Executive Summary :
Objective: To analyze certain parameters of specialized alloys and complex polymers like bitumen using TOF-SIMS in detail, for essential and better standardization which is currently lacking using our own in-house developed parameters. This development will lead to better inter-comparison protocols being developed for TOF-SIMS based analysis.
Summary: Unless we are able to standardize the elemental components and their quantification used in high grade alloys, we can not compete industrially on a global scale. This constituent of alloy analysis proposal involves working on the components of alloys using expertise developed in house for understanding their components for some other work earlier – this will in turn lead to their segregation and subsequent usage better. The process of analysis for alloys and complex polymers like bitumen are quite similar, so these two activities have been clubbed together in this proposal. Expertise required has been developed in-house earlier at CSIR-NPL to do such materials analysis using UHV analytical techniques, like TOF-SIMS, HR-XPS etc. However, their heat treatment related properties are a different aspect, which we shall not deal with here.
As of today, in the Indian context, bitumen is the residue left after extraction of motor spirits from crude oil. The crude oil composition is specific to its sourcing and varies a lot as per literature. [ref. L. Loeber, G. Muller, J. Morel and O. Sutton, Fuel Vol. 77, No. 13, pp. 1443-1450, 1998; Nader Nciri, Suil Song, Namho Kim and Namjun Cho, J Pet Environ Biotechnol 2014, 5:5, http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2157-7463.1000193; Otto P. Strausz, Angelina Morales-Izquierdo, Najam Kazmi, Douglas S. Montgomery, John D. Payzant, Imre Safarik, and Juan Murgich, Energy Fuels 2010, 24, 5053–5072, : DOI:10.1021/ef100702 and also Energy & Fuels, 2011, 25, 4552-4579, DOI 10.1021/ef200833e] Overseas, even with low quality crude oil, commercial extraction from residues like bitumen are better. However, our crude is partly local and partly sourced from Arabian peninsula and other places. So till now further extraction from bitumen has not been attempted, though, the scope is immense even in the Indian context. CSIR-NPL has been working on coal tar for a long time for extraction of its volatile components but till date, bitumen was never analyzed. Now we plan to develop a TOF-SIMS based protocols to do that.