Total visitors:3,983 since 25-02-04





ISSN 0409-7467





30 DECEMBER 2003


 the building construction and material industries in finding timely, appropriate and economic solutions to the problems concerning rural and urban housing foundations, structures, building materials, energy conservation and fire safety.

Dr Abdul Kalam was shown major projects of CBRI on Building materials, Disaster mitigation, Rural technology and Fire Research. In Building Materials Laboratory, the XRD equipment, vital for mineral characterization of clays, industrial wastes, cement, aggregates, sand, sludges, etc. was shown. The CBRI technology packages for the utilization of fly ash in building bricks through manual as well as semi‑mechanized process attracted keen attention of His Excellency. Design and development of an improved brick kiln with very low quantity of air pollutants from the kiln stack is one of the major contributions of the institute. Over 5000 units of the improved brick kiln have come up during the past couple of years.

In the area of Distressed Foundations, the VVIPs took keen interest in non‑destructive technique for detecting and mapping of the area of distress in Building Foundations, which is a unique technique for detection of underground cavities and tunnels in the Building Environment.

The dignitaries were also informed about the seismic microzonation study in Delhi, through a network of 16 Digital Strong Motion Accelerographs (SMAs). By this system, 22 actual earthquakes have been recorded (12 distant and 10 local) since May 1997.


The President also visited the Rural Technology Park and took keen interest in rural model house made of non‑erodable mud plaster, durable and fire retardant thatch roof, and plinth protection of mud walls, instant shelter which can be erected in just 15 minutes for immediate use; ultra low‑cost house which is a semi‑permanent structure made of manually pressed semi finished mud plaster and fire retardant panels. Dr Abdul Kalam also showed interest in shelter for coastal areas and hilly regions where secondary species of timber can be used for better first floor living. The various units displayed included prefabricated brick panel system which is 20‑30% more cost effective, and more than 80,000 houses have already been constructed; prefabricated roofing systems for cost reduction, faster construction and better quality; machines for the production of blocks and bricks, EPS composites, and sandwich type light‑weight composite door shutters having excellent sound and thermal insulation. Composite door shutters prepared from jute/sisal composites as a face and plastic/wood as a core material; waste water disposal system, which is based on economical technology and suitable for rainwater harvesting as well; Low‑cost latrines for high and low water table areas, which avoid contamination of underground water are some of the various technologies which are cost‑effective and intended for upliftment of rural areas. Navodaya Vidyalaya Project, which has been implemented throughout the country, a brain child of CBRI Director Shri V.K. Mathur, was also on display. CBRI contribution to Metro Rail Project, for prevention of collapse of old and dilapidated buildings owing to excessive settlement and tunneling operations along the Metro Corridor, Advice on studies pertaining to architectural and structural health, including restoration of aging stones of Rashtrapati Bhawan, are some of the projects which impressed the President.

In Fire Research Area, the President was given a live demonstration of extinguishment of petrol fire, for which CBRI has US patent; International facility for fire resistance assessment of building elements, i.e. wall furnace attracted attention of the distinguished visitor. Various fire‑resistant products including fire door and micro data cabinet manufactured as per CBRI technology were also shown.

The children of CBRI Bal Vidya Mandir School alongwith the CBRI staff members expressed their gratitutde to their beloved President. The children bid loving farewell to the President by flying away hundreds of balloons.

Leaf Pre‑conditioning Machine for Withering

THE Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur, has designed a leaf pre‑conditioning machine for withering.

Chemical and physical withering of tea leaves is a crucial step in manufacture of black tea. Normally, the process takes up to 14 h. But the withering machine designed by IHBT reduces the time to 4.5‑5.5h for CTC and 5.5‑6h for orthodox.

The salient features of the machine are:

The machine was fabricated by MESCO Equipment (P) Ltd and has been tested in a commercial tea garden.

Collaborators and Contact Persons:

The President Mesco Equipment (P) Ltd.2A, Ganesh Chandra AvenueKolkata – 700 013Phone: 033‑22132181Fax: 033‑22132058E‑mail:

The DirectorInstitute of Himalayan Bioresource TechnologyPost Box No. 6 Palampur‑176 061 (H.P.) Phone: 01894‑230421 Fax: 01894‑230433E‑mail:


R&D at RRL‑Bhubaneswar

Briquetting Fines and Wastes of Steel Plants

HUGE quantities of iron ore‑coke fines are generated during handling and processing of raw materials in steel plants. Generated to the extent of 5% of plant feed materials besides mill scale, flue dust, granulated stag, etc., this waste material is disposed off by stock piling, land filling and partial recycling to main processing unit through sintering, a high temperature agglomeration technique to recover the iron value.

@BODY‑M = With the enforcement of stringent environmental regulations, landfill costs are increasing and operation of sinter plants is becoming more difficult, as they necessitate the adoption of zero‑waste based concept in industrial production units.

During the past three and a half years, over 5,00,000 tonnes of cold bonded briquettes have been recycled through the blast furnaces at the Great Lakes Steel Division of National Steel located at Ecorse, Michigan, USA. The plant, designed to produce 2,70,000 tonnes of briquettes per year, has achieved its environmental goal of recycling the blast furnace materials and reducing the land fill shipments by nearly 4,00,000 tonnes. The briquette blends consist of flue dust, filter cake, coke breeze, HMS sludge, desulphurized fines and steel fines. These blends vary in their iron and carbon contents. The waste materials are very fine in nature and the briquettes are made using a proprietory inorganic binder. The briquettes not do have any adverse effect on normal blast furnace operations even at 6.5% addition of the burden. In fact they result in a positive impact by reducing the overall coke requirements.

