Biofuel from microorganisms

News:International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) is developing a method to improve the growth rate and sugar content of a marine cyanobacterium called Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002.



  • Cyanobacteria commonly known as blue-green-algae are microscopic organisms found in both fresh and marine waters.
  • They are photosynthetic, that is, they can manufacture their own food.
  • The yield of sugars from cyanobacteria can be much higher than that of land-based crops. Further, unlike plant-based sugars, cyanobacterial biomass provides a nitrogen source in the form of proteins.

Biofuel: Bio fuels are liquid/ solid or gaseous fuels produced from biomass resources. They are used in place of, or in addition to, diesel, petrol or other fossil fuels for transport, stationary, portable and other applications.

Classification of Biofuels:

  1. First generation biofuels: It refers to the fuels that have been derived from sources like starch, sugar, animal fats and vegetable oil.
  2. Second generation biofuels – These are produced from non-food crops, such as cellulosic biofuels and waste biomass (stalks of wheat and corn, and wood). Examples include advanced biofuels like biohydrogen, biomethanol.
  3. Third generation biofuels – These are produced from specially engineered energy crops such as algae.
  4. Fourth-Generation Biofuels: It uses genetically modified (GM) algae to enhance biofuel production.

Additional Information:

International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

  • It is a global institution for genetic engineering and biotechnology
  • It was established as a project of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in 1983. It became an autonomous International Organisation in 1994