Prototype Development and Project Engineering
Historically this Division began its journey along with the then Central Laboratories for Scientific and Industrial Research as Central Workshop Group and transformed into the General Engineering Division in the erstwhile Regional Research Laboratory (RRL). As the services portfolio spread, it resulted in to be called as Engineering Services Division in the present Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT). The division has played a pivotal role in the journey of RRL/ IICT by providing crucial Engineering Support to transform bench scale studies to marketable commercial technologies. Being a manpower intensive core engineering group, the services of the division have become an integral part of development of experimental prototypes for bench scale research, engineering support to scale up and operation of utilities and providing engineering maintenance to technology demonstration pilot Plants. The department saw great leaders like Shri Choudhary, Shri Gopi Reddy, Shri TSR Anjaneyulu, Shri Walter, Shri A Ataullah, Shri. KVRS Murthy to name a few.
The Division also played an important role as a part of technical committee for the implementation of the Lipid Group's enzymatic degumming and dewaxing of rice bran oil project sponsored by TMOP&M and provided vital engineering inspection support vis-a-vis IICT technical specifications to the equipment supplies received from the Project Engineering Companies (PECs') including follow up and removal of non-conformities. Other notable contributions by way of operation & supply of utilities and engineering maintenance were provided for the pilot scale experimentation of Low Temperature Carbonisation of Coals and Fluidized Bed Gasification studies and during pilot scale production of Monochrotaphos, Cyanuric Chloride, Co and Co based chemicals, Mono Nitro Tollune (MNT), Biodiesel, Synthetic Aviation Lubricants, Benzaldehyde, Undecenoic acid, Pyrazinamide among many.
In pace with the growth of the Institute, the division made significant contributions to the development of engineering infrastructure in the form of augmentation and modernization of facilities and utilities starting from conceptual planning, design, specifications, procurement, installation and commissioning including project management at cost of over Rs. 200 millions. Some of the important infrastructure projects and associated achievements include (i) The modernization of most of the wet chemical laboratories of the institute conforming to ASHRAE110-95 and SEFA 1.2-96. This resulted in good turn around in the laboratory air quality and reduced occupational health hazards; (ii) By upgradation of IICT incoming power supply from llkV to 33kV and. subsequently, steps to systematically coordinate with the power distribution company uninterrupted quality power supply to the institute was ensured. This has resulted in less power interruptions to the ongoing research activities besides savings to an extent of lOOlakhs per annum in the form of savings in Diesel Consumption for stanby power generation; (iii) By achieving self sufficiency in Standby power generation capacity of IICT through modernisation & augmentation of DG sets, IICT's R&D activities were given practically uninterrupted power supply; (iv) Augmentation and modernization of OLTC based HT/ LT power transformers and associated vacuum circuit breakers, LT switchgear, XLPE cables at IICT's indoor & outdoor substations and power distribution PCC systems & motor control MCC panels across the institute increased reliability and quality of power supply; (v) Adapting new technologies such as variable refrigeration flow Air conditioning and duct able split systems ensured that the institute's drive for energy efficient utilities is achieved.
ESD has also developed research interests owing to its association with R&D for 70 years in the mechanical engineering domain of Chemical Sciences and Technology and Engineering Prototype Development. Some of the ongoing activities include: (i)
Extraction of vegetable oils using high energy milling either as standalone extraction process or as an extraction aid is being explored as a greener and efficient alternative to solvent extraction and mechanical expelling respectively [as a part of Development of sustainable and greener technologies (PEOPLE HOPE project of 12th FYP) using mechano-chemical processing for vegetable oil extraction and value addition]; (ii) Development of prototype Solar Powered Air Conditioner using DC power from solar panels directly with an objective to minimize solar panel size and cost; (iii) Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) studies for Early Prediction of Thermal Runaways as a part of INSPIRE project in which an attempt is being made to model the temperature distribution in a stirred tank reactor used in the manufacture of esters; (iv) A prototype Dispersant Testing Unit is being fabricated based on the request received from a prospective client; (v) A prototype low cost expeller, 20kg/hr seed processing capacity for rural use was developed by the Division; (vi) A Grant- in-Aid project funded by DST namely "Studies on material flow phenomenon inside the press chamber of horizontal screw expeller" was completed under the leadership of the Division.