M/s Ispat Metallics India Limited (IMIL), Dolvi, Maharashtra, approached the Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Bhubaneswar, to study the cold briquetting of its wastes such as the iron ore fines, mill scale, coke fines, granulated slag, flue dust, etc, produced at its iron and steel plant, with an objective to recycle the briquettes to blast furnace. Though such studies had not been carried out anywhere in India, the RRL was quick to respond and scientists of its Pyrometallurgy, Energy Technology and Environment Management and Inorganic Chemicals Departments teamed up with the right blend of knowledge, experience, expertise and spirit.

The scope of the programme encompassed the following:

Preliminary investigations were carried out on finer particles (‑3 mm) using organic binders. The briquettes so produced had good green and cold crushing strength but very poor hot strength (RDI> 80%). These studies were extended to select inorganic binders to impart good hot strength to the briquettes. The process was then tested for using the entire size range (‑6 mm) of raw materials supplied by M/s IMIL, Dolvi and optimizing the quantities of binders. As the use of chemical grade binders resulted in high cost for briquette making, studies were also made using commercial grade binders. The briquettes prepared using commercial inorganic binders gave poor green strength, though cold and hot strength were not very poor. Systematic research investigations were carried out using a liquid binder, used earlier, resulting in briquettes with the best possible green, cold and hot strengths, which were confirmed by the RDCIS, Ranchi. This path‑breaking finding was a big boost to the entire programme.

After successful completion of laboratory scale studies on 300‑1000g in hand press, the optimum process conditions for briquetting were finalized on 15‑75 kg/batch in continuous hydraulic roll press (500 kg/h capacity) in the laboratory under replicated runs on industrial scale. The elliptical briquettes produced emulated the shape and size of those obtained from the large industrial briquetting press. These briquettes had very good green strength (>5 drops), cold strength of >200 kg/cm2 and RDI of 10‑30 %.

Following this, studies were taken up to upgrade the briquetting technology under actual industrial conditions. Brimming with confidence, the RRL Scientists visited the IMIL, Dolvi regarding the implementation of their briquetting technology. Necessary binders, as suggested, were procured by the IMIL, Dolvi for initial trials on 1 tonne per batch of the raw material. As the particle size range of iron ores varied from different yards of plants, sieve analysis of the raw materials was conducted to estimate the granulometry of the charge materials. This was essential in fixing the raw material charge blend, i.e., the weight proportion in the mixture of wastes. The briquetting trial run was done in a 30 TPH briquetting press.

In the initial experiments, iron ore fines (‑4 mm) were used. Later, the charge included the entire size range of iron ore fines, i.e. 6 mm size. By adjusting the process parameters, the green strength was improved from 3 drops to 6+ and after 15 minutes it was increased to 10+ drops. After curing for two days, the briquettes were subjected to tumbling tests with highly encouraging results. These successful trials were encouraging enough for the IMIL officials, to decide to produce the briquettes, on a continuous scale, for testing in blast furnace. Necessary modifications suggested by the RRL are being contemplated in the plant. The Vice‑President, IMIL, Dolvi has highly appreciated the technology and issued a letter in this regard.

The process is simple, innovative, efficient and cost effective. It uses the wastes and in that process helps the environment. The RRL thus has a proven briquetting technology now and is looking forward to market the process to other steel plants in the country.

Electrolytic Growth of Metal Nuclei into Metal Sheets

A careful study of the rising part of the current‑time transient curve helps determine the kinetics and mechanism of nuclei growth and corresponds to the intensity before overlapping of the growing nuclei. The particular shape of the current‑time transients strongly suggests that a nucleation process is involved in the electrodeposition of metals like Cu, Ni, Co, Au, Ag and many others.

The Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Bhubaneswar, has carried out a study on nucleation of cobalt, a strategic metal used extensively in commercial and military aircraft engine and aerospace research, corrosion‑resistant alloys, etc. An estimated world production of cobalt by 2000 was 33,408 mt with the demand standing at 34,500 mt. Cobalt is a costly metal with great potential and need further scientific exploration. 

In the study of the nucleation process, the first part of each current‑time transient is largely a charging current that decays during nucleation. The rising portion reflects the increase in current because each independent nucleus grows in size, consequently increasing the total area of electroactive cobalt surface. In the latter stage of the transient, the diffusion zone around the nuclei overlaps and one diffusion layer is formed with its shape depending on the electrode geometry. Thus the current falls to approach a value corresponding to the diffusion controlled process.

In the case of a mass transfer controlled process the type of nucleation could be either instantaneous or progressive. Depending on the situation, the mechanism, in both the cases, may be kinetics or diffusion controlled and the morphology may either be 2D or 3D.

Both the potentiostat‑pulse and time control the growth pattern of cobalt nuclei. The three‑dimensional nucleation obtained by the SEM is shown in the figures. The nucleation at different times, but at a particular potentiostatic pulse potential, indicates the individual three‑dimensional growth of cobalt nuclei on the GC electrode substrate. At 0.5 M Co2+, the measured log I‑log t slopes are close to the theoretical value of 0.5 for each potentiostatic pulse of –0.85,–0.90, and –0.95 V. This indicates that there is an instantaneous nucleation process that is under diffusion control but the nucleation has a three dimensional morphological pattern. Deposition of cobalt for 30s deposition at a potentiostatic pulse of ‑0.90 V on the GC electrode from 0.1 M Co2+ shows discrete and well distributed spherical cobalt nuclei, which is still well defined at ΄ 10,000 magnification (Figure A). However, at 120s duration at the same potentiostatic pulse, the nuclei overlap and the substrate surface develops a smooth appearance (Figure B). A similar phenomenon is observed at a potentiostatic pulse of –0.95 V where the deposition continues for only 30s. A well‑nucleated spherical cobalt deposit with three‑dimensional growth was observed covering the entire substrate surface (Figure C).

