Cultivating a Promising Future: S. C. Naik Lecture 2017
As the name suggests, the S.C. Naik annual lecture is a conference organized in NITR every year by the Department of Chemical Engineering. It is made viable through the generous contribution of Prof. Shiba Charan Naik who served NITR as a professor for 3 decades 1970-1997, as the HOD of the Department of Chemical Engineering.
In the present year, Dr. Ajay Kumar Dalai was prearranged as the speaker of the event succeeding Prof. B.K.Dutta from the University of Calcutta in the previous year. Ajay Kumar Dalai who has obtained his B. Tech degree from LIT, Nagpur and M. Tech from IIT Kanpur is a current member of PEO (Professional Engineers’ Ontario) holding a P.Eng degree. He is also a member of FRSC (Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry), Canada and UK. Dr. Dalai has published over 390 research papers and holds numerous achievements in the field of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
The topic for the aforementioned lecture was “Frontiers in Bioenergy Production and Processing for Meeting Climate Change Issues in 21st Century”. The programme was scheduled on 1st of March. The event was kick-started at 4:30 PM in the auditorium of TIIR Building. Prof R.K. Singh, HOD, Department of Chemical Engineering introduced the gathering about the lecture series. He was followed by Prof. Animesh Biswas, Director, who introduced the speaker, Dr. Dalai to the gathering. The gathering had a turnout of 180 consisting of faculty members from departments like Chemical Engineering, Food Process Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Life Science and students from all departments.
The topic of the lecture was the use of catalysis and chemical reactions in the production of bio-oils.
The discussion went as follows:
In this current age of cut-throat technology where dependency on fossil fuels have increased by manifolds and accordingly as their acute shortages have begun, there is a need to switch over to alternative sources of energy, the ones which produce energy at their maximum efficiency, in order to comply with the concept of sustainable development. Biodiesel is one such potential source, made from renewable biological sources such as vegetable oils and animal fats.
Dr. Dalai then switched the limelight to increased productivity of these types of diesel by use of solid catalysts, which are easier to produce and reuse than liquid catalysts, increasing the purity of these fuels, decreasing the oxygen content and decreasing the use of freshwater in the production process. The talk was followed by an interactive session, where the spectators asked minutiae doubts that were further cleared by him.
The programme ended on a good note at 6 PM with Prof S Mishra, HoD, Department of Food Processing Engineering giving a vote of thanks to Dr. Dalai for the programme and the gathering for attending it. On getting in touch with one of the students, he replied that the programme was indeed helpful for him as he got to know a lot about the ongoing international research in the field of green energy.