Environmental Biotechnology

By Prof. Pinaki Sar   |   IIT Kharagpur
Learners enrolled: 2602
The Environmental Biotechnology course aims to introduce and elaborate the fundamental concepts and applications of biotechnology in all aspects of environment including its protection, restoration and sustainability. Considering the rising challenges of climate change, energy and environmental crisis, this course will emphasize upon the recent development of biotechnology for harnessing microbial potential in environmental applications. The course is structured to provide the students with fundamental concepts of environmental biotechnology, highlighting the importance of microbial ecology, their metabolism, methods for their characterization and scopes for implementation. Bioremediation and biodegradation principles, processes and applications will be discussed along with advanced applications in wastewater, oil recovery, biohydrometallurgy, biofuel, carbon storage and capture, etc. This course will offer the students a broad sense of understanding on how modern biotechnology is developed to achieve better environmental protection and sustainability through the use of microbes and microbial communities in pollution abatement to mitigation of climate change, bioenergy, biomaterial to enzyme discovery. .

INTENDED AUDIENCE : B Sc. (Biosciences, Microbiology, Biotechnology, Botany, Any other branches of Life Sciences); M Sc. (Biotechnology / Life Sciences/ Environmental Sciences); B Tech (Biotechnology/Bioengineering)

PRE-REQUISITE : Microbiology, Biochemistry, Genetics/Genomics
SUPPORTED INDUSTRIES :Tata Consultancy Services, India; Tata Steel, India; ERM, India; ONGC, India; Aerobic Biotaxy India “Private” Limited, India Mining and Oil companies 
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Biological Sciences & Bioengineering
  • Bioprocesses
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 14 Oct 2022
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 30 Oct 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1:Environmental Biotechnology and Sustainability. Scope and applications of the subject. Basics of ecosystem structure and function
Week 2:Microbial Ecology and Environmental Biotechnology: Concepts and importance of microbial ecology in Environmental Biotechnology
Week 3:Microbiology of Environmental Engineering System: Microbial diversity, growth and decay. Stoichiometry of microbial energetics and kinetics.
Week 4:Resource Exploitation by Microorganisms: Functions of various microbial groups relevant to environmental systems, including waste treatment and resource recovery, implications in biogeochemistry.
Week 5:Methods in Microbial Ecology with relevant to Environmental Biotechnology: Culture dependent and - independent analyses of microbial communities; PCR based methods, Microarray, Environmental genomics
Week 6:Microbial Principles of Biodegradation, Biodetoxification and other processes relevant for Environmental Applications: Microbial engines, (metabolism), Requirements for biodegradation, acclimation, Common biotransformation mechanisms; Effect of organic contaminant structure on biodegradability; Cooperation between different microbial species for enhanced biodegradation; Applying biodegradation kinetics to fate and transport modeling
Week 7:Bioremediation Technologies: Concepts, methods and applications of natural attenuation and engineered bioremediation (e.g bioaugmentation and biostimulation)
Week 8:Microbial Interactions with Heavy Metals and Metalloids: Bioremediation, Biohydrometallurgy and other aspects of Environmental Biotechnology
Week 9:Aerobic and Anaerobic Degradation of Aliphatic and Aromatic Compounds. Microbial interaction with plastics, antibiotics and others emerging pollutants.
Week 10:Microbially Enhanced Phosphorus and Nitrogen Removal
Week 11:Microbially Enhanced Oil Recovery; Microbial role in Carbon Storage and Capture (sequestration, conversion to useful biopolymers, etc.).
Week 12:Case studies : Bioremediation, Carbon Storage and Capture, Bioenergy.

Books and references

  1. Environmental Biotechnology, Principles and Applications by Bruce E Rittman and Perry L McCarty, McGrawhill Higher education. 
  2. Environmental Biotechnology Edited by Hans-Joachim Jördening and J Winter, WILEY-VCH Verlag Gmbh & Co. 
  3. Bioremediation and Natural Attenuation by Pedro J J Alvarage and Walter A Illman, Wiley Interscience. 
  4. Environmental Biotechnology, Vol 10 Handbook of Environmental Engineering, Edited by L K Wang et al, Humana Press.

Instructor bio

Prof. Pinaki Sar

IIT Kharagpur
Pinaki Sar, Professor, Department of Biotechnology IIT Kharagpur has been engaged in teaching and research on microbiology and related biotechnology aspects for the past 18 years. His major area of interest lies in microbial ecology of diverse ecosystems including understanding their catabolic repertoire and evaluate community’s potential in achieving environmental sustainability. He uses genomics and metagenomics approaches to understand community function. He has been engaged in teaching Environmental Biotechnology for 18 years to the undergraduate (B Tech. Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering) students of IIT Kharagpur. His other teaching interests include, Microbiology, Microbial Genomics and Metagenomics, Metabolic Engineering, etc.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 30 October 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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