Science & Technology for the Society

1.10.1 SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & SERVICE

Pollution Mitigation For Lime Kilns

Reduction of pollution from the lime burning kilns has been identified as a major concern of the Indian lime industry. CBRI took the challenge for development of an upgraded pollution control system in order to meet the stringent requirements for sensitive areas as well as for clusters of kilns in general and the most commonly used 10 tpd capacity building lime kilns in particular.

A system, which incorporates an improved scrubber with Packed Bed Demister unit, has been evolved in order to control emissions of dust particles and hydrocarbon tarry matter from the limekilns for better separation efficiency.

The salient technical features of the system are: (i) Scrubber with Packed Bed Demister System, (ii) Limestone as reusable packing material, (iii) Suitable for particle sizes less than 10 micron, (iv) Power failure not to affect kiln operation, (v) Water requirement: 4-5 Kl/Day and, (vi) Power requirement: 5 KW.

Pollution Mitigation for a typical Lime Kiln

Kalam- A new Lemongrass for drought prone areas released by RRL, Jammu

A hardy drought tolerant strain CPK-F2-38 rich in citral has been developed through hybridization and rigorous screening of the F2 recombinants of Cymbopogan pendulus and C.khasianus hybrid. The variety has been named “Kalam”. Its performance was evaluated in both irrigated and rainfed areas. The crop is perennial and lasts for five years. The citral percentage ranges from 78-83 and the quality of oil has been evaluated and accepted by the user industry.

On the momentous day of June 26th 2003, during the visit of His Excellency Bharat Ratna Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, to Regional Research Laboratory, Jammu, a potted plant of this newly named citral rich variety was handed over to the H E the President of the Republic of India by His Excellency Lt. General S. K. Sinha, the Governor of J & K state.

The returns of variety ‘Kalam’ is two and a half times higher than the traditional crops grown in drought prone areas. However, it gives three times higher yield under irrigated conditions and compares favourably well with the existing varieties.

Release of Variety Kalam

Tawi Rosa – A new variety of Cymbopogon developed by RRL, Jammu for drought prone areas


Efforts at RRL Jammu have resulted in the development a hardy drought tolerant strain RLJ-CCI for rainfed areas. The variety has been named “Tawi Rosa”. The main feature of this strain is that it can withstand moisture stress level of 15% and contains total alcohol in the range of 80-85%, calculated as geraniol 70-75% and geranyl acetate 10-15%. Apart from the main chemical constituents, it contains 3-5% ocimene which is used in high grade perfumery.

On the momentous day of 26th September, 2003, the CSIR Foundation Day, Professor Amitabh Mattoo, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu, Jammu released this variety for commercial cultivation.

Under rainfed conditions, this variety in 1st year has a capacity to produce 20 -25 tonnes of fresh herb yielding 80 -85 kg of essential oil. In subsequent years it produces 35-40 tonnes of fresh herbage yielding 150-160 kg /ha essential oil. Essential oil content varies from 0.35 to 0.45% depending upon the harvesting seasons.

CSMCRI has successfully adopted raft cultivation of Eucheuma, which has greatly boosted the yield of the seaweed. Farmers are being advised to switch over to this mode of cultivation to increase the returns from cultivation. Fears expressed initially about cultivation of Eucheuma in Indian waters have now been allayed and its cultivation has been advocated in Policy Paper 22 published by the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India.

Raft Cultivation of Eucheuma cottonii in Gulf of Mannar

Brackish water desalination plant installed at village Kisari, Rajasthan

CSMCRI has installed 1200 LPH Brackrish water desalination plant in Kisari village of Rajasthan, which was funded by DST, New Delhi. State unit of DST has carried out detailed survey of the plant and interviewed concerned engineers and many people staying in the neighbouring areas. General impression gathered during the survey is that product water of the plant is safe to drink without any further treatment and it eliminates many chronic illnesses. Reverse Osmosis plant removes not only dissolved salt but also reduces fluoride level.

Electrochemical technology for the removal of arsenic from drinking water

One of the major challenges facing mankind today is to provide clean water to a vast majority of the population around the world. The chronic toxic effects of the excessive intake of arsenic can represent health problems (cancer) for humans. It is found in the aquifers and surface waters in the Bengal Basin. Arsenic exists in two soluble and dangerous oxidation states, known as arsenite and arsenate. Removal of arsenic by electrochemical method is simple and efficient with low capital and operating costs.

