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BHU scientists isolate coal-degrading bacteria

In a major scientific breakthrough, scientists of the School of Biotechnology, Banaras Hindu University, have isolated a group of
bacteria that degrades lignite coal (low energy producing coal) to produce methane gas for increased fuel efficiency.

While the isolation of the special group of bacteria, called coal degrading bacteria, and methanogens (methane producing bacteria) has been achieved at the fag end of three-year project costing Rs 40 lakh, where School of Biotechnology, BHU, is collaborating with Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), the scientists at BHU are already planning to go for field trials at the ONGC Institute of Reservoir Studies, Ahmedabad, after laboratory confirmation at BHU.

"We are planning to go for field trials in different coal beds at the nodal centre in the next two months for testing the results," said Prof AK Tripathi, one of the senior scientists of the School of Biotechnology, BHU, while talking to TOI on Sunday. "We would also assess how this energy-efficient technology can be successfully translated and transferred in the field," he added.

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