Newcastle University Indian Scientist’s Invention on Nano Material Paves Way for Clean EV

It is probably the first time that an Indian defence research requirement has been awarded to an Indian researcher based outside India, the 43-year-old Ajayan Vinu said on the sidelines of the 107th Indian Science Congress, where he was one of the key speakers

January 06, 2020. By News Bureau

The research work of professor Ajayan Vinu, global innovation chair and director at the University of Newcastle, on nano materials has led to the development of technologies for conversion of carbon dioxide into fuel using sunlight and water and clean tech like sodium ion batteries to power electric vehicles.

It is probably the first time that an Indian defence research requirement has been awarded to an Indian researcher based outside India, the 43-year-old Ajayan Vinu said on the sidelines of the 107th Indian Science Congress, where he was one of the key speakers.

According to Professor Vinu, “It is a $ 2 million project with Indian defence authorities. It is on the selective capture of carbon dioxide with nano porous carbon based systems. They have seen our work on the carbon capture and they have grown interested in it. They were using some kind of material that was not that effective and they wanted to replace their existing adsorbent material in all their devices with our unique material. This is the first time that an Indian defence project has been given to an Indian researcher based abroad.”

“The materials that I have discovered  the carbon nitrides like C3N5, C3N6, C3N7 has seen researchers from the top institutions jumping into the field since these materials have unique semi conducting characteristics,” Professor Vinu added.

“This is the only material that can be applied to all systems. That is why this system is unique. Carbon nitride can be used as a metal free photo catalyst for water splitting, metal free system for carbon capture and conversion, electrode material for supercapacitors and battery, as an electrode catalyst for fuel cells, electrode for solar cell. A single material that can be applied for all these purposes in a device,” Professor Vinu further stated.

The target for a vehicle that can harness atmospheric carbon dioxide with sunlight and water to produce hydrogen fuel was set for 2024-25 in 2019, he stated.

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