Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 2:
Scientists, academicians, experts and researchers from across the country converged at a two-day national workshop at the SOA University on Saturday to discuss various aspects of development of materials and processes for generation of sustainable energy and protection of environment.
The workshop on ‘Development of Nanomaterials for Energy, Environment and Sustainability’ has been organized by the University’s Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (CNSNT) located at the ITER, its faculty of engineering, in collaboration with the Heavy Water Board, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Science and Technology (DST) and ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Scientists and experts from IIT, Chennai, IIT, Kharagpur, IIT, Guwahati, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai, Heavy Water Board, Mumbai, Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), Mumbai are participating in the conclave.
Inaugurating the workshop, Prof SP Rath, former vice-chancellor of North Odisha University, traced the creation of the universe and different particulate matter formed at various levels through different chronology and delved upon the existence of nano particles.
Nano technology, he said, was in the forefront of research today as it was needed to make best utilization of solar energy to solve several intricate problems involving the environment and sustainability. “Nano materials in general and their utilization in particular has become the key factor today,” he said.
Prof (Dr) Amit Banerjee, vice-chancellor of SOA University, who presided, said the growth of human population posed a question on future availability of energy from natural and fossil based resources.
“As the human race has failed to read and pre-empt this situation, the need of the hour is to find strategies for smart management of energy resources ahead of economic growth and cultural diversification,” he observed.
Prof PK Nanda, dean (Research) of SOA University, Prof Kulamani Parida, director of CNSNT and Dr Rashmi Acharya, co-convener of the workshop also spoke.
The CNSNT aimed to provide effective knowledge and skills in multidisciplinary sciences using nanotechnology and generate industry ready technical manpower for research and development. The center has been working in the area of developing nanomaterial for fabrication of cheap and durable water filters to cater to the needs of the economically backward people, Prof Parida said.
Researchers at the centre are also engaged in development of an alternative fuel by utilizing the abundantly available solar energy to convert carbon dioxide into fuels such as methane or methanol.
The centre has already developed some prototypes for successful conversion of carbon dioxide into solar fuels. The researchers have successfully accomplished the development of solar photovoltaic cells for direct generation of electricity from solar energy, he said.