Science for Society

Other Societal Benefits - Energy

Department of Science & Technology

Building Energy Efficiency Research Initiative (BERI)

The focus of the Initiative is to promote R&D activities to improve the energy performance of buildings and cities. The programme also supports the enhancement of knowledge and practice to save energy in design, construction and operation of human habitats. It undertakes research on demand reduction through improved building envelops, low energy cooling & heating, social practices of adaptive thermal comfort and post-occupancy evaluation. Special emphasis is on cooling technology that requires radically less energy to operate, utilizes refrigerants with no ozone-depletion potential and with low global warming potential, and has the potential to be cost-effective at scale. The Main Programmes include the National Initiative to Promote Habitat Energy Efficiency (I-PHEE); India-UK Programme on Energy Demand Reduction in the Built Environment; Affordable Heating and Cooling of Building and Building Energy Efficiency Higher & Advanced Network (BHAVAN) Programme

Clean Air Research Initiative (CARI)

Air Pollution in India is a serious issue with the major sources being fuelwood and biomass burning, fuel adulteration, vehicle emission and traffic congestion. Department of Science & Technology (DST) initiated a solution-oriented R&D activity for mitigation of Air Pollution. The programme focuses identify the technologies that can provide a viable deployable solution to mitigate air pollution and establish a technical resource unit. The Main programmes include Traffic Junction Air Pollution Abatement Plan; Landfill Fire Control Mechanism through Integrated Approach; Suddha Vaayu: An Electrical Chamber for Detection and Mitigation of Air Pollution; Collecting Particulate Matter in Air Using Filters Placed on the Top of a Moving Car; Indigenous Photonic System for Real-Time Remote Monitoring of Air Quality and Mitigation of Air Pollution: Micro-to-Macro Scale Study of Particle Capture by Liquid Droplets.

Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS)

Globally, power and industry account for about 50% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage programme aim to reduce carbon emission by either storing or reusing it so that captured carbon dioxide does not enter the atmosphere.  Department of Science and Technology (DST) aims to nurture the area of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage through an emphasis on research and development and capacity building of both human resource as well as infrastructure, to evolve technologies and methodologies that address issues related to high capital costs, safety, logistics and high auxiliary power consumption. The Main programmes include Mission Innovation Challenge on CCUS and Accelerating CCS Technologies (ACT).

Renewable Energy System (RES) including Solar Energy Research Initiative (SERI)

Initiated in January 2009 the initiative aims to develop national research competence to drive down the cost of solar energy through pre-competitive translational research, oriented solar research & human and institutional capacity development. SERI has led to the development of a critical mass of researchers both by rekindling the interest of experienced researchers in related fields towards solar energy research as well as attracting younger researchers to the area of solar energy. This has created a vibrant atmosphere for solar energy research in the country. The main programmes include Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Programme; Indo -US Joint Virtual Centre on Solar Energy Research Institute for India and United States (SERIIUS); DST- Indian Institute of Technology- Madras (IITM) Solar Energy Harnessing Centre; DST-Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology (DST-IIEST) Solar PV hub; Off-Grid Access to Electricity and Bhaskara Advanced Solar Energy (BASE) Programme.

Hydrogen Research Initiative (HRI)

Hydrogen is a versatile and clean fuel that can be used for power, transportation and storage applications. A fuel Cell is a device that uses Hydrogen as fuel to produce electricity with heat and water as by-product. As Hydrogen fuel cell emits only water, there are no carbon emissions and no air pollutants that cause health problems. The Main programmes include Hydrogen and Fuel Cell (HFC) and Renewable and Clean Hydrogen.

Clean Coal Research Initiative (CCRI)

The main focus of the Clean Coal Research Initiative is to utilize indigenous fuel in a clean and efficient way for reducing the carbon footprint. The areas included are coal excavation, washing & purification and transportation, conversion of coal to power and chemicals through combustion, Advanced Ultra Super Critical (AUSC) technology and controlling another emission including handling of wastewater generated during the entire operation chain, as well as developing enabling technologies namely coating, welding, machining and new materials for High-Performance Power Generating Systems (HPPGS). The Mian Programmes include Clean Coal Research and Development (CCORD); National Centers for Clean Coal Research & Development and the Advanced Ultra Super Critical (AUSC) Programme. 