@BODY‑SM = This is how the nucleation of metal occurs on the substrate surface and overlapping of the nuclei leads to layer by layer growth and finally to a thicker deposit which comes out as a metal sheet.

Complexities of Producing Battery Grade Nickel Hydroxide

THE chemical formula, Ni(OH)2 for nickel hydroxide does suggest a very simple compound. Its preparation too could be visualized from the principles of elementary chemistry: Add alkali to any nickel salt solution, adjust the pH to 6‑7 and there it is – the green precipitate of nickel hydroxide. This seemingly simple compound with seemingly simple method of preparation may seem to desist research activity concerning it. But the truth is stranger than fiction as a large number of papers have been published and numerous patents filed on this subject all over the world!

The importance of nickel hydroxide lies in its use as positive electrode material in all nickel based alkaline rechargeable batteries like the Ni‑Cd, Ni‑Zn, Ni‑Fe and Ni‑MH (methal hydride) systems. The major producers of these batteries are: Tanaka Chemicals (Japan), Sumitamo Metal Mining Corporation (Japan), INCO (Canada), Sheritt (Canada), and H.C. Starck (Germany). The major consumers of nickel hydroxide are Matsushita, Sanyo, Toshiba, Hitachi and Nippon Storage Battery — all of Japan. The global demand for nickel hydroxide is estimated to be 110,000 tonnes per annum and is expected to grow at 20‑40% annually after the introduction of electric vehicles. Such commercial importance naturally provokes active research and hence the magnitude of research all over the world.

The required properties of battery grade nickel hydroxide suggest the following specifications: Nickel: 59% Minimum; Moisture: 3% Maximum; Iron: 0.01% Maximum; Cadmium: 0.0005% Maximum; Sulphate: 0.9% Maximum; Chloride: 0.02% Maximum; Carbonate: 0.5% Maximum; Tap density: 1.5 to 2.0; Particle size: 10 to 15 microns; Discharge capacity: 170 Ah/kg Minimum.

Total present market for batteries in India is estimated at Rs 910 crore and is expected to grow at 8‑9% per year; the entire requirement is being met through imports. Following the trend in the developed countries, alkaline batteries are expected to contribute 55‑60% of the total market in the Indian context also. However, the awareness of Indian market for the alkaline batteries began only in 1994 after the liberalization process started.

Sensing its growing importance, the Hydro and Electro‑metallurgy Division of the Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Bhubaneswar, initiated work on the preparation of battery‑grade nickel hydroxide; M/s Rubamin Ltd provided funds. A team of scientists and research students began the investigation.

Nickel hydroxide exists mainly in two crystalline forms the a and the b‑.  b-Nickel hydroxide has a brucite C6‑type structure and is isomorphous with the divalent hydroxides of Ca, Mg, Fe, Co and Cd while the a– form is extensively hydrated and/or intercalated with anions along the 001 plane having disordered turbostratic structure with randomly oriented layers.

The compound can be prepared by any of the three methods: (i) chemical precipitation, (ii) electro‑chemical precipitation and (iii) precipitation using complexing agents. The properties change with the method of prepartion and in each method of preparation, they change with the systems as well as parameters. The systems studied were: Ni(II)‑NaOH‑H2O with/without hydrothermal treatment, Ni(NO3)2‑NH3‑H2O, Ni(NO3)2‑Urea‑H2O at 90°C. The parameters varied were: hydrothermal treatment temperature, initial nickel salt concentration, nature of nickel salt, time of ageing at ambient temperature, precipitation pH, nickel/urea ratio, nitrate ion concentration, current density and temperature, complexing agents and presence of sodium/cadmium/cobalt ion.

Chemical precipitation from the system Ni(II)‑NaOH‑H2O employing hydrothermal treatment resulted in the formation of b–motif. Discharge capacity of nickel hydroxide decreased with ageing at ambient temperature but increased with increase in hydrothermal treatment temperature (maxima at 160°C) and decrease in initial nickel concentration. Tap density also increased as the hydrothermal treatment temperature rose from 60 to 160°C but ageing too had a positive effect in this case. However, tap density was just a physical property and could not be related to electrolytic behaviour as one set of experimental conditions resulted in the increase of both tap density and discharge capacity whereas another set showed the reverse trend. Presence of sodium ion during hydrothermal treatment adversely affected the electrolytic behaviour of nickel hydroxide.

Physico‑chemical and electrolytic properties of nickel hydroxide samples at room temperature under different experimental conditions from the Ni(NO3)2‑NH3‑H2O system showed increase in discharge capacity of nickel hydroxide when precipitation pH was increased from 6.5 to 9.5. Presence of cadmium in small amounts during co‑precipitation enhanced the electrolytic activity. The maximum discharge capacity of 231 mAh/g of nickel hydroxide was obtained when precipitation was carried out from a nickel amine solution containing small amount of cadmium along with potassium hydroxide.

