• Chemicals

    The Chemical Group of CSIR Laboratories or the CGCLs have developed technologies for a host of bulk as well as fine chemicals with an emphasis on developing green technologies. CSIR has contributed remarkably to the production of agrochemicals. At one point of time, almost 70% of the pesticides produced were based on CSIR technologies. The emphasis at present is on developing safer agrochemicals, e.g. biopesticides.

    Catalysts are at the heart of the chemical industry. The recent advances in R&D in the sector include the development of metallocenes, zeolites, catalysts for deep desulfurization, etc. CSIR has contributed significantly to this area by not only developing improved versions of catalysts used by the Indian chemical industry but also novel zeolite catalysts such as Encinitas. The catalysts have been successfully commercialized not only in India but also abroad.

    The CGCLs have also made major strides in protecting their intellectual property. Concerted efforts are being made since the Ninth Plan period to enhance the intellectual property content of process and product technologies developed by the CGCLs. Recent years have witnessed a paradigm shift in the R&D philosophy of CGCLs, from a local to the global focus, while seeking technological solutions to the problems faced by the Indian Chemical Sector. The drugs/pharma, biotechnology, catalysis (petrochemicals and bulk agencies) and certain segments of specialty chemical sector industries in India are keen to promote R&D in new product development to meet the product patent challenges of 2005. This is evident from the sizeable number of CSIR patents emanating from these areas in recent years. The major research areas that have attracted large-scale patenting by CSIR laboratories are:

    • Polymers,
    • Biotechnology
    • Drugs/Pharma
    • Asymmetric synthesis
    • Agrochemicals
    • Value- added products from lipids
    • Catalysis
    • Petroleum Refining
    • Bulk Organics
    • New Materials
    • Electrochemicals
    • Nano particle systems
    • Natural product- based bioactives


    The laboratory-wise core expertise of CGCLs is as follows:

    The laboratory-wise core expertise of CGCLs is as follows:
    Labs Core Competence
    National Chemical Laboratory (NCL, Pune) Inorganic, organic chemicals, agrochemicals, bio-organic/biomimetic chemistry, chemical engineering science, complex fluids and polymer engineering, heterogeneous catalysis, homogeneous catalysis, industrial flow modeling, materials chemistry, nanomaterials
    Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT, Hyderabad) Natural products chemistry, inorganic and physical chemistry, chemical and instrumental analysis, fluoro-organics, specialty and fine chemicals, agrochemicals and lubricants
    Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP, DehraDun) Petrochemical processes and products
    Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI, Bhavnagar) Inorganic chemicals, catalysis and new materials, membrane science and separation technology, bio-salinity and marine chemicals
    Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI, Chennai) Chemicals for the Leather Industry
    Central Fuel Research Institute (CFRI, Dhanbad) Coal-based chemicals and allied fields
    Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI, Karaikudi) Electrochemicals (organic and inorganic), coatings, particularly for corrosion control
    Regional Research Laboratory, Jorhat (RRL-Jorhat) Agrochemicals, perfumery chemicals, extraction of plant products and oilfield chemicals


    Knowledge-based Products/Technologies Developed

    The CGCLs have provided the process know-how and allied services including design engineering and commissioning assistance to nearly 30 chemical companies to set up or upgrade 9 lakh TPA new production capacity with an annual turnover of over Rs 1000 crores. The commercial projects fall under agrochemicals, organic and petrochemicals, specialty/performance chemicals, drugs/pharmaceuticals, inorganic chemicals and polymers/compound sectors. More than 25% of the newly created plant capacities have been accounted by products introduced for the first time in the country. Additionally, over 15 process improvements originating from CGCLs have gone into commercial practice.

    The recent years have witnessed substantial pilot plant activities for scale-up of laboratory or bench-scale technologies in agrochemicals, organic and inorganic chemicals, drugs/pharmaceuticals and polymers sectors. Around Rs 50 crore investments have been made in pilot projects in which the share of the industry is around 50%. The anticipated commercial plant capacities and their annual turnover are expected to be of the order of 50,000 TPA and Rs 2500 crores respectively and are expected to be realized during the Tenth Five Year Plan period. It is interesting to note that CSIR laboratories in association with the industry were able to attract sizeable external funding for pilot projects from TIFAC (DST), PATSER (DSIR), TDB (DST) and TMOP (GOI) programmes of Government of India. This is a significant development since value-addition to CSIR technologies is being shared by the government and industry.

