and make the community eco-friendly, through audio visual approach of teaching. Furthermore, this project aims to bring university students to debate more on renewable energy generation from waste through a conference for greener Nepal tomorrow.
Optimization of bioethanol production from cheese whey using immobilized lactose assimilating yeast strains.
RenewableNepal Programme, Kathmandu University, Nepal
With the ever increasing global energy demand, an energy crisis is looming throughout the world and production of alternative energy to fossil fuels is increasingly becoming the necessity of the hour. As a consequence, countries such as Brazil and the USA are already producing 73.7 billion liters of bioethanol, from staple crops mainly, corn and sugarcane. Such an alternative, however, is questionable due to the ever increasing world population and urban encroachment into agricultural lands. Thus, it is imperative that the research should focus towards utilization of industrial wastes to produce bioethanol which acts as a suitable substrate for biofuel production, substituting use of crops for energy production, thereby managing such wastes by itself and also has minimal carbon footprints as compared to fossil fuels. This project proposes a sustainable approach to overcome fuel crisis and environmental pollution at the same time, wherein, dairy wastes can be used to produce bioethanol that can be used as an alternative to fossil fuel.
Development of iron biofortified Spirulina for anemic women.
Globally, anemia affects about 33% of the women of reproductive age (15–49 years) corresponding to 41% for Nepal in 2016. Iron-deficiency contributes to nearly 60% of global anemia (Ministry of Health, 2017; WHO, 2018). Iron deficiency majorly occurs due to inadequate dietary intake: diet lacking sufficient bioavailable iron, chronic blood loss from heavy menstrual bleeding or hookworm infection, and increased iron requirements during growth or pregnancy. Iron deficiency has unpleasant outcomes like fatigue, lethargy, impaired cognitive performance even in the absence of clinical anemia. Use of synthetic iron supplement or iron-fortified food is the most widespread method practiced to alleviate iron-deficiency/anemia. However, the iron supplement has side effects like nausea, constipation or diarrhea, and dark stools; creating hesitancy in users and lack of enough bioavailable iron as well as altered taste/texture/stability are the critical problems of iron-fortified foods.
Our proposed project concept is to develop iron biofortified Spirulina without adverse side effects and containing bioavailable iron equivalent to one’s recommended dose. Additionally, Spirulina also contains essential vitamins and nutrients required to enhance nutritional status. This project will aid to achieve the UN sustainable development goal of ensuring healthy lives and well-being of all people.