Prof Sukhendu Mandal
Professor (Chemistry)
  +91 (0)471 - 2778107

1. Biomass to Liquid Transportation Fuels

The demand for transportation fuels - gasoline (for cars), diesel (for trucks and cars), and kerosene (for aircraft) - is predicted to increase rapidly. Almost all of the fuel is obtained through petroleum refining. Due to the economical, political, and environmental impacts of petroleum use, there is growing interest in the use of biomass to replace petroleum as a transportation fuel. For example, recent public and scientific discussions suggest that increased carbon dioxide emissions from combustion of fossil fuels can be mitigated by the use of fuels from biomass. Biomass and bio-fuels appear to hold the key for supplying the basic needs of our societies for the sustainable production of liquid transportation fuels and chemicals without compromising the needs of future generations.

We aim to optimize the catalyst based on inexpensive transition metal. The advantages of using transition metal catalysts allows to lower the reaction temperature compared to the zeolite based catalysts. These types of catalysts has tendency to form the undesired product (like coke) during conversion to liquid fuels. Undesired product could be controlled by addition of inert metal as a promoter. Our group focused on to produce transportation liquid fuels (diesel range) from biomass in cheapest way.

2. Alkane Metathesis and Related Reactions

Alkane metathesis represents a powerful tool for making progress in a variety of areas, perhaps most notably in the petroleum and petrochemical fields. Modern civilization is currently confronting a host of problems that relate to energy production and its effects on the environment, and judicious application of alkane metathesis to the processing of fuels such as crude oil and natural gas may well afford solutions to these difficulties. We focused on design and synthesis of new highly electrophilic compounds using the surface organometallic chemistry (SOMC) route. We concentrate on those metals, which are inexpensive and plentiful. By using the SOMC route it is possible to create, at the surfaces of oxides, relatively well-defined metallic entities which have both molecular-like and surface-like characters. And these electrophilic compounds catalytically transform a given alkane into its higher and lower homologues — an alkane metathesis reaction. These types of catalysts can be used for the reverse reaction, which allows methane to be incorporated into higher alkanes.

3. Cluster-Assembled Materials

The field of cluster science continues on a rapidly expanding trajectory due to the connection to the field of nanoscale science where clusters offer the exciting prospect of serving as building blocks for new materials, whose desired properties may be tailored through selection of size and composition. When clusters are linked, whose composition can be selectively chosen, and whose individual characteristics might be retained when assembled into an extended material, they are called Cluster-Assembled Materials (CAM). We are interested to explore the synthesis, structure, electronic and optical properties of different kinds of Cluster-Assembled Materials based on Zintl ion cluster (Si44-, Ge94-, Sn94-, Sn93- etc.), metal-oxygen linked cluster (Co, Mn, Fe etc.) and nanoclusters (Ag, Al, AgNi, AgCo, etc.). We would like to synthesize cluster building unit using soft chemical route and solvothermal process and building units can be linked either by ionic or covalent linkers.