Precipitation of nickel hydroxide from the Ni(NO3)2‑Urea‑H2O system varying nickel/urea ratio, ageing time and initial nickel salt concentration gave products with low nickel content (‑40 to 44.5%), substantial water of hydration and intercalated anions. The samples were identified to be either of a–form or a mixture of a‑and b-forms and were turbostratic in nature.

The nature of nickel salt used too had significant effect on the products. The sample prepared at pH 6.7 from a sulphate solution exhibited the lowest crystallite size, lower decomposition temperature, greater degree of hydration and highest discharge capacity of 266 mAh/g of nickel hydroxide. Addition of small quantities of cobalt salt solution during the precipitation stage improved the discharge capacity of nickel hydroxide electrode.

When prepared electro‑chemically under different experimental conditions, presence of nitrate ion was found to be essential. The particle size of nickel hydroxide increased with current density and the maximum discharge capacity obtained was 200 mAh/g of nickel hydroxide. When prepared using various complexing agents such as a sodium succinate, EDTA, sodium potassium tartrate and tri‑ethanol amine (TEA), the discharge capacity was found to be maximum for TEA (208 mAh/g) whereas the lowest value of 107 mAh/g was obtained for sodium succinate.

Studies revealed the electrolytic behaviour of nickel hydroxide to be extremely sensitive to preparation parameters. The discharge capacity may vary between 50 and 273 mAh/g and the nickel content may vary between 44‑62%. Though nickel hydroxide samples with high discharge capacity and required nickel content were prepared, the tap density was found to be low for the samples, showing high discharge capacities. Moreover, the values of discharge capacities refer to the first cycle. For commercial applications, nickel hydroxide should withstand about a thousand charge‑discharge cycles. This aspect is under investigation.

The work is continuing with the support of the Department of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Non‑conventional Energy Sources.

International Seminar on Downsizing Technology for Rural Development (ISDTRD‑2003)

THE Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Bhubaneswar, organized an international seminar on `Downsizing Technology for Rural Development' (ISDTRD‑2003) in association with Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC), New Delhi and Indian Institute of Metals, Bhubaneswar Chapter, during 7‑9 October 2003. More than 300 delegates from India and abroad participated in this seminar which had around 140 presentations, including 20 plenary and keynote addresses.

The seminar was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Orissa. Dr R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, was the Guest of Honour, and delivered the keynote address. The inaugural function was chaired by Dr Vibhuti N. Misra, Director, RRL‑Bhubaneswar. Dr Mangala Rai, Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Education, Government of India; Prof. Uwe Rehling, Director, International Institute of Management, University of Flensburg, Germany; Dr H. Chennegowda, Managing Director, Karnataka Milk Federation, Bangalore; Dr Panjab Singh, former DG‑ICAR and Secretary, DARE, and Directors of many national institutes were among those who attended the seminar.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister of Orissa called upon the scientists to develop and disseminate appropriate cost‑effective technologies that could add value to local agricultural produces. He said that such technologies should be suitable for local adaptation and also acceptable to the rural masses. Shri Patnaik lauded the efforts being made by RRL‑Bhubaneswar towards the development of some rural technologies.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Chidambaram said that literacy, especially female literacy and per‑capita energy consumption are the two vital indicators of rural development. Stating that rural development is being given top priority in the Tenth Plan period, he called for checking the migration of `potential leaders' from rural India by providing job opportunities, and development of local small‑scale industries by adoption of suitable down‑sized technologies. He called upon the scientists to focus on critical technologies pertaining to rural development, energy, food processing and water which will have a direct bearing on the quality of rural livelihood and sustainable development.

Earlier, welcoming the participants, Dr Vibhuti N. Misra highlighted the significant rural techno‑ logies of RRL‑Bhubaneswar and emphasized the need for greater synergy between technology providers and users for effective dissemination of the rural technologies. Dr S. Khuntia, Scientist, RRL and Convener, ISDTRD‑2003, proposed a vote of thanks.

On this occasion, the Chief Minister of Orissa also inaugurated Rural Tech Exhibition depicting the major developments in the area of rural technologies. The exhibition showcased and demonstrated various appropriate technologies in different disciplines, developed by national laboratories of CSIR, ICAR, government agencies and NGOs.


Plenary & Keynote Lectures

Dr R. Chidambaram delivered the keynote address on `Downsizing Technology for Rural Development' and Dr Mangala Rai, delivered the plenary lecture on `Sustainable agriculture, agro forest, horticulture'.

The keynote lectures were delivered by:

— Prof. Uwe Rehling, Director, International Institute of Management, University of Flensburg, Germany, on Downsized Energy Technology: from Technocracy to Development;

—  Shri Deepak Mane, Managing Director, Buhler (India) Ltd, Hyderabad, on Downsizing the Rice Milling Technology in India;

— Dr H. Chennegowda, Managing Director, Karnataka Milk Federation, Bangalore, on Clean Milk Production Programme, KOMUL – TIFAC Project;

— Prof. R. Kochhar, Director, National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies, New Delhi, on Continuity Embedded in Change: Dhokra Craft in West Bengal and Jharkhand;

—  Dr Panjab Singh, Scientific Consultant, Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, New Delhi, on An Overview of Rural Technologies — Development and Dissemination Strategies;

— Dr Rangan Dutta, Senior Consultant, Planning Commission, Government of India, on Rural Technology Development and Dissemination Scenario in Indian Perspective;

—  Dr N. G. Hegde, President, Bharatiya Agro‑Industry Federation, Pune, on BAIF Approach to Rural Technologies Dissemination;