Methanol Economy Research Programme (MERP)

Energy is one of the key contributors to the economic development of the country. India will play an important part in the global energy space, as it is likely to account for 25% of the rise in global energy demand by 2040. Methanol and Dimethyl ether (DME) can play an important role in order to contain the rising imports and improve the energy security of India. Methanol is an efficient fuel that emits less NOx and Particulate matter (PM) than Petrol & Diesel and produces no SOx as there is no sulfur in methanol. It can be blended or be completely substituted with Petrol & Diesel to use as a transport fuel along with other applications. Like Methanol, DME is also an efficient fuel and burns with lesser NOx and PM, no SOx than Diesel. It is a viable and clean diesel alternative and can also be blended with LPG.

Clean Fuel Research Initiative (CFRI)

Any renewable substance which can be used as fuel other than conventional fossil fuels is known as the Alternate or Clean Fuel. They can serve, at least partly, as a substitute for fossil fuel in transportation and have the potential to contribute to its decarbonization and enhance the environmental performance of the transport sector. Clean fuels will play an important role in clean energy initiatives worldwide. Some well-known fuels which can be used as Clean Fuels are biomass, biofuel, non-fossil natural gasvegetable oil, liquefied petroleum gas, synthetic and paraffinic fuels etc. Clean fuels, especially biofuels, are new sources of energy with smaller carbon footprints.

Clean Energy Material Initiative (CEMI)

Clean Energy Materials Initiative (CEMI) supports material research and development for a wide range of energy sectors and applications. Specific application areas for new materials include advanced batteries and solar cells, low energy semiconductors, thermal storage, coatings for various applications, structural materials, catalysts for the conversion and capture of CO2 etc. The initiative aims to accelerate the innovation process for high-performance, low-cost clean energy materials and automate the processes needed to integrate these materials into new technologies. The Main programmes include Materials for Energy Storage (MES); Materials for Energy Conservation and Storage Platform (MECSP); DST- IIT Delhi Energy Storage Platform on BatteriesDST- IIT Bombay Energy Storage Platform on HydrogenDST- IISc Energy Storage Platform on SupercapacitorsDST- NFTDC Energy Storage Platform on Hydrogen; Integrated Clean Energy Material Acceleration Platform- IC MAP and National Innovation Challenge Awards for Designing and Developing Energy Storage Devices.

Smart Grids Research Initiative (SGRI)

The purpose of developing Smart Grids is to seamlessly transit from the existing centralized power network powered with fossil fuels to decentralized generation systems powered with renewable energy. The initiative also aims to conduct research, development and demonstration to foster technology innovations that are technically feasible, robust and cost-effective to facilitate a greater share of renewable energy in the overall energy mix, and develop research pathways to allow a 100% renewable-powered grid eventually. It is expected to evolve technologies and develop methodologies tunable to local as well as at global needs through setting up virtual joint Clean Energy Centre in consortium mode. The Mian programmes include Smart Energy Grids and Energy Systems (SEGES); Joint Virtual Centre for Clean Energy; Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre on Smart Grids and Energy Storage ( UI-ASSIST); Indo Sweden Collaborative Industrial Research and Collaborative Programme; India EU Integrated Local Energy Systems and Mission Innovation Programme on Smart Grids.

Biogas from Starchy, Sugary and Cellulosic Waste

Anaerobic fermentation of suitable materials such as agro residues, kitchen wastes etc. produces biogas in small quantities useful for household applications. This digester is made from locally available components. 

