The Process Design and Engineering Division is actively involved in process development, scale-up, and technology transfer of industrially important products like salt & marine chemicals, seaweeds, and their downstream processing to value-added chemicals, specialty inorganic chemicals, and biofuels. The department is also equipped with a wide range of lab-scale and pilot plant equipment & facilities.

Product development and scale up of industrially important products comprising of multi-disciplinary engineering teams such as Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Biochemical Engineering besides carrying out the basic research in frontier areas of Chemical Engineering.

Our Activities:

Process & Product Development

  1. Scale-up of chemical processes, experimental evaluation of process routes, process engineering, designing and generation of bench and pilot scale data, basic engineering aspects, process de-bottlenecking and troubleshooting.
  2. Salt fortification with iron and iodine - Double fortified salt.

Waste to Wealth

Development and implementation of processes to treat and convert waste into the value added products for industries.

  1. Potash - Technology solution for sugarcane molasses based alcohol distillery effluent (spent wash) valorisation through recovery of potash fertiliser and organics, within the regulatory ambit of ZLD norms.
  2. Separation of sodium chloride and sodium sulphate for  textile industries 
  3. Separation technology for carbonates of sodium and potassium for pharma industries.
  4. Separation of ammonium chloride and sodium chloride for pesticide industries.
  5. Value addition of effluent of organic pigment industries containing ammonium carbonate
  6. Utilization of byproduct bittern generated during salt production in to value added products

Renewable Energy

  1. Development of cost effective decentralized solar thermal devices for livelihood expansion and sustainability.
  2. Thermochemical conversion of carbonaceous wastes to value added products through bio-refinery approach.
  3. Integration of solar thermal devices with biomass thermochemical systems with the focus to develop high efficiency integrated renewable energy systems.

Major scale up facilities

A pilot scale multipurpose marine chemicals processing plant at experimental salt farm (ESF) site consisting of chemical reactors (1 KL), crushers, material handling system, batch type peeler centrifuge and pusher type continuous centrifuge, fluidised bed dryer, crystallizer, evaporator, ammonia and CO2 recovery system, boiler etc.

Pilot Plant at Institute premises is consisting of various equipment such as glass-lined reactor vessels (500),  fermenter (100 L and 1000 L), glass distillation units (25 to 200 L) , SS vacuum distillation unit (100 L), pulverisers, tray dryer, agitated reactors (100 L, 500 L, 1000 L), pressure vessel (150 L), high pressure reactors (1 L to 100 L), boiler (steam generation rate @300 Kg/hr), vacuum nusch filter, super centrifuges {MOC: SS, Pennwalt make; [(for liquid-liquid): Model number AS-16 Open Type (type 16-16-1JY), 15000 RPM, bowl dirt capacity of 3.5 L and Model number AS 12 (type 12-16-1JY), 15000 RPM, bowl dirt capacity of 2.0 L], [(for soid-liquid): Model number AS-16 Open Type (type 16-53E-42B), 15000 RPM, bowl dirt capacity of 3.5 L]},  double cone blender (solid-solid mixing, MOC: SS, 100 kg batch), ribbon blender (solid-solid mixing, MOC: SS, 100 kg batch), multi nill (100 kg/hr), super decanter centrifuge for solid-liquid separation (Pennwalt Make, Model No P-660, continuous type, bowl speed: 5000 RPM), dry air system [50 CFM at 7 kg/cm2 g having pressure due point of (minus) 40 oC], Soxhlet apparatus (50 L per batch), reactor monitoring system (with in-situ PSD, shape & IR facilities), and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

Solar thermal testing facilities:

Thermal imager, spectroradiometer, pyranometers, UV meter, pyrheliometer, automatic weather station, reflectivity meter, thermocouples with datalogging facility, heat flux sensor with datalogger, software like ANSYS & ASAP.


Thermochemical Laboratory:

Proximate analyser, bomb calorimeter, ash fusion tester, online SOx and producer gas analysers, experimental multi-fuel engine, gas adsorption system, software like CHEMKIN & DoE.


Biochemical Engineering Laboratory

Laminar air flow, autoclave (50L capacity), hot air oven, deep Freezer (180 L), BOD incubator, microalgal culture room.