—  Dr (Mrs.) P. Sharma, Principal Scientist, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, on IPM Technology for Agricultural Growth;

—  Dr Mathew C. Kunnumkal, Director General, National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad, on A Model for Transfer of Rural Technology for India's Growth;

— Mr S. Khuntia, Dy. Director & Head, Rural Technology Development Department, RRL – Bhubaneswar, on Faster and Effective Adaptation of Rural Technology and Remedial Measures;

—  Dr S.A.H. Abidi, Member, Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB), New Delhi;

— Dr S. Ayyappan, Dy. Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi;

—  Dr S. C. Mukherjee, Director, Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai, on Fisheries Technologies for Rural Development;

— Dr H. S. Maiti, Director, Central Glass & Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata, on Removal of Arsenic and Iron from Groundwater by Ceramic Membrane Technology;

— Dr H. N. Verma, Director, Water Technology Center for Eastern Region, Bhubaneswar, on Challenging Issues Related to Watershed Development and Management;

— Prof. M. N. Srinivasan, Emeritus Professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, on Effective Use of Aluminium in Rural Sector;

— Prof. H.S. Ray, Emeritus Scientist, Central Glass & Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata, on Research and Development for Rural Upliftment and Industrialization;

— Prof. J.K. Routray, Professor, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, on People's Technology for Rural Development: Some Reflections on Thai Experience;

— Prof. Dr.‑Ing H.J. Warnecke, University of Paderborn, Germany, on From Waste Water to Fresh Water — Reuse & Recycling.

The recommendations made at the seminar include:

1. Appropriate and downsized rural technologies developed by various laboratories in India should be made easily accessible for implementation in different parts of the country.

2. A few appropriate proven technologies should be selected and disseminated in a mission mode approach.

3. Close interaction between technology developer, propagator and users should be built up for proper technology transfer from lab to land.

4. Research organizations, universities, technology developers should take active role in training and demonstration for proper  implementation of the technologies.

5. Need based and appropriate technologies should be developed which can impart immediate benefit to the people.

6. Cost effective technologies for conversion of local resources into value added products and for generating employment should be given priority for implementation.

7. New cost‑effective and efficient technologies should be developed in the areas of agriculture, food preparation and preservation, drinking water, rural energy, watershed management, non‑farm sector, materials, information and communication.

8. Upgradation of traditional technologies and tools of artisans should be carried out by research organizations, universities, government departments to provide the artisans with a competitive edge and generate employment in rural sector.

9. Efforts should be made to set up Rural Technologies Mission (RTM) for development, transfer and dissemination of appropriate technology.

10. Greater number of workshops, seminars, meetings, etc. should be organized in rural areas involving rural communities for creating general awareness.


Eleventh National Congress on Corrosion Control

THE Eleventh National Congress on Corrosion Control was organized in the recent past by  National Corrosion Council of India, in collaboration with the Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi, and M.S. University of Baroda, at Vadodara. The congress was supported by Board of Research in Nuclear Science, Mumbai; Chembond Drewtreat Ltd, Navi Mumbai; CSIR, New Delhi; Devcon Chemicals Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai; Grand Polycoats Co. Pvt. Ltd, Vadodara; Gujarat Refinery, Vadodara; Himson International Pvt. Ltd, Surat; Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Mumbai; Krishna Conchem Pvt. Ltd, Navi Mumbai; and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd, Dehra Dun.

About 200 delegates from major public sector undertakings, R&D and educational institutions, private industries, Defence Research Establishments, Space Research Organisation, Atomic Energy, Chemical and Petrochemical industries, etc. participated.

Prof. K.C. Upadhyaya, Vice‑Chancellor, M.S. University of Baroda, inaugurated the congress. Dr M. Raghavan, the then Director, CECRI, Karaikudi and Chairman NCCI, presided over the inaugural function, and Shri B.K. Mukerjee, Executive Director, Gujarat Refinery, IOCL, Vadodara and Chairman, Organising Committee, 11th NCCC, welcomed the gathering.

Prof. Upadhyaya, in his inaugural address stressed the societal and economic impact caused by metallic corrosion in India. He suggested to carry out periodical health checkups in all the industries for proper maintenance of the infrastructure and for avoiding costly corrosion related accidents. Dr  Raghavan in his presidential address spoke about the importance of corrosion and the activities of CECRI. Dr P. Jayakrishnan, Scientist, CECRI and Vice Chairman, NCCI, spoke about NCCI. Shri A.V. Shah, Chief‑Sales, TATA Steel Ltd, Mumbai & Vice‑Chairman, NCCI, read out the messages received from various dignitaries. Shri T.R. Choudhry, Operations Director, KRIBHCO, Surat, delivered the keynote address. Shri Balwant Singh, Managing Director, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers Company Ltd, Bharuch, released the souvenir brought out on the occasion. Prof. (Dr) K.I. Vasu, Founder Patron, NCCI & former Director, CECRI, released the precongress proceedings.  Shri Narayan Prasad, Executive Director, IOCL, Mumbai and Vice‑Chairman, NCCI released the Corrosion Update. Dr P. Subramanian, Scientist, CECRI and Secretary, NCCI, proposed a vote of thanks.

An exhibition was also put up on the occasion, in which following companies participated, M/s Aashish Coating Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai; M/s Bombay Tools and Supplying Agency, Mumbai; M/s Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi; M/s Chembond Drewtreat Ltd, Navi Mumbai; M/s Consultech, Baroda; M/s John Galt Zinga Technologies, Mumbai; M/s Micro Devices Metrohm Ltd, Chennai; and M/s TATA Honeywell Ltd, Pune. Displayed in this exhibition were anticorrosion products and processes. Some firms demonstrated their electrochemical and other paint testing equipment as well.