The electrochemical technique can be conveniently used in rural areas where electricity is not available, since a solar panel attached to the unit may be sufficient to carry out the process. The commonly used physico-chemical treatment processes are ion-exchange, chemical precipitation, chemical oxidation, carbon adsorption, reverse osmosis and electrodialysis. Low removal efficiency, increase in TDS and addition of anions and cations as coagulants in water are the disadvantages of these techniques.

CECRI has used the electrochemical process for the removal of arsenic, which consists of an electrochemical cell. The soluble anode will generate clean coagulant for the removal of arsenic. So, the electrochemical process avoids uses of chemicals and no possibility of secondary pollution caused by chemical substances added at high concentration as with chemical coagulation.

An electrochemical cell that is capable of reducing the arsenic concentration in drinking water from 3 ppm to 0.05 ppm with current efficiency of 95% is available for demonstration.

Solid Toughened Paper Board suitable for use in packaging Industry

Packaging with various type of paperboard is becoming popular day by day and now many types of packaging boards are available in the country, the most prominent of which is corrugated paper board and is extensively used in packaging of various goods. The corrugated packaging boards have certain limitations, such as prone to delamination, moisture absorption, fungal growth and non-fire resistant properties. The board does not possess adequate handling and storage properties. As an alternative to corrugated packaging board, RRL-Jorhat has developed speciality board with high physical strength properties imparting special characters like wet strength, resistant to water, oil, fire and grease. This type of solid boards can be used for making cartons and other packaging for scientific storage of food grains, tea, food products, vegetables and fruits, etc. apart from using it for packaging of heavy and sophisticated machine parts.


Utilization of Bast Fibres from wild and cultivated non-conventional plants available in the North Eastern region


North Eastern region of India is considered as the storehouse of plant resources. But except bamboo and woods of a few hard wood species, no other plants are utilized in industry particularly in paper industry. Also no commercially feasible process/technology are readily available based on local raw materials. There are various wild and cultivated fibre bearing plant species available in the region and there is a lot of scope for setting up fibre based industry like cordage and textile in cottage and tiny scale sector depending on availability of the raw materials. Some of the common fibre bearing wild plants are Alpinea allughas Rosc., Clynogynal dichotoma, Hibiscus abelmoschus, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Crotolaria juncea, Hibiscus esculantus and Boehmenia nivea. The fibres can be extracted by chemical or bio-chemical process and the bleaching and softening of fibres are to be made prior to use for making cordage and yarns. The fibres extracted from bast portion of the cultivated and wild plants can be used as alternative to jute fibres for making cordage and textile yarns. RRL-Jorhat has developed appropriate technology in cottage/tiny scale sector for manufacturing fibre and yarns producing biodegradable items like cordages, carry bags, doormats, rope, twines, hessian cloth and yarns for making cloths.

Transfer of Technologies in oils and spices (Agroprocesing)

RRL-Trivandrum has transferred the following technologies in oils and spices (Agroprocessing) area

  • Processing of Fresh Ginger to make Ginger oil/Ginger Powder (4 parties)
  • Red Palmolein (50 TPD) and Zero Trans shortening ( 3 parties)
  • Technology on Refining of Rice Bran Oil of 50 TPD (5 parties )

These are being commercialized through project engineering companies.


The technology on processing of fresh ginger to make ginger oil/powder has competitive advantages in that fresh ginger is being processed as compared to dried ginger in the existing technology. This novel process has generated interest among industrialists and entrepreneurs, which has helped in the technology transfer. Also the product profile has marketing advantages on account of the aroma quality.

The red palmolein technology aims at using palm oil high in beta-carotene, which can act as Vitamin-A supplement. Moreover, the zero trans-shortening products obtained by the process have an emerging market in the country.

The technology on refining rice bran oil is based on a novel refining process as compared to the current technology and has technologically commercial attractiveness through the better product profile. India has a potential of 1.5 million metric tones (MMT) rice bran oil per annum and only less than 10% of it is exploited for edible use for want of economical industrial process. Rice bran oil being rich in bio-active micronutrients (oryzanol, tocols, sterols, squalene etc.) is considered most healthy edible oil. A novel process for simultaneous degumming and dewaxing was developed to reduce the phosphatide content to less than 5 ppm, a critical parameter for physical refining of rice bran for the first time. The technology was transferred to 5 industries for commercial production.

