Minister of Science & Technology Harsh Vardhan on Monday inaugurated the National Centre for Clean Coal Research and Development at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru. The centre has been established as a national consortium on clean coal research and development with IISc leading it.

The new centre would address several critical R&D challenges towards the development of clean coal technologies in tandem with developing supercritical power plant technologies, both at the materials and system level.

The minister also formally launched an Interdisciplinary Centre for Energy Research (ICER) equipped with modern facilities for conducting a wide spectrum of energy research through the knowledge network.

“The breakthrough research being pursued at IISc in clean coal domain could potentially be a game-changer for meeting the energy needs of the country in terms of higher efficiency and capacity at lower operating costs and size,” the minister said. He hoped the new centre would realise the vision of affordable, efficient, compact and reliable clean energy systems.

Secretary, Department of Science & Technology (DST), Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, emphasised the need for accelerated clean energy innovation. “Creation of an eco-system for R&D and innovations involving all stakeholders is a priority, and DST plans to have novel instruments and mechanisms for engaging stakeholders and developing an appropriate partnership based on ‘Technology Readiness Level’ stages.”

Director, Indian Institute of Science, Prof. Anurag Kumar, said ICER has plans to expand its activities in several energy-related areas with an emphasis on process and material development, in collaboration with the manufacturing industry. Translational research carried out by ICER faculty has resulted in technology transfers in India and abroad. The centre is focused on developing sustainable technologies for renewable energy, combustion, concentrated solar power, next-generation solar photovoltaic, novel energy storage technologies, hydrogen, bio-fuels and bio-mass.

Development of clean coal technologies is necessary to achieve international targets on climate change by minimizing anthropogenic emissions while simultaneously addressing energy demand. This could be achieved by shifting towards high efficiency advanced ultra-supercritical steam power plants as well as supercritical carbon dioxide plants, along with exploration of new combustion and gasification technologies.

Twitter handle: @ndpsr

(India Science Wire)

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