Dr Rakesh Bhatia BSc (Royal Holloway, University of London), MRes (Imperial College London), PhD (Aberystwyth University)
I’m particularly passionate about promoting plant biomass from grasses for bio-refining (biofuels, -materials and -chemicals) to help overcome global environmental and sustainable challenges.
Project 1: “An integrated approach to explore a novel paradigm for biofuel production from lignocellulosic feedstocks”
Goal: Production and characterisation of oligosaccharides from biorefining feedstocks using Steam-Explosion & Ionic Liquid pre-treatments, tailored to the carbohydrate uptake mechanisms of newly designed yeast strains.
Collaboration: University of São Paulo; CTBE; Imperial College London; Bath University.
Project 2: "Genetic engineering of grass cell walls to improve lignocellulosic bioconversion characteristics"
Goal: This project aims to characterise several novel grass secondary cell wall biosynthesis related transcription factors and cell wall modifying enzymes using the reverse genetic overexpression approach in model species maize and Brachypodium distachyon. We anticipate gaining knowledge of genes controlling secondary cell wall formation for targeted manipulation of grass cell wall architecture and composition to boost the yield and conversion efficiency of grasses for biorefining applications.
Methods: PCR, Microscopy, Real-Time PCR, Histochemistry, Enzymatic Hydrolysis, Transformation, Biomass Pretreatment, Cell Wall Analysis, Lignin Chemistry, Plant Phenotyping, Biomass Compositional Analysis