Author IDs

Willing to take PhD students: yes


Dr. Sunita Varjani is currently working as a researcher at the City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. She has worked as Scientific Officer at Gujarat Pollution Control Board, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. Her major areas of research are Industrial & Environmental Biotechnology, Wastewater Treatment & Process Engineering, Bioprocess Technology and Waste Management. Her current research focus is on developing circular waste-based biorefineries for the sustainable production of chemicals and fuels. Dr. Varjani has worked as visiting scientist at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland. She has 490 publications, including research and review papers, books, book chapters and conference communications. She has been enlisted as a “Highly Cited Researchers 2022” list published by Clarivate’s Web of Science. She has been enlisted as a Highly Cited Researcher (Top 2% in the World), Elsevier Citation Report (2020, 2021, 2022). She has won several awards, including Young Scientist Awards from The International Bioprocessing Association - An International Forum on Industrial Bioprocesses (2019-2020), Biotech Research Society, India (2018), Microbiologist’s Society India (2018-19), Association of Microbiologists of India (2018), International Society for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (2018) and AFRO-ASIAN Congress on Microbes for Human and Environmental Health, New Delhi (2014); Highly Cited and Highly downloaded papers, Bioresource Technology, Elsevier, Journal of Environmental Management, Elsevier and Bioengineered, Taylor & Francis; Top Reviewer Award - 2018, Bioresource Technology, Elsevier; Top Reviewer Award - 2017, Bioresource Technology, Elsevier and Best Paper Awards in national and international conferences in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022. She has served as deputy editor for Bioengineered journal. She has served as guest editor of special issues of several journals. She is editor for Archives of Microbiology and Indian Journal of Microbiology journal(s). She served as Management Council Member of the BRSI (2019-2021; 2021-2023). She is an Executive Committee Member of the International Society for Energy, Environment and Sustainability.


Editor or Editorial Membership


Associate Editor:

  • Bioresource Technology (Elsevier) IF: 11.889
  • Sustainable Environment
  • Cleaner & Circular Bioeconomy (CLCB) (Elsevier)

Editor: Indian Journal of Microbiology (Springer)

Consulting Editor: Biotech Express

Editorial Board Member:

  • Science of the Total Environment (Elsevier) IF: 10.753
  • Current Pollution Reports (Springer) IF: 8.097
  • Chemosphere (Elsevier) IF: 8.943
  • Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy (Elsevier) IF: 5.464
  • Green Analytical Chemistry (Elsevier)
  • Case studies in Chemical and Environmental Engineering (Elsevier)
  • Journal of Energy & Environ Sustainability (ISEES)

Research Interests/Areas

The demand for bio-based technologies for material, chemical, and fuel production is increasing. These technologies can help reduce our reliance on diminishing oil reserves and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Industrial and environmental biotechnology are emerging fields that are utilizing bioprocess technology to address key challenges in wastewater treatment and waste management. Bioreactors and microbial treatment systems are being developed to remove pollutants from wastewater, while waste-to-energy technologies are being used to convert organic waste into valuable products. Biorefineries, which convert various renewable feedstocks into a range of valuable products using eco-friendly technologies, incorporate these innovative bioprocesses. Over the past decade, a number of lignocellulose-based biorefinery processes have been developed and implemented at a commercial scale. However, there are also concerns about the generation of waste and the scarcity of resources due to the linear economy's cradle-to-grave material flow system. The ever-increasing global population is also causing significant concerns about the development of organic waste and the lack of resource supply.

Our team is dedicated to conducting research on the utilization of bioconversion processes to extract nutrients from organic waste, which can then be transformed into products with added value. The use of a waste-based biorefinery not only provides an effective means of waste treatment, but also promotes the development of a circular economy by transforming wastes into high-value products. Our projects are primarily focused on the development of integrated biorefinery strategies for the valorization of food wastes for the sustainable production of chemicals and fuels including techno-economic assessment to evaluate their technical and economic feasibility. Our objective is to further develop these biorefinery strategies with the aim of encouraging sustainable waste management and promoting the establishment of a circular/closed-loop economy.


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