Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravya (BND) or Indian Reference Material: Ensuring reliability, comparability and quality

The technological leadership of any economy strongly depends on the capability of accurate and precise measurement systems. The confidence in the accuracy and reliability of the measurements lies in the framework where results are linked to respective SI units. The certified reference materials play a crucial role in establishing the SI traceability to the various measurement. To establish the uniform measurement system, India being the member of Bureau International des Poids et Mesures which is commonly known as International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) & the APMP is maintaining standards at par with international standards. CSIR-NPL being national measurement institute of India has recently opted an internationally accepted modality to produce certified reference materials in association with various reference material produces to strengthen the quality infrastructure. CSIR-NPL has got Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravya (BND®) as a trademark [TM No.- 3669341]for Indian reference materials.

Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravya is the trademark of Certified Reference Material (CRM) produced by CSIR-NPL in association with Reference Material Producers (RMPs). BNDs are the primary standards, which ensure reliability and comparability of the measurements as a benchmark for the quality assurance achieved through international networking. Networking between the NMIs through bilateral cooperation, participation with international bodies/organization establishes wide-ranging recognition of BND in India. The comparable measurements, i.e. ‘once measured or tested, globally accepted’ are bound to uplift the quality life of consumers and enhances the socio-economic fabric of the society through unhindered trade. The global analytical standards market of CRM is projected to reach USD 1.73 billion by 2022 from 1.27 billion in 2017, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3%. The factors driving the growth of this market depend on stringent regulations over pharmaceutical industry, rising public concern related to optimal food safety and quality, increasing public–private investments for various researches and growing use of analytical techniques.

The importance of BNDs can be realized by the fact that the US food and drug regulator alone has (year 2000) rejected more than 2,100 import batches of ‘made in India’ products across food, personal care and health supplement categories, including those made by leading companies. Apart from that EU, gulf countries etc has rejected many supplied recently as well as in the past.

Success Stories:

The BNDs produced by CSIR-NPL in different sectors are uploaded in the international COMAR database, i.e. COde d’Indexation des Matériaux de Reference (COMAR) for its global visibility. To enhance the impact of reference materials in the global economy, Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) has recently established national mirror committee on reference materials which is a part of ISO-REMCO (Committee on reference materials. CSIR-NPL has developed several BNDs in association with RMPs. Some of the main success stories are as follows-

Petroleum Products (BNDs):CSIR-NPL has successfully launched >28 petroleum based BNDs in association with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) & Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL). Traceability for all vital parameters of petroleum products testing and certification comprising of 12 physical properties, 3 physico-chemical properties and 13 chemical properties including BND for sulphur content measurement at lower concentrations which will be of immense use for BS VI fuels. This unique initiative will be a milestone in ensuring quality assurance of petroleum products in our country.

Building Materials BND:Increasing industrialization demands for high-quality construction materials. In order to improve the quality of the construction reference standards of building materials are required. For this it may be required a large number of reference standard materials like ordinary portland cement (OPC), white cement, cement composites, concrete, steel-reinforced concrete, polyurethane foam, fly ash bricks, portland pozzolana cement, etc. NCCBM is exporting cement BND to countries like France, Austria, Oman, Nepal, Bangladesh, Egypt and UAE. Karen L. Scrivener has reported that the projected increase in demand for cement in the coming decades will be in emerging and developing countries

Polystyrene Film for Spectroscopic Standard:Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometer is a powerful characterization technique that reveals various fundamental facets of materials in many areas such as chemical, analytical, pharmaceutical and biomedical industries, etc. The reference materials can be used to qualify mid-IR - FTIR spectrophotometer for wavelength accuracy. Calibration, testing laboratories, private sector and FTIR making companies so forth is the user of the reference material. Currently in India, importing SRM 1921b from NIST, USA or other imported IR standard for calibrating the wave number scale of spectrophotometers on the IR region from 400 to 4000 cm−1. Development of IR reference standard in India will save lot of foreign exchange as importing the SRM1921b from NIST and other imported IR standards.

Graphitized Petroleum Coke BND:India imports huge amount of carbon raisers from Japan, China, Korea, etc. The cost of the carbon raiser in turn depends upon the purity, i.e., high fixed carbon content and minimum impurities. The percentage of sulphur for this product is specially monitored as the customers of this product require a minimal level of sulphur. The concentration of theses impurities is being routinely analysed by testing laboratories. However, reliable analytical results are required for compliance with international regulations in almost all areas of analysis. The main purpose of the development of this GPC standard is to provide a reference standard to the Indian industries to evaluate the carbon additive for its quality control and in the evaluation of techniques used in the analysis of graphite/carbon and materials of a similar matrix. CRM/BND of graphitized petroleum coke has been developed to ascertain the quality of carbon additive and in the evaluation of techniques used in the analysis of graphite/carbon and materials of a similar matrix.

Gold BND 4201:

India is the second-largest consumer utilizing approximately 849 metrics tons of gold. Therefore, its purity standardization (Ag, Pt, Pd, Rh, Ir, Ru, Os and Cd) is urgently required for consumer satisfaction. CSIR-NPL has signed MoU with Govt. Mint, Mumbai and Jalna’s and company New Delhi for the production of gold standard. In 2017 India’s first home-grown high purity gold reference standard BND-4201 was launched at the India Government Mint (IGM) in collaboration with NPL.

BNDs Related to Gas Mixture:

Gas Metrology plays a crucial role in the field of global atmospheric monitoring of Green House Gases (GHGs), National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) parameters and vehicular emissions as well. CSIR-NPL maintains the primary Reference Gas Mixtures (PRGMs) and conducts Proficiency Testing (PT) in this field. The laboratory has established facilities for the gravimetric preparation of PRGMs, their analytical validation and impurity analyses. This will help in developing indigenous sensors suitable for Indian climatic conditions.

Dr. Nahar Singh
Head, BND Division