Palm oil mill processing plant at Goa

Bio-filtration- A superior filter media for sewage water

A key component of gas bio-filtration technology is the development of bio filter media. RRL-Trivandrum has formulated a superior filter media with very good water retention capacity, porosity, fly ash content, low pressure drop and biological origin.

RRL-Trivandrum has studied environment impact assessment with components like marine study, water and soil quality, traffic, noise and air quality monitoring as sub contracts for other EIA consultants. An on-board sewage facility called Marine Sanitation Device for House Boats (Kettuvallam) has been developed by RRL-Trivandrum. This enables complete treatment of sewage using multiple aerobic and anaerobic problems and constructed from special designed blow moulded plastic tanks. The design is licensed to the manufacturer for installation in house boats on behalf of the Department of Tourism, Kerala Govt.

Extraction and refining of micronutrient rich rice bran oil using super

CO2 is used to separate high quality edible oil rich in bio-active phytochemicals such as Oryzanol, tocols, sterols from rice bran using varying pressure (300 to 500 bar) temperature (50-80oC) mass flow. Analytical results of RRL-Trivandrum indicate the oil obtained is far superior in terms of micronutrients with efficiency comparable with that of conventional industrial process using hexane. A process patent (PCT) has been filed on “Novel Green Technology” approach to combined extraction and refining of micronutrient rich rice bran oil using supercritical CO2.

Ma Shakti (STEP) project on cultivation and utilization of aromatic herbal farming


The project aims at imparting training to 10,000 women on cultivation and utilization of aromatic grasses for income and employment generation. RRL, Jammu is providing technical guidance and consultancy services to the project sanctioned by Dept. of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Govt. of India and is being implemented through an NGO, J&K Ex-services League. RRL, Jammu imparted training and 15 demonstrations were given in the field to the beneficiaries in different blocks of Jammu district. Planting material of 47 lakh slips to cover 500 hectares are also supplied. Four distillation units are set up in the field and assisted the NGO in selling 490 liters of essential oil worth of Rs. 2 lakh.

Biodegradable polymers from Sugarcane bagasse developed

Agriculture byproducts constitute one of the most important classes of renewable and sustainable feedstock for the production of polymeric materials. In spite of world-wide attention being paid to the area of sustainability in the production and consumption of materials, polymeric materials derived from agricultural products are not yet commercially competitive with petrochemical based polymers. The most significant reasons for this are the relatively poor energy efficiency of bioconversion processes, distributed availability of agricultural byproducts and their cost of transportation, technology limitations in bioconversions and ability to tailor a wide range of material properties from a single polymer derived from renewable source. This has inhibited growth of large volume polymer industry based on renewable resources.

NCL has emphasized on fractionation of agricultural biomass like sugarcane bagasse to yield major component polymers like cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin using "green technology" of aqueous auto-hydrolysis by high pressure steam and thereby avoiding chemicals. The bagasse fractionation is successfully accomplished. Further, value-added derivatives like cellulose acetate (biodegradable plastics) is synthesized from the bagasse derived cellulose, and lignosulfonate is synthesized from bagasse derived lignin. This has made the economics of the process even more attractive.

Improving quality and storage stability of Neera

Fresh Neera is traditionally drunk in several Indian coastal states. Due to a large microbial population (bacteria and yeast), it starts fermenting within an hour of its collection. The fermented product, known as Toddy (tadi) is a pungent sour smelling liquid containing ~5.0 per cent alcohol. Unless stored under chilled conditions, it deteriorates within 5-8 hours after collection.

NCL has developed a laboratory scale membrane filtration technique for removal of bacteria. The technique is demonstrated to Khadi and Village Industry Commission (KVIC) and the Commission is planning to put up a pilot plant at its Neera Processing Center at Dahanu. By using NCL technique, the shelf life of the packaged product can be extended to 10-15 days without affecting the stability, taste and nutrient profile of Neera.

Single step preparation of p-Aminophenol- an intermediate for paracetamol

p-Aminophenol is an intermediate for making paracetamol, a widely used antipyretic and analgesic drug. Conventional method of preparation of p­aminophenol involves Fe/HCI reduction of p-nitrophenol, which poses a serious effluent problem, due to generation of large amount of Fe-FeO sludge. NCL has developed a non-corrosive solid acid catalyst and a bench scale process for preparation of p-aminophenol.