Developed By: Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI)

Disposal of Solid Municipal, GramPanchayat, Domestic and Hospital Biomass Waste Through the use of Incinerator, And Energy for Heating Water: In present condition solid waste management is a big issue, the solid waste is generated at domestic, commercial and agricultural levels which is to be managed and treated in a proper manner so that it can be used as an energy source and also be less polluting. The traditional systems of dumping solid waste cause land pollution and the process of burning solid waste causes air pollution which is not desirable. Solid waste incinerator is the most useful device for managing wastes and it is the desirable technique that can be used for disposing of all types of hazardous wastes. At the domestic level such as the house, the waste such as plastics, clothes, packing materials, cardboard, paper, garden wastes, Coconut wastes, etc. are not disposed of properly. And if this is the condition of a single house then what would be of one city and that of the whole country we cant imagine. This waste is just taken and dumped at the places out of city which causes the land pollution or burned which causes the air pollution. This condition can become critical if proper steps are no taken before it's too late.

Developed By: Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI)

Fuel efficient wood-burning stoves

With more than a decade of experience in R&D in fuel-efficient cooking technologies, TIDE had designed cookstoves for domestic and commercial use and also made them 'Ready for market.  These stoves are wood-burning, fuel-efficient and prevent indoor air pollution.  There are stoves for various cooking needs and sizes. 

Developed By: Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE)

Micro Solar Dome

Dome type day lighting device has a transparent semi spherical dome shaped acrylic material which captures the sunlight as much as possible. The captured light is then passing through tubular shaped pipe having a thin layer of highly reflective coating on the inner wall of the passage . At the end of this passage there is a suitable retrofit to illuminate every corner of the room with good luminosity. There is also a provision to control the amount of light in the room.

Developed By: NB Institute for Rural Technology (NBIRT)

Improved Cook Stove Design for Hand Operated Leaf Plate and Cup Moulding Machine

The hand operated molding machine developed by IIT, Kharagpur were existing in this area. Pressing machine, in which the dye is heated by a stove using biomass as fuel. This machine was tested and found to be easy to operate by tribal families. This machine does not require electricity. It can therefore be operated in any remote place. The heating device is a metallic, biomass burning stove. It produces a lot of smoke and heat at the workplace. Most of the machines are therefore lying idle, without being operated by the potential users.

Developed By: Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI)

Aditya Home Light

Aditya Home light system is a Solar power based distributed system which is operated and maintained by women entrepreneurs. The system consists of a solar power central charging station. The central charging station consists of a custom built 14V storage battery which is charged by two Solar PV panels of 35 watt each. The charging station can charge 10 lamps at a time. The lamps use 6V battery for powering 2 watt LED lamp and give 30 lux at a distance 1.5 meter. These lamps do not have any electronic component and are easy to maintain. The system is owned, managed and maintained by a woman vendor. Before installing and handing over the system, the vender undergoes extensive training at SRI on operation and maintenance of the system. The system operates on a rental basis. The vendor is given 20 lamps along with the charging station. She rents out these lamps at Rs. 2.50 per days. For a set of 20 lamps the vendor earns about Rs. 50/- a day. The user takes the lamp in the afternoon and returns it for charging in the morning. The main beneficiaries of these lamps are children. These lamps have been specially designed for focussed area lighting suitable for study not for special illumination.

Developed By: Society for Rural Industrialization (SRI)

Biomass Charcoal Briquetting from different agrowaste

This technology addresses the management of agro waste generated during agricultural operations and converting them as useful products. This technology was adopted from ARTI, PUNE during 2006 and modified for easy operation. A prototype model kiln was developed during DST Young Scientist Programme with slight modification which was again modified with a portable cylindrical prototype kiln with basal perforated plate and air vents and tested for efficiency. The prototype kiln model (furnace) was fabricated at the local work shop. The advantages of the modified kiln is that the carbonization is uniform, higher char yield, lesser process time, easy to operate and maintain and easily viewable during carbonization. The optimum conditions of carbonization of different biomass, available at different localities and their calorific values were studied. Since some kind of biomass will be available in every location, the beneficiaries can utilize this technology to produce charcoal briquettes from the biomass available in their locality for their income generation. Biomass charcoal briquettes were tested for cooking experiments at beneficiaries’ house, local teashops, laundry and small hotels in Chennai. Apart from fuel briquettes production from charcoal, a value added product from biomass carbon was developed. Along with charcoal powder, other natural ingredients were added and sambrani (Incense) pellets were produced. This technology package was disseminated to beneficiaries through 5 networking NGOs. In a community, if 4 beneficiaries work together, they can make a net profit of Rs 11 /kg of charcoal briquettes and Rs. 173/kg of incense sticks. Awareness programs were conducted to 8 Networking NGOs. The dissemination of the technology is in progress.

