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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Banwari Lal

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

One of the areas where I am presently working and which I consider to be most innovative and have long term significance is Bioremediation of oil spills and treatment of oily sludge (hazardous hydrocarbon waste generated by oil refinery) and drill cuttings (hazardous oily waste generated during drilling of oil wells) by OILZAPPER.

In India the incidents of oil spills have been increasing in recent years despite the best effort of petroleum industry. Many of those whose livelihoods depend on fisheries lose their jobs as a result of oil slicks in rivers and lakes. Water in many lakes situated in different parts of India was treated with Oilzapper, which was thus instrumented in restoring livelihoods of many. More than 5000 hectares of cropland contaminated with crude oil spills has been reclaimed with the application of Oilzapper in different parts of India and more than 26,100 tonnes of oily sludge and drill cuttings has been successfully treated with Oilzapper. This helped not only in improving environment quality in India and middle east region but also generated employment.

Oilzapper is the first product developed by assembling five naturally occurring bacterial species, which can biodegrade all the fractions of crude oil, oily sludge and drill cuttings including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and asphaltene compounds.

The nominee’s pioneering and ingenious effort to develop a particularly Environmentally benign technique to combat a serious threat to the environment, namely degradation of land and water as a result of oil spills, is a particularly good example of harnessing science for the well-being of humankind and, thus, deserving of recognition.

The Oilzapper technology has already won four national awards (All India Biotechnology Association Award (AIBA) 2000-2001; Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial National Gold medal Award, 2002; Biotech Product & Process Development & Commercialization Awards 2002 (by Government of India); and National Petroleum Management Programme Award for Creativity and Innovation in R&D category, 2002-2003 by Government of India.

The Oilzapper technology is cost-effective and environment friendly. The cost of this treatment is only one-third of the conventional process of storing oily sludge and drill cuttings in secured pits.

Every major oil company in India and middle-east country now uses Oilzapper. This list includes: 1. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Government of India. 2. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., Government of India. 3. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd., Government of India. 4. Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd., Government of India. 5. Oil India Ltd., India 6. Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd., India 7. Reliance Petroleum Ltd., India 8. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, UAE

Brief Biography

Dr.BANWARI LAL

Banwari Lal born on 1st July 1960, holds a Ph.D. degree in Microbial Biotechnology and has 20 years of research experience. He served University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India, for two years and then he joined TERI in 1989. Currently, he is heading the Biotechnology Division at TERI, New Delhi. At TERI his team has developed Oilzapper technology for bioremediation of oil spills and treatment of oily sludge (hazardous hydrocarbon wastes generated by oil industry) and drill cuttings.

Dr Lal is working on Bioremediation of crude oil spills, treatment of oily sludge and drill cuttings (Hazardous hydrocarbon waste generated by oil industries). He developed a bacterial consortium by assemble of five efficient bacterial strains which could biodegrade crude oil, oily sludge and drill cuttings. He developed a process for clean up of crude oil spills and drill cuttings. The bacterial consortium developed by Dr. Banwari Lal known as Oilzapper. Bioremediation technology named Oilzapper is being used by • Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Government of India • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd., Government of India • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., Government of India • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd., Government of India • Oil India Ltd., Government of India • Reliance Petroleum Industry, Government of India • Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, UAE.

He is a recipient of many awards, some of which are: • All India Biotech Association award 2001 for achievement in Industrial Biotechnology by All India Biotech Association, New Delhi, India. • Biotech Product & Process Development for Commercialization Award 2002 by Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, New Delhi, India. • Jawarharlal Nehru Memorial National Gold Medal Award 2002 for excellence in Environmental Biotechnology Research by International Greenland Society, Hyderabad, India. • Best paper oral presentation award in the 5th International Petroleum Conference and Exhibition (PETRO-TECH 2003) organized by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd., India. • National Petroleum Management Programme Award 2002-2003 for Creativity and Innovation in R&D category. The Award was presented by Hon'ble Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India on 27th May'04. The Award comprise of a citation and cash award.

Listed below are some of the scientific communities that he is a member of: • American Society for Microbiology U.S.A. • Society of Applied Microbiology U.K. • Society of General Microbiology U.K. • International Water Association U.K. • Society for Industrial Microbiology U.S.A. • Association of Microbiologists of India (Life member)

He has two patents and published 20 research papers in international and national journals.

of selected research publication published in the recent four years

• Mishra S, Sarma P M, and Lal B. 2004. Crude oil degradation efficiency of a recombinant lux tagged Acinetobacter baumannii strain and its survival in crude oil contaminated soil microcosm. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 235: 323-331.

• Sarma P M, Bhattacharya D, Krishnan S, and Lal B. 2004. Assessment of intraspecies diversity among strains of Acinetobacter baumannii isolated from sites contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons. Canadian journal of Microbiology. 50: (In press).

• Sarma P M, Bhattacharya D, Krishnan S, and Lal B. 2004. Degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon by a newly discovered enteric bacterium, Leclercia adecarboxylata. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 70: 3163-3166.

• Bhattacharya D, Sarma P M, Krishnan S, Mishra S, and Lal B. 2003. Evaluation of the Genetic Diversity among the Strains of Pseudomonas citronellolis isolated from oily Sludge Contaminated Sites. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 60: 1435-1441.

• Mishra S., Jyot J., Kuhad, R., and Lal B., 2001. In situ bioremediation potential of an oily sludge degrading bacterial consortium. Current Microbiology 43: 328-335.

• Mishra S., Jyot J., Kuhad, R., and Lal B., 2001. Evaluation of inoculum addition to stimulate in situ bioremediation of oily sludge contaminated soil, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 67:1675-1682.