Invited Lectures

The following invited lectures were delivered in this congress:

Shri L.J. Rohekar, Chief Inspection Manager, Gujarat Refinery, Vadorara gave a lecture on `Corrosion in Petroleum Refineries', highlighting the various methods of controlling corrosion.

Technical Sessions

The congress had eight technical sessions.

In the first technical session on `Industrial Corrosion Problems' eleven papers were presented. The corrosion problems faced in petroleum industries, aerospace industries, power plants and steel plants were presented.

The second session dealt with `Coatings and Linings'. Eight papers that were presented in this session discussed Electroless dispersed nickel coating. Diffused coating system for protection in the field of aerospace, new flexiblized epoxy lining for industrial and marine applications, physico‑mechanical studies of acrylic silicone paint and K‑COR 463‑modified organic liquid inhibitor for primer coatings.

`Corrosion in Concrete Structures' formed the theme of the third technical session. Presentations and discussions pertained to: Corrosion of steel in concrete structures by using chemically modified cement, environmental degradation of structural materials, performance characteristics of clay‑fly ash‑laterite bricks, evaluation of repair mortars for structural and non‑structural applications, next generation admixture for bridges, higher performance repair material, galvanic protection of steel in concrete by aluminium anode.

The fourth technical session dealt with `Cathodic Protection'. Three papers were presented in this session dealing with supervisory control and data acquisition of cathodic protection, remote monitoring of CP and DCVG survey for pipelines.

`Bio‑fouling and Microbial Corrosion' was dealt in fifth technical session. Influence of near‑UV‑light illumination on microbial adhesion, SRB help in limiting MIC, Inhibition of corrosion by a microbe, Role of fungi on oil degradation, MIC in ordinary Portland cement, Biofouling in naval structure, were presented and discussed.

The sixth technical session was on `Corrosion inhibitors'. Six papers were presented, which discussed: Use of inhibitors for fresh water / sea water cooling system, acid systems, oilfield, and volatile corrosion inhibitors. Besides, some papers covered the development of inhibitors for acid and neutral system from natural products.

`Corrosion Monitoring and Management' was dealt in seventh technical session. In this, four papers were presented.

Basic aspects of corrosion formed the topic for the eighth technical session. Ten papers were presented, which discussed: Surface characterization of corrosion, electronic properties of passive film, effect of inhibitors in zinc plating and electrochemical behaviour of various materials.

In addition, around 70 presentations were made in the form of posters.

The technical sessions were followed by panel discussion on `Industrial Corrosion Problems' under the chairmanship of Dr Raghavan and the valedictory function under the chairmanship of Shri B.K. Mukherjee. Best oral and poster presentations were given prizes.

The Twelfth National Congress on Corrosion Control will be held at Vizag.


Seminar on Ceramics for Health Care

AS part of the CSIR Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, the Central Glass & Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI), Kolkata, organized a one‑day seminar on `Ceramics for Health Care' on 23 September 2003. The objective of the seminar was to highlight the achievements of CGCRI in the field of bio‑ceramics and ceramic membrane and to assess the scope for initiation of futuristic research in this area in association with other R&D institutions of the country.

Outlining the major R&D activities of the institute, Dr H.S. Maiti, Director, CGCRI, explained its recent achievements in the field of bio‑ceramics, particularly the development of alumina‑based hemi and total hip joint prostheses and hydroyapatite‑based ocular implants. He also mentioned about the remarkable contributions of the institute in the field of removal of arsenic form collected groundwater for making it safe for drinking.

Dr Surya Kanta Mishra, Minister for Health, Government of West Bengal, who was Guest of Honour on the occasion, in his inaugural address lauded the efforts of CGCRI for organising the seminar. He expressed that the R&D activities of CGCRI towards health and hygiene will provide invaluable aid to common masses of the country.

Shri S.K. Bajoria, Managing Director, IFGL Refractories Ltd, Kolkata, in the course of his deliberation, expressed his appreciation over the joint venture between IFGL Refractories Ltd, and CGCRI in technology transfer on ceramic‑based prosthetic implants. The futuristic research outcome of CGCRI on health care will cater to the national need gloriously.

The three Technical Sessions in this seminar were followed by parallel panel discussion and interactive sessions where the dignitaries present delivered lectures on the various aspects of the field.

Dr D. Basu, Scientist, CGCRI, explained the research programmes of the institute and the scope of ceramics in various biomedical applications. Dr S. Bandopadhayay, Scientist, explained the details of the ceramic membrane technology developed at this institute for removal of arsenic and iron from collected groundwater.

Padma Shri Dr D. Balasubra manian, Research Director, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, delivered a lecture entitled `Stem Cell Therapy for the Eye'. Many other eminent personalities also delivered lectures as invited speakers.

About 200 delegates from all over the country, representing related industries, government departments, R&D organizations and universities attended the seminar.

Workshop on Force Metrology

THE second Workshop on Force Metrology was held at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), New Delhi, on 17‑19 September 2003. The main objective of this workshop was to abreast the user organizations concerned with Force, Torque and Hardness standards with the latest advances and the new calibration procedures based on international standards in these areas. The twin objectives of the first workshop were: (i) adoption of the SI unit of Force by the users and (ii) generate awareness among them about the importance of uniformity and national traceability in the force measurement.

