Doctoral dissertation

Biovalorisation of liquid and gaseous effluents from petrochemical and oil industry

An effective tool of producing energy and value-added chemicals from waste

The depletion of fossil fuels for meeting the ever increasing energy demand have induced the quest for alternative sources of energy. The waste effluents of process industries can be used in an eco-friendly manner by biologically converting them into useful end products such as biofuels and platform chemicals.

In her doctoral dissertation, M. Tech. Samayita Chakraborty has focused firstly on the feasibility of simultaneous degradation of phenol and reduction of selenite ions to nano Se(0) both found in liquid effluents of oil and petrochemical industry. The next step of this research was to utilise the gaseous effluent of the petrochemical industry comprising of CO/syngas for production of biofuels composed of various biofuels like ethanol, propanol, butanol and hexanol. The effect of trace metal addition (tungsten and selenium) on the production of alcohols was also studied. Finally, adsorptive recovery of alcohols was also tested by an in-house synthesized n-tertiary-butylacrylamide (NtBA) and acrylic acid co-polymer gel.

Chakraborty’s results demonstrated that aerobic degradation of phenol with the simultaneous reduction of toxic selenite to nano Se(0) was possible by two different modes of fungal-bacterial co-cultures constituted by the fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium and bacterium Delftia lacustris. In case of bioconversion of CO/syngas, a high concentration of hexanol in mixed culture was achieved along with production of ethanol and butanol.

The effect of tungsten was predominant over selenium in producing the alcohols from CO. In pursuit of recovery of alcohols, the polymeric gel could efficiently remove ethanol from a mixture of alcohols. Cyclical adsorption and desorption of the alcohols from the gel emphasize the re-usability, hence the cost effectiveness of the alcohol recovery process.

Public defense of a doctoral dissertation on Thursday, 12th of December

MSc Samayita Chakraborty’s dissertation in the field of environmental engineering entitled "Biovalorisation of liquid and gaseous effluents from petrochemical industry" will be publicly examined in Université Paris-Est (France) at 9.00 a.m. on 12th December. The opponents are Prof. Rémy Gourdon (Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon), France, Mohammad J Taherzadeh (University of Borås, Swedish Centre for Resource Recovery), Sweden and Dr. Antonella Marone (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and sustainable economic development), Italy.

Samayita Chakraborty's doctoral research has been conducted in the framework of the Advanced Biological Waste to Energy Technologies (ABWET) Innovative Training Network (ITN) European Joint Degree Programme. ABWET has four partner organizations: University of Cassino and Southern Lazio (Italy, coordinator), Université Paris-Est (France), IHE Delft Institute for water education and Tampere University of Technology (Finland). The Examination Committee of Samayita Chakraborty’s doctoral dissertation includes one representative from each partner organization.

Samayita Chakraborty comes from Kolkata (West Bengal, India) and worked as a researcher in the Department of Environmental Engineering and Water Technology at IHE, Delft, the Netherlands.