Coffee pulp bacteria clears oil spills, finds Nitte college team

Coffee pulp bacteria clears oil spills, finds Nitte college team

MANGALURU: Can bacteria extracted from coffee pulp waste help clear oil spills? It can, says the team from NMAM Institute of Technology, Nitte which has won the Best Project Award for ‘Microbial Bioremediation of Effluents’ at the Joy of Engineering, Design and Innovation (Jed-i) project challenge.

The bacteria extracted grows in a minimal medium supplemented with petroleum crude oil (PCO) in sea water indicating that this is a halophile (organisms that thrive in high salt concentrations) and can be used effectively to clear oil spills in seas.

The team – Aparna K Mohan, Sandhya Kamath, Sanjana Chiplunkar and Shiny Martis B, all BE Biotechnology students of the college- won the challenge beating 19 other finalists which included teams from IITs and NITs. The annual challenge, conducted by Jed-i in partnership with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, is designed to identify and showcase the best final year engineering project.

Sanjana, one of the participants, said: “Actually, this was our mini project in the second year. When we got good results we continued with it. The bacteria (Brevibacterium sp. MTCC10313) was previously isolated from coffee pulp ad our seniors had done work and found out that it had caffeine degradation ability. Since it had ability we thought it could tolerate other stressful conditions, then we thought of this.”

Can this be implemented at ground level? “We built a bio-reactor with some waste water and we inoculated the bacteria and got the same results as we got in our lab. This will work in the real world,” she said.

The second place was won by the team of Pradyumna S V, Prateek R, Kunal A Mehta, Mohit Kumar Basu from Reva Institute Of Technology & Management for their project ‘Design, fabrication and Analysis of A Remotely Piloted Vehicle’ while the project ‘Robotic Wrist’ by team of Harish Pawar, Raghuveer Sarma M S, Amit Inamdar, Pooja Ambannavar, Priya Burlabaddi from B V Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering and Technology won a special mention.


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