The participants in the present workshop included: middle‑level managers, quality assurance personnel from the calibration laboratories of industries operating both in public and private sectors, who are actually responsible for the implementation of the quality system in their respective organizations. The programme included lectures/presentations by experts followed by practical sessions and demonstration.

Dr A. Sawla, Head of the Force Laboratory, Phsikalische‑Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany, inaugurated the workshop and delivered the keynote address on `Realization of force and torque units at PTB, Germany'. He gave an overview of the Force and Torque standards at PTB. He also briefed the participants about the recent developments in Force machines, the technical problems encountered and their solutions.

Dr Vikram Kumar, Director, NPL, welcomed the delegates. He highlighted the importance of the metrology of force, torque and hardness in industry in improving the quality of products and processes, and emphasized the relevance of the workshop in the light of close link between metrology and quality. He also highlighted the excellent work being done by the Force and Hardness Standards Group at NPL.

Dr Krishan Lal, former Director, NPL and President, MSI, addressed the delegates and lauded the efforts made by MSI for organizing the workshops/training programmes, for the benefit of calibration service providers and users. He congratulated the Force and Hardness Standards Group for the good response received by the workshop. Dr R.P. Singhal, General Secretary, MSI, briefed the participants about the programme of the workshop and wishc ed it all success. Dr Kamlesh K. Jain proposed a vote of thanks.

The technical programme was held in two parts — the forenoon sessions had invited talks by experts and the afternoon sessions had the practical  training in the Force Laboratory. Thirteen invited talks were delivered in all. Two presentations were given by Dr Sawla on `Guidelines for the determination of uncertainty of best measurement capability of force calibration machines and uncertainty of force measuring devices' and `Torque measurement.........', which were specially targeted for the force and torque calibration service providers.

The other invited talks focussed on aspects of force, torque,  and hardness measurements; design considerations; and  force scale up to 1MN at NPL. Current trends of torque measurement in industry, new IS 4169‑2003 calibration standard, standardization of force calibration, and uncertainty of hardness measurement and calibration were also discussed.

For practical training, the participants were divided in three groups of about 20 persons each. The training was provided on calibration of force transducers on deadweight force machine and hydraulic multiplication machine, calibration of hardness blocks on deadweight type hardness primary standard and calibration of torque transducers using first principle method. The training comprised demonstrations by the experts, hands‑on practical measurements, preparation of the data sheets and calculation of measurement uncertainty as per standard procedures by the participants. The training programme generated a lot of enthusiasm among the participants.

Finally, at the end of the workshop, a panel discussion was organized, which was chaired by NPL Director. Six experts representing different sectors of force, torque and hardness measurement were invited to give their views. The speakers included Dr A. Sawla, Dr S.R. Joshi and Dr Kamlesh K Jain. Dr Sawla commended the organizers of the workshop for its excellent contents and arrangements. Dr Joshi expressed the hope that NPL would take up the establishment of Brinell and Vickers Hardness standards, which are very much needed by the industry. He offered to arrange partial funding for this work in collaboration with other industries. Likewise, there were other offers from the representatives of the industries for funding the other development at work in the area of force.

The NPL Director thanked for this support and proposed to launch an R&D fund. He also gave away the participation certificates to the participants.

Symposia, Workshops and Lectures at IMTECH during 2002‑03

THE symposia, workshops, lectures and other programmes organized by the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh, during the year 2002‑03 include:

Technology Day (11 May 2002) — Several programmes were organized on this occasion for the general public and students. Public lectures were delivered by three of IMTECH award‑winning scientists, namely Dr A.K. Bachhawat, Dr P.K. Chakrabarti (recipients of National Bioscience awards for the years 2001 and 2002, respectively) and Dr R.K. Jain (the first National Novo Nordisk Award winner for the year 2000). In the lectures, the award–winners presented their work.

Fifth Prof. B.K. Bachhawat Memorial Lecture (19 August  2002) — Prof. G. Padmanaban, former Director & Honorary Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, delivered the lecture on `New Facets of Malaria Parasite Biology'.

Hindi Pakhwara (1‑14 Sep. 2002) – During this period several competitions, viz. Hindi Essay Writing, Hindi Vocabulary, Hindi Calligraphy, Hindi Typing and Hindi Quiz were held to promote progressive use of Hindi.

CSIR Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (26 & 27 Sep. 2003) – Two special lectures were arranged: The first was delivered by Prof. R.C. Mahajan, Emeritus Professor, PGI, Chandigarh, on `Global Perspective of Parasitic Diseases' on 26 September and the second lecture was delivered by Prof. A. Surolia, Indian Institute of Science, Banagalore, on `Fabulous beginning of a Fascinating story for the design of novel antimalarials' on 27 September.

Workshop on Microbial Diversity — A Polyphasic approach (30 Sep. – 12 Oct. 2002) – MTCC, the International Depositary Authority, conducted a workshop on Exploration of Microbial Diversity – A Polyphasic Approach. Twelve university teachers/scientists from 11 states were selected for this workshop.

CPYLS (18‑19 Oct. 2002) — The fourth CSIR Programme on Youth for Leadership in Science was held on 18‑19 October 2002 for the meritorious students of class X. More than sixty students attended the programme, which comprised scientific lectures, lab demonstrations, quiz, etc.

Foundation Day Celebrations (24 Jan. 2003) – The institute celebrated its ninteenth Foundation Day on 24 January 2003. The Foundation Day Lecture was delivered by Prof. Gautam R. Desiraju, School of Chemistry, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, on the topic `Chemistry Beyond the Molecule – Supramolecular Chemistry and Biology'.