Under the process optimization work the p-aminophenol selectivity has been enhanced from 58 to 70 per cent by pretreatment of the catalyst and modifying the work up procedure. A successful bench scale demonstration is given (2 liter and 300 ml scales) to the sponsor. Based on the NCL bench scale process, a Basic Engineering Package (BEP) for pilot plant (100 liter vol. reactor) has been prepared and given to the client.

Conversion of flyash into eco-friendly catalysts

Flyash, a by-product of coal burning, contains mostly aluminosilicates. NCL has developed a process to convert environmentally detrimental flyash into a crystalline and pure zeolite beta, an industrially important catalyst. This may partly eliminate the flyash disposal problem and also turn an otherwise waste material into a useful, most-effective and eco-friendly zeolite catalyst. The flyash collected from the Thermal Power Station, Parali (Maharashtra) is used.

Biofinishing of denims

The traditional use of pumice stone in a water-loaded tumbling machine produces severe wear and loss of tensile strength of the fabric when used to achieve high degree of indigo fading. In addition, use of pumice stones causes clogging of outlet of the machine. Thus, introduction of cellulase enzymes to create the required effect without the use of stones and increasing their compatibility with other chemical processes is one of the thrust areas of research in textile industry. The basis for the application of cellulases in biofinishing of denims is the action of cellulases, specifically endoglucanases on cellulose fibers. NCL has identified a novel akalothermophilic Thermomonospora producing alkali and thermostable cellulase. The cellulase from Thermomonospora is evaluated for biofinishing of denims. The cellulase is found to be highly effective with respect to reducing hairiness, total weight loss, impartation of softness, washdown effect, back staining, colour contrast and seam puckering in biofinishing of denim in textile industry.

An automatic compact model of pulse thresher-cum-winnower developed

RRL-Bhubaneshwar is working in Agro-engineering sector too. To serve farmers this laboratory has developed an automatic compact model of pulse thresher-cum-winnower. This is a small machine, which uses a 3 hp electric motor or fuel engine. It threshes & winnows in one go of the crops of pulses. One need not thresh & winnowing separately. The machine is used for efficient threshing and winnowing of grains from the ripe crop of different pulses, such as green gram, black gram, arhar, horse gram, lentil etc. irrespective of shape & size of plants and grains. The machine requires 2 hp to 3 hp electric motor or fuel operated engine. It crushes the crop residue into small sizes during threshing, which is suitable for animal feed. As the grain loss in crop residue is almost nil, and rate of harvesting is 2 to 3 times over traditional methods, 50% harvesting cost is reduced and 10% yield is increased as compared to traditional methods. Pulse thresher-cum-winnower is a vertical flow type. The dry crops flow vertically inside the machine. There are fixed and moving beaters, which open the pods and crush the crop residues. Just below the beater, a reciprocating screen along with air blower is fitted, which separates and clean the crop residues & grains. Grains are collected at the bottom chute of the machine. Threshing & winnowing capacity is 600 kg/hr dry crops. Three small scale units in Orissa have taken manufacturing and marketing license of this machine. Government of Orissa has declared subsidy for mitigation of this machine among farmers in the state of Orissa. The machine would increase the yield of production by 10% over traditional harvesting.

Sustainable ceramic clusters development in the State of Gujarat

In order to ensure survival of small and medium ceramic manufacturers against the steep competition owing to globalisation in the domestic and international market, the Central and State governments along with various developmental agencies have urged to initiate progammes on cluster development.

Although the worldwide technological innovations in traditional ceramics have taken place through extensive mechanisation and automation, CGCRI's Cluster Development (since 2001) programme for modernisation of Indian ceramic industry, vastly dominated by small and medium enterprises (SMEs), includes (a) consideration of the prevailing socio-economic conditions and making use of the vast resources of low grade raw materials by way of its upgradation/beneficiation; (b) Optimum use of the indigenously available equipment and machinery and the available large skilled/unskilled labour force in the country and (c) utilisation of indigenous technology and know-how. Till today, 418 ceramic units of Thangadh, Morbi-Wankaner, Himatnagar and Ahmedabad of Gujarat have been remarkably benefited in their productions with the able guidance of CGCRI by way of implementation of appropriate technologies developed at the Institute for these SMES.