Developed By: Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre (MCRC)

Department of Biotechnology

DBT as nodal agency for Mission Innovation is coordinating national efforts in clean energy

Mission innovation aims to escalate the pace of clean energy innovation to achieve performance breakthroughs and cost reductions to provide widely affordable and reliable clean energy solutions that will revolutionize energy systems throughout the world over the next two decades and beyond.

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has been identified as nodal agency to coordinate national efforts in clean energy for Mission Innovation activities on behalf of Government of India. DST, Ministry of Power and MNRE are other ministries participating in addressing the challenges. India will be partnering in all the challenges. India will be leading the Smart Grids innovation challenge and co-lead the sustainable biofuels innovation challenge and is collaborating in all the challenges identified.

Indian Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences led an Indian delegation to the Mission innovation Ministerial meet at San Francisco in 2016. During the meeting, the Minister announced India’s current investment ($72 million) and doubling plan ($145 million) in Clean Energy Research by formal announcement on new joint collaborations with Mission Innovation Countries was also made by the Hon’ble Minister.

Rapid and continuous Cellulosic ethanol technology by DBT-ICT Center being transferred to OMCs

The DBT-ICT 2nd Generation-Ethanol Technology was translated successfully to a demonstration scale plant capable of processing 10 tons biomass/day. This plant has been erected by India Glycols Ltd. (IGL) with financial assistance from BIRAC. The future biomass bio-refinery at IGL aims to produce lignin & sugar from biomass waste and convert these to alcohol for production of ‘green’ monoethylene glycol, bio-CNG, and materials that are equivalent to PET, in addition to chemical solvents like furfural and ethyl acetate and even foods like glucose and fructose. Other DBT Bioenergy Centers are developing alternate technologies and enzymes required for breaking down the biomass.

DBT-ICT Centre 2G Ethanol Technology & pilot plant at (10 Tons biomassday) IGL Kashipur

Municipal Solid / Liquid Waste to Energy: DBT-ICT Centre for Energy Biosciences, Mumbai is a unique institute that integrates basic and translational science capabilities for bioprocess development and scale up. The 10 ton/day biomass demonstration facility based on the novel DBT-ICT Lignocellulosic Ethanol Technology, the development of novel ‘Hybrid Technology’ for the treatment of municipal solid waste (MSW) and municipal liquid waste (MLW) and the commissioning of 1000L modular photobioreactors designed for autotrophy as well as mixotrophy growth of algae are some of the salient achievements for the Centre.

Algal Bio-fuels

Algae biofuels may provide a viable alternative to fossil fuels. However, a number of hurdles like strain identification and improvement, both in terms of oil productivity and crop protection, nutrient and resource allocation and use, and the production of co-products to improve the economics of the entire system need to be overcome for optimum utilization of the technology. DBT is working to support research on some of these challenges. Some promising strains have been identified from bio-fuel repositories of micro-algae & cyano bacteria and taken forward for biomass production at low cost. 

Capability for Life Cycle Analysis developed at DBT-IOC Centre

DBT IOC Centre for Advanced Bioenergy Research, Faridabad is a finest example of collaboration of DBT with an industry. The centre has established protocols for Life Cycle Assessment and GHG emission evaluation of all grades of biofuels. Unique process for CO2 fermentation and conversion to lipids has been carried out and a pilot is under installation. Development of enzymes needed for cellulosic ethanol is a major programme of the centre. It is planning a 10 ton/day cellulosic ethanol green field plant to be operational by Q2 2019.