    Technologies Developed


    Encilium catalysts; oxidation catalysts; xylofining technology for xylene isomerization; catalysts processes for formaldehyde, piperazine and ethylenediamine; catalyst conversion of C4 feedstocks to methyl ethyl ketone; technology for Alprozolan; process for vincristine and vinblastine sulphate; ranitidine by non-cysteine route; cyclohexyl methyl carbinol; fine chemicals such as benzofuran, pyridines, hydroquinone/catechol, phenylacetic acid; homobrassinilide; para-chlorotoluene; Famciclovir; hydrogenation of acetophenone; S(-) amlodipine besylate; ECONCL process for separation of lignin from black liquor; sorbic acid; AMPS/SMAS; Biotin intermediate; THPE technology; Water filter membranes; monomers for making protar exchange membrane for fuel cells..


    HFC-134a; 3-chloro-4-fluoro aniline; 4-fluoro aniline; 3,4-dichloro fluorobenzene; 2,4-dichloro-5-fluoro acetophenone; 1,1,1-trichloro trifluoroethane; 3,5-dinitro-4-chloro benzotrifluoride; trifluoroacetic acid; trifluoroethanol; 2-fluoroaniline; 4-fluorophenol; 3,4,5-trichloro benzotrifluoride; lacidipine (cardiovascular); Doxozocin (cardiovascular); Losartan (cardiovascular); Primaquine phosphate (anti-malarial); Formoterol (bronchodilator); Thiophanate-methyl; Acephate; Chlorpyriphos; Esfenvalerate; Cypermethrin; Lamda Cyhalothrin; Triazophos; TAU-Fluvalinate; Chlorothalonil; Profenophos; 1,2,4-Triazole.


    Beta-naphthol from Naphthalene (1000 tpy) ; Synthesis of Resorcinol (300 tpy) ; Synthesis of INH from 4-cyanopyridine (50 g/batch) ; Ammoxidation of 3-methyl pyridine to 3-cyanopyridine (100 ml cat vol.) ; Ammoxidation of 4-methyl pyridine to 4-cyanopyridine (100 ml cat vol.) ; Synthesis of pyridine and picolines (100 ml cat vol) ; Purification of crude anthracene and oxidation of anthracene to anthraquinone (1kg batch, 100 ml cat vol) ; Synthesis of 3,5 xylenol (100 gm/batch) ; Synthesis of m-p cresols (1 kg/batch).


    Petroleum refining technologies

    Naphtha/NGL to LPG and gasoline-NTGG process (IIP-GAIL); Food/Grade/Petrochemical grade Hexane production using sulpholane as solvent (IIP-EIL); Food grade/Petrochemical grade-Hexane production - using NMP as solvent ; Dearomatisation of naphtha (IIP-EIL); BTX extraction (IIP-EIL); Dearomatisation of light and middle distillates using re-extraction; Solvent deasphalting (IIP-EIL); Wax deoiling and dewaxing (IIP-EIL); Micro-crystalline wax from crude oil tank sludge; Visbreaking and delayed coking (IIP-EIL); Catalytic reformer simulation and optimization package (CRESOP); Bimetallic reforming catalyst (IIP-IPCL); Lube base stocks production with NMP extraction (IIP-EIL-CPCL); Petroleum based electrode pitches; Hydrodesulphurisation of gas oil & naphtha (IIP-IFP); Hydrotreatment process (IIP-IFP) ; Selective Hydrogenation of pyrolysis gasoline (IIP-IFP); Catalyst for hydrodesulphurisation of diesel and VGO (IIP-UCIL-CHT); Etherification of light FCC gasoline ; Development of sweetening catalyst for mercaptans removal ; Flue gas desulphurisation (IIP-KRL); Naphtha hydrotreating/semiregenerative catalytic reforming (IIP-EIL); Production of Grade A Helium using PSA; Isomerisation of light naphtha.

