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Dr GS Kocher, Principal Microbiologist, Department of Microbiology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), was invited to deliver a lead lecture on “Strategies for Pretreatment of the Lignocellulosic Compounds – The Key Step to Bioethanol Production” at the 64th International Conference of Association of Microbiologists of India (AMI) on “Microbes for life: Lifestyle for the environment – A strategy for well being,” organized at Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh from December 1 to 3. Distinguished scientists from US, Japan, The Netherlands, Germany and different states from India presented their work in the conference and highlighted the dynamic role played by microorganisms in sustaining the environment.

Dr Kocher in his deliberation focused on the availability and potential of agri-residues for meeting the country’s demand of bioethanol for supplementing into gasoline. He discussed the research being carried out at PAU on microbial bioutilization of rice straw, corn Stover and sweet sorghum bagasse for bioethanol production. Incidentally, one of the technologies developed out of this work was also granted an Indian patent “Fermentation process for enhanced glucose production from sweet sorghum bagasse using acidothermophilic Fungal cellulases” in 2021. Dr Kocher was felicitated with a token of appreciation at the conference.

Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor, PAU; Dr AS Dhatt, Director of Research; Dr Shammi Kapoor, Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities; and Dr (Mrs) Urmila Gupta, Principal Scientist (REE)-cum-Head, Department of Microbiology, appreciated the research work on bioethanol being carried out by Dr Kocher and congratulated him for sharing his work at the international conference.

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