Yeast 2003 – An International Meeting on Yeast Biology was organized by IMTECH during 20‑22 February 2003, in which 120 participants from India and abroad participated. The inaugural lecture was delivered by Dr S.K. Brahmachari, Director, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, on `Compartive Genomics – An Approach to Seamless Biology'. The event had as many as 31 speakers, including 13 foreign speakers from USA, Singapore, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, UK, Sweden and France. A poster session was organized on each day of the meeting in which 38 participants displayed their research findings.

Training Course on Trends in Fermentation, Recovery and Purification of Biomolecules (24 March – 4 April 2003) – The Biochemical Engineering Research & Process Development Centre, in association with Biotech Consortium India Ltd, New Delhi, organized a two‑week short‑term training course on `Trends in Fermentation, Recovery and Purification of Biomolecules' from 24 March to 4 April 2003, in which 11 participants from various well‑known industries participated.

High‑level South African Delegation visits NISCAIR

A high‑level South African delegation led by Ms Leratho Thahane, Deputy Director General and Group Executive, Technology for Development, Department of Science and Technology, Pretoria, South Africa, visited the National Institute of Science Communication And Information Resources (NISCAIR), New Delhi, and participated in the Workshop held during 1‑7 December 2003, on `Creating Collaborative Framework between India (CSIR) and South Africa (DST) on Establishing TKDL for South Africa'. Other team members included, Dr Mogege Mosimege, Director, Indigenous Knowledge Systems; Tom Suchanandan and Otsile Ntsoane, Deputy Directors, Indigenous Knowledge Systems; and Mr Neville Gawula, Head, Legal Services, DST, South Africa. Shri V.K. Gupta, Director, NISCAIR chaired the workshop. TKDL Team Members and Scientists of NISCAIR attended the workshop.

The discussion in the workshop focused on need of creating TKDL and its relevance for carrying out advanced research for creating new healthcare products, drug discovery and development, preservation and protection of Traditional Knowledge, etc.

Emphasizing the need, importance and implications of establishing TKDL in South Africa, the delegation expressed the desire of initiating the project in collaboration with NISCAIR/CSIR, at the earliest. With such future collaborative projects in the emerging area of Traditional Knowledge, NISCAIR/CSIR is likely to emerge as leader in the technology, not only in providing the technical support but also in protecting the interests of the developing countries in the area of traditional knowledge. The delegation also visited the CSIR laboratories: NBRI, CDRI and CIMAP, located at Lucknow.

Short‑term Course on Information Technology for Information Management

THE National Institute of Science Communication And Information Resources (NISCAIR), New Delhi, conducted a Short‑term Course on `Information Technology for Information Management' during 3 November – 5 December 2003.  Apart from ten participants sponsored by SAARC Documentation Centre (SDC) for this course, the course was also attended by five participants who had been sponsored by SDC for attending a three‑month Attachment Training programme at NISCAIR, and four participants from India.

The course contents included: Introduction to IT, Computer Basics: H/W, S/W, OS Concepts, Windows, MS Word, MS Excel, PowerPoint, DBMS Design Concepts: RDBMS, Visual FoxPro, WINISIS, DTP, Internet, Web Page Designing, CD‑ROM/DVD Technology, Library Automation: Introduction and Current Trends, Barcode Technology, Networking Technology, Intranets, Online Searching, Digital/Virtual Libraries, E‑Journals.  The participants were also taken on visit to the Library of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and various Divisions of NISCAIR at S.V. Marg as well as Dr K.S. Krishnan Marg.

The participants were given participation certificates at the valedictory function held on 5 December, 2003.

Dr Ramesh Kumar gets Prof. P.R. Pisharoty Memorial Award

DR Ramesh Kumar, a Scientist working in the Physical Oceanography Division of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Dona Paula, has been selected for Prof. P.R. Pisharoty Memorial Award for the year 2003 for his significant contributions in remote sensing. The award is given annually by the Indian Society of Remote Sensing (ISRS), Dehra Dun, to encourage propagation and wider use of this technology for the country's development.

Since the launching of dedicated operational satellite, Oceansat by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1999, the researchers working on application projects at NIO, such as mapping of coastal vegetation & shoreline changes, detection and monitoring of toxic algal blooms in coastal waters and determining annual variability in Indian summer monsoon, have forged many collaborations, and set pace for the ongoing programmes. This has been one of the major factors that had drawn international community out of Non‑Pacific Rim countries for the first time to host the Pacific Ocean Remote Sensing Conference (PORSEC) in Goa during the year 2000.

Dr Ramesh Kumar's interest has been to determine the factors responsible for variability in the rainfall over the Indian subcontinent using remotely sensed data as the data on the various air‑sea interaction parameters over the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal have been sparse. His extensive studies on air‑sea interaction using sea temperature data retrieved from the AVHRR sensor and other meteorological parameters derived from the SSMI sensor onboard the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, for two contrasting monsoon years, a deficit (1987) and an excess (1988), provided important insights on the role of some important parameters. He observed that the cross equatorial flow and evaporation from the southern Indian Ocean play a major role in the monsoon activity over the Indian subcontinent.


Dr Kumar's studies also contributed to the publication of the much useful Atlas, by Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany and compilation of HOAPS — most referred data sets for climatological and oceanographic studies. Dr Kumar, a doctorate in meteorology from Goa University, is the second NIO scientist to get this award. Has over 30 research papers to his credit and was also a proud participant of the sixth Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.