    Chemical and biosciences technology

    Speciality solvents: Sulfolane, NMP, ethyl acetate, iso-octane.

    Antioxidants: Butylated hydroxytoluene, tertiary butyl hydroquinone, butylated hydroxy aniline, NN' -di sec-butyl p-phenylenediamine, octylated diphenyl diamine, high temperature phenol antioxidants.

    Speciality products and additives: Sodium and calcium sulphonates, extreme pressure, antifriction and antiwear additives for gear and engine lubricants; calcium and lithium greases; p-tertiary-octylphenol, p-tertiary butyl phenol, filter aids, pour point depressants, VI improver, multifunctional additives (MEA) for fuels; Catalysts for desulphurisation of light naphtha and LPG.

    Petrochemicals: Adipic acid and isophthalic acid (single step bromine free process), C10- C16 secondary alcohols, synthetic fatty acids.

    Bio-mass conversions: Speciality chemicals from Jojoba oil, biodiesel, biodegradable lubricants.

    Biotechnological processes and products: Biosurfactant, additives from microbial liquids, microbial dewaxing of lube fraction, recovery of oil from tank bottom sludge using biosurfactants.


    Electrochemicals(Inorganic): manganous sulphate; cryolite, potassium; cryolite (sodium-synthetic); sodium hypochlorite; barium chlorate; manganous chloride; cuprous oxide; electrolytic reduction of titanic sulphate; sodium /potassium /ammonium perchlorates; electrolytic manganese dioxide. (EMD); potassium iodate; sodium chlorate; potassium chlorate; potassium and sodium bromates; titanium substrate insoluble anode; perchloric acid; sodium perborate; barium chlorate; Electrochemical defluoridation of drinking water; electrolytic hypochlorite generator.

    Electrochemicals (Organic): aminoguanidine bicarbonate; polyphenylene oxide coating on mild steel; benzylamine; beta phenylethylamine; calcium gluconate; iso borneol and camphor; glyoxylic acid; calcium lactobionate; chlorotoluenes; o-toluidine; dialdehyde starch; p-nitrobenzoic acid; para-aminophenol (from p-nitrophenol); Benzidines; Salicylaldehyde; Benzaldehyde; succinic acid; 3-amino-p-cresol; p-aminobenzoic acid; saccharin; iodoform; o-aminophenol; naphthoquinone using electrochemically generated cerium.

    Corrosion Science and Engineering: anti-tarnishing lacquer for copper and its alloys; anti-corrosive treatment for steel reinforcement rods in R.C.C.; chromate treatment of zinc and die cast zinc alloy; several paints, primers, jellies and rust protective coatings; manganese phosphate; inhibitor for automobile radiators; lacquer for corrosion prevention; magnesium alloy anode for cathodic protection; zinc alloy anode for cathodic protection; acid inhibitor for pickling (liquid); acid inhibitor for pickling (solid); anti-corrosive packaging paper; corrosion monitoring probe; coating for corrosion prevention in reinforced cement concrete construction ; rust converter; soak cleaning compound for steel contaminated with oil; corrosion inhibitor formulation for cooling water in heat exchange systems; low chromate corrosion inhibitor for cooling waters; anodic phosphating of mild steel; heat-resistant anti-corrosion air-drying coating using silicone - titanate resin; SCR control unit for automatic anodic/cathodic protection; inhibitor admixture to cement grout for protecting pre-stressing steel; fluorescent and reflective traffic sign boards.


