Journal of Scientific & Industrial Research



JULY 2002


Technical Commentary


A proposed environmentally friendly petroleum oil industry

A blue-print for a clean refinery has been proposed taking advantage of the technological breakthroughs, and giving-in to the ever mounting pressures of Government policies and environmentalists, and as well as to ensure a safe and habitable planet for the future generations. Green petrochemicals processing plant appeared a distant possibility, but the genius of man and ingenuity of R&D personnel made it possible. In the proposed scheme, FCC is still the workhorse of the new refinery, but the major products are light olefins and small amounts of gasoline and distillate, the bottom fraction of the effluent is recycled to the hydrotreater. Catalytic deep hydrotreating not only satisfies the stoichiometric H2/C balance, but it also minimizes air toxic production and gas plant solvent disposal which helps reduce catalyst deactivation in FCC. The fluid-bed riser cracking technology needs modification. Rather than processing any metal-contaminated bottom fraction of the crude oil in the catalytic units, the new refinery uses thermal upgrading processes. The coke from the fluid coker is gasified with steam and oxygen to produce the hydrogen needed by the hydroprocessing units. The process cost of the clean refinery will be 11 per cent higher than a startup refinery based on the current technology. According to the economic analysis, the clean refinery would be more profitable when compared with a startup refinery using the current technology even without considering the cost of environmental fixups. There are R&D needs in olefin production, gas separation, resid upgradation, and olefin upgradation for the green refinery.

Review Paper


Ozone: a potent disinfectant for
application in food industry — an

Ligimol James, A K Puniya,
V Mishra & Kishan Singh

The paper reviews the various aspects of ozone as a disinfectant for different applications in food industry.




Scientists’ expectations from their job

Sunil K Dhawan & Santanu Roy

Ascertains aspects which are regarded as important by Indian scientists in their jobs. The sample is drawn from scientists in a government funded research laboratory who attended a Workshop on Quality of Work Life during December 2000. Factor analysis with Vari-Max rotation reveals five factors important for Indian scientists. These are: comfort, challenge, pay, relation with co-workers, and resources. Except for the factors – challenge and relations with co-workers, the satisfaction level on other factors, is found to be average. It is also found that scientists who have started their career in the laboratory itself are less satisfied with their jobs, compared to those who come from other organizations.


A sustainable agro-biotechnology for bioremediation of saline soil

D P Patil, M V Kulkarni,
V L Maheshwari & R M Kothari

To restore fertility and productivity of saline soil through bioremediation, a farm-scale trial is undertaken by exploring effect of three factors, viz. soil conditioner (SC, recycled agrowaste), halophiles culture, and a plant growth regulator (PGR) modified industrial byproduct. A three factor factorial design is used with each factor at two levels—the lower level indicates no treatment, while the upper level indicates treatment, and there are eight experiments in all, which are replicated thrice. One of the eight treatment combinations is without SC, PGR, or halophiles  inputs serve as control. The plantation of growth of Casuarina equisetifolia, in the treated soils as per the design, is monitored through various relevant parameters that include soil characteristics, level of (micro) nutrients, and exchangeable cations, and growth-related parameters. The analysis of data thus generated through appropriate ANOVA indicates an overwhelming role of SC in the bio-remediation of soil salinity and growth parameters of the C. equisetifolia plantation, followed by that of halophiles and then the PGR as envisaged. The role of PGR is however important in first establishing the plantation in the saline soil, when halophiles get enough time to establish favourable pattern and concentration  of microbes in soil by up to more than a million times of the initial microflora level of 5.9 ´ 103/g soil. Data collected up to six months clearly indicates bioremediation of the otherwise saline soil, and effectiveness of the given  treatments is evident. It is proposed that such bio-measures may go a long way in converting large tracts of saline soils into fertile ones with healthy soil-microflora in an eco-friendly manner which is cost-effective as well.



Evaluation of binding properties of selected natural mucilages

T Giriraj Kulkarni,
K Gowthamarajan, G Brahmaji Rao & B Suresh

Mucilages from Asparagus racemosus and Cassia sophera are isolated by maceration technique using water as solvent precipitated by the addition of acetone, used as non-solvent. The percentage yields of mucilages from the selected sources are 11 and 20 per cent, respectively. Both the mucilages are evaluated for their granulating and binding properties in tablets, using paracetamol as model drug. The mucilages are used at three different concentrations, i.e., 8, 9 and 10 per cent, respectively. Wet granulation technique is used for preparation of granules. The prepared granules are evaluated for percentage of fines, particle size, and flow properties. The properties are compared with starch. The tablets are punched by using a Cadmach single punch machine and are evaluated  for content uniformity, hardness, friability, disintegration time, and in vitro dissolution profiles. The tablets have good physical properties and the drug release is more than  90 per cent within 3 h. The tablets prepared using 10 per cent mucilage as binder exhibits more hardness than 8 and 9 per cent batches. Hence, 8 and 9 per cent concentrations are considered as ideal concentrations for preparation of tablets.


Production of beneficiated
phosphogypsum for cement

Manjit Singh & Mridul Garg

The beneficiation of phosphogypsum procured from two sources is conducted in the pilot plant of 2 t/shift capacity installed at Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) to reduce impurities of phosphates, fluorides, organic matter, alkalies, etc. The techno-economic feasibility of beneficiating phosphogypsum is highlighted. The beneficiated phosphogypsum is used for making portland cement and portland slag cement. The results favour use of phosphogypsum as an additive to cement clinker in place of natural gypsum.


Extraction of hexavalent chromium from aqueous solution by emulsion liquid membrane

D K Singh, R K Bharadwaj, Bhavana Srivastava & Archana Sahu

The extraction of hexavalent chromium from aqueous solution by cocobetaine in a mixture of kerosene and benzene is investigated. The results indicate that in acidic solution the extraction efficiency of Cr(VI) is excellent. In these experiments the relative affinities of different anions to cocobetaine are in the order: NO3->Cl->SO42-. Experimental results show that dichromate ion (Cr2O72-) is the major extractable species of Cr(VI) at lower pH. The strippant composed of 0.1 M sodium hydroxide and 1 M sodium nitrate, results in maximum stripping.



Biological control of insect pests

S Ignacimuthu


Book Reviews


·          Innovation, evolution of industry and economic growth, Volumes 1-3
           Reviewer: Pradosh Nath


·          Stress in life and at work
           Reviewer: M P K Nagpal

Sci-Tech Update


·          Spinning black holes may act like giant batteries


·          Software wars: India vs China


·          e-Science launched formally


·          Modular computers


·          New ceramic element developed


·          Disease resistant wheats developed


·          Stainless steel fibres used for textile industry


·          Solid propellant as an alternative for fuels


·          Waste treatment technology produces substitute fuel


·          Carbohydrates on a chip


·          Splitting water with visible light


·          Sweet but deadly: cancer cells come sugar-coated


·          Wheat extract makes ice cream super smooth


·          Electrical currents functioning of catalysts


·          A device that lowers the cost of air-conditioning designed


·          Superconductors go granular


·          Urine test for Alzheimer’s disease


·          Protecting privacy in remote-patient monitoring


·          Software engineering in the academy


·          Accelerating development with agent components


·          Software engineering metrics for COTS-based systems


·          How internet software companies negotiate quality


·          A formal process for evaluating COTS software products


·          An efficient video-on-demand model


Additions and Corrections