    Free flowing table salt by forced evaporation method; low sodium salt from bitterns, pure salt through desulphation of brine; dairy salt for butter and cheese preservation by forced evaporation method; high purity salt by solar evaporation method; A.R. & I.P. grade sodium chloride by forced evaporation method; iodized salt by submersion method; cattle licks; free flow salt (without re-crystallization); potassium schoenite from mixed salt; potash alum from n-dxed salt; high strength plaster from marine gypsum; bromine from sea bittern or well brine/bittern; light basic magnesium carbonate; heavy basic magnesium carbonate; magnesium trisilicate; epsom salt; magnesium hydroxide; refractory grade magnesium oxide; low density precipitated silica; calcium silicate; aluminium hydroxide gel powder (I.P. grade); aluminium silicate; potassium nitrate by chemical route; detergent grade zeolite –A; ecofriendly processes for synthesis of several important perfumery chemicals, (styrene epoxide, isolongifolene, trans-anethole and camphenolic aldehydes and camphene);precipitated calcium carbonate from nitrophosphate; recovery of palladium from spent Pd/carbon catalyst used for hydrogenation of nitro aromatics; non-chlorine route for the synthesis of styrene epoxide from styrene water soluble metal complex catalysts for hydrogenation of benzene and alkenes; water soluble catalysts for hydroformylation of alkenes; catalytic direct hydration of CO to formic acid; zeolite-based catalysts for acylation of isobutyl benzene; nanocrystalline zirconia and titania; porous polymers; interpolymer membranes for brackish water and sea water desalination; reverse osmosis for brackish water desalination; electrodialysis for brackish and sea water desalination; a process for desalting of amino acid and amphoteric compound by electrodialysis with conducting spacers; membrane based hybrid process for desalting and dewatering of iron dextran solution; Electrodionization systems for the production of ultra pure water; separation and concentration of inorganics and organics from industrial mixtures/effluents; Ion selective resins for fluoride and arsenic removal in drinking water for rural households; reverse osmosis for brackish water desalination; electrodialysis for brackish and sea water desalination;jojoba body cream; jojoba skin lotion.

    Technologies Available for Licensing


    Processes for tetrahydrofuran; oxygen enrichment membranes; waste paper recycling; selective hydrogenation of butanediol; carbonylation of methanol; polymeric nanoparticles; gamma-butyrolactone; butanediol; membrane-based process for concentration of cheese whey; process for controlled release pesticides; oligomerization of olefin feed from cracked cooker kerosene; ethylene-propylene copolymers as viscosity index improvers; catechol/HQ process development.


    Temperature sensitive pharma labels; non-toxic polymer to enhance runoffs in deserts; hydrazine hydrate; L-aspartic acid; neem and Annona based pesticides; pheromones for teak pests and rice and groundnut crop pests; enzyme assisted extraction of vegetable oils; EMME; ‘W’ type hard ferrites; donepezil; tattooing ink.


    Synthetic hydrotalcite; heavy basic magnesium carbonate; tetrabromo bisphenol A & eosin; calcium carbonate from lime-rich industrial waste; salt from subsoil brine; recovery of high quality products from brine; TFC membrane production; tissue culture technique for jojoba; safer process for ED membranes; desalting of chemical intermediates; recovery of morpholine from waste streams; process for Pd recovery from silica waste.

    1. Integrated process for the recovery of high quality salt, bromine, potash and magnesium compounds.
    2. NaCl / KCl low sodium edible salt production from bittern
    3. Device for remote monitoring of brine density in salt works.
    4. A process of novel iodizing agent and iodized salt there from.
    5. Novel integrated process for the recovery of sulphate of potash |(SOP) from sulphate rich bittern
    6. A process for simultaneous recovery of industrial grade potassium chloride and edible salt enriched with KCl (low sodium salt ) from bittern
    7. An improved process for the preparation of refractory grade magnesia.
    8. An eco friendly method for tetrabromo Bisphenol A
    9. A process for preparation of brominating reagents.
    10. A process for synthesis of bromo benzene
    11. A process for pharma and halogen grade hydrotalcite
    12. A process for the manufacture of detergent grade zeolite A
    13. A process for manufacture of precipitated silica
    14. Catalytic process for epoxidation of styrene.
    15. Process for manufacture of calcium carbonate from industrial waste.
    16. Process for manufacture of detergent grade zeolite A from kimberlite waste
    17. Process for the recovery of palladium from spent catalyst.
    18. Process for selective adsorption of N 2 and Ar from gaseous mixture
    19. Process for thin film composite RO membranes
    20. Animal powered mechanical device for water desalination
    21. A device for concentrating herbal aqueous solution.
    22. Process for heterogeneous electro dialysis membranes and ion exchange spacers
    23. Ion exchange resins for removal of nitrate, fluoride and arsenic from water.
    24. Process for nutrient rich herbal salt of plant origin
    25. Integrated method for manufacture of k -carrageenan and liquid fertilizer.
    26. Process for biodegradable films from semi refined k -carrageenan
    27. Catalytic process for bio-diesel from Jatropha oil.
    28. Process for agarose from Gracilaria dura.
    29. Low sodium salt ( NaCl+ KCl) of botanic origin
    30. Process for cultivation of Kappaphycus alverizii .
    31. Membrane electrochemical cell for the production of KIO 3 solution
    32. Safer process for ED membranes; ED stack assemblies

    Adsorption process for clean up of contaminated sulpholane; process for 100 LL aviation gasoline; microcrystalline waxes from sludge; EP anti-wear and anti-friction additives; corrosion inhibitor for temporary protection of turbine parts; processes based on jojoba oil (industrial gear oil, multifunctional additive, extreme pressure additive, C18C24 monosaturated fatty alcohols and acids, recovery of saturated alcohols and fatty acids from hydrogenated oil, hydrogenation, synthesis of jojoba analogues, jojoba estolides, lubricating oil for 2-stroke engine, cutting oil).


    Polyurethane based emulsion; pressure sensitive adhesive; Mancozeb; polybutadiene based synthetic fat liquors.


    Strippable coating; neutral paint-removing jelly; protective coating for structures in hostile environs; sodium gluconate; Pb recovery from battery sludge; reflective road marking paint; defluorination of drinking water; de-rusting of iron and steel components; surface treatment for enhanced corrosion resistance; napthaquinone from electrochemically generated cerium IV; decorative yellow and white bronze electroplating; perfluoro octanic acid by electrochemical fluorinization; Mn-modified cola phosphating formulation polyurethane based emulsion.


    Detergent grade zeolite from rice husk ash.

    Technology Intervention through Cluster Servicing Approach

    The existence of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in India as industrial clusters has definite advantages from the point of view of technology intervention. Notable benefits are technology inputs with shared cost, higher impact of successful technology interventions, promotion of synergy between SMEs through common facilities and close R&D industry collaborations for new ventures.

    The CGCLs launched technology intervention programmes during the Ninth Five Year Plan for about 225 SMEs, which exist in clusters in gold plating, battery, salt, chemicals, jaggery, essential oil, tile, potteries, food processing and drugs/pharma sectors. The accrued benefits are in terms of quality and productivity improvements, higher societal impact, reduced environmental burden, and improved techno economics. In a unique assignment, IICT, Hyderabad, is currently participating in a technology upgradation programme (UPTECH) for bulk drug units in clusters near Hyderabad city. The three components of the programme are improved technology for common effluent treatment plant, eco-friendly processes for three bulk drugs and improving the techno-marketing skills for custom synthesis. The Government of India, A.P. State Government and Bulk Drug Manufacturers’ Association is jointly supporting this programme, costing Rs 3 crore. Nearly 30% of the programme cost is being shared by the industry.

    Catalyzing Future Changes

    • Pharmaceuticals sector: Complex and dynamic processes, asymmetric synthesis for chiral drugs, complex natural products synthesis, oligonucleotides, photochemistry-SET, carbohydrates as chiral pool and organo-metallics for selective transformations
    • Dyestuffs/colourants industry: New chromophores arising from structural modifications of existing chromophores
    • Leather chemicals and materials: For value-added leather products
    • Fine chemicals: Using hydrocarbon, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane and carbohydrates as feed stock
    • Active compounds: New class of polymers, nanoparticles, surrogated materials, multifunctional catalytic sites on single matrix, catalytic membranes, biomimics (chemzymes, photocatalysts and ionophores), chiral and synergistic catalysts.