Our Clients / Industrials Collaborators

  1. Anish Chemicals, Bhavnagar
  2. Ambuja intermediates Pvt ltd, Mehsana
  3. Archean Chemical Industries Private Limited, Chennai
  4. Aurangabad Distillery Limited, Aurangabad
  5. Chem Process Systems Private Limited, Ahmedabad
  6. Dyers Association of Tirupur (DAT), Tirupur
  7. DRDO, New Delhi
  8. Gujarat Credo Mineral Industries Limited, Ahmedabad
  9. Heubach Color Private Limited, Ankleshwar
  10. Laxmi Industries, Madurai,
  11. National Fertilizers Limited (NFL), New Delhi
  12. Powertech, Kolkata
  13. Tata Chemicals Limited, Mithapur
  14. United Phosphorous Limited, Ankleshwar
  15. Vinati Organics Limited, Mumbai

International Collaborators

  1. ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
  2. University of Exeter, UK.
  3. Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora, Mexico.
  4. The University of Sydney, Australia.
  5. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Technical and University of Sofia, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
  6. Sapienza University, Rome.

Selected Patents

  1. Process for the preparation of potassic fertiliser from alcohol distillery effluent (spent wash), US Patent 10793480. Double fortified salt technology for fortification of salt with iron and iodine, US Patent 9675098 B2; Indian Patent 330285.
  2. A novel process for preparation of synthetic hydrotalcite from industrial waste, US Patent 9567233 B1,Indian patent 310015.
  3. Preparation of ammonium bicarbonate from waste effluent of dyes/dyes intermediate industries containing ammonium carbonate, Indian Patent 352031.
  4. TheAn improved process for preparation of high purity heavy basic magnesium carbonate from bittern containing magnesium, Indian Patent 301912.
  5. An environment friendly cycle Process for the production of high purity soda ash with reduced content from mineral trona, Indian Patent 302594..
  6. Selective extraction of potassium chloride employing tartaric acid as safe, benign and recyclable extractant, US Patent US 9,540,248 B2.
  7. Integrated process of production of potassium sulphate, magnesium hydroxide and ammonium sulfate from kainite mixed salt and ammonia US Patent 8721999, Indian Patent 275067.
  8. Method of recycling of by-products for production of soda ash and ammonium sulphate, US patent 9193601 ,Indian Patent 291047.
  9. Iodizing agent and process for preparation thereof, US Patent 7695707B2, Indian patent 268383.
  10. Process for the preparation of hydrotalcite and brucite type positive charged layers US Patent 7022302B2, Indian Patent 238892.
  11. An improved process for the preparation of hydrotalcite useful as antacid, Indian patent 192168. Household solar still with easy operation and maintenance and enhanced output, US Patent 9908790B2, Indian Patent 342767.
  12. An improved solar dryer with enhanced efficiency of drying, Indian Patent 320446.

Some Important Recent Publications

  1. High surface area porous carbon from cotton stalk agro-residue for CO2 adsorption and study of techno-economic viability of commercial production. Panchanan Pramanik, Himanshu Patel, Samir Charola ,Subhadip Neogi, Subarna Maiti, JOURNAL OF CO2 UTILIZATION 45 (2021) 101450.
  2. Empty cotton boll crop-residue and plastic waste valorization to bio oil, potassic fertilizer and activated carbon - A bio-refinery model. Himanshu Patel, Hiren Mangukiya, Pratyush Maiti, Subarna Maiti, JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION 290 (2021) 125738
  3. Development and performance analysis of a mixed mode solar thermal dryer for drying of natural rubber sheets in the north-eastern part of India. Jigar Andharia, Paritosh Bhattacharya, Subarna Maiti. SOLAR ENERGY 208 (2020) 1091-1102
  4. Economic evaluation of solar-driven thermochemical conversion of empty cotton boll biomass to syngas and potassic fertilizer. Himanshu Patel, Fabian Müller, Pratyush Maiti, Subarna Maiti. ENERGY CONVERSION & MANAGEMENT 209(2020) 112631.
  5. Potable water by solar thermal distillation in solar salt works and performance enhancement by integrating with evacuated tubes. Jaymin Patel, Bhupendra K. Markam, Subarna Maiti. SOLAR ENERGY 188 (2019)561-572.
  6. Optimization to prepare porous carbon from mustard husk using response surface methodology adopted with central composite design. S Charola, H Patel, S Chandna, S Maiti. JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION 223(2019) 969-979.
  7. Production of (Z)-11-(heptanoyloxy)undec-9-enoic acid from ricinoleic acid by utilizing crude glycerol as sole carbon source in engineered Escherichia coli expressing BVMO-ADH-FadL. Sudheer, P.D.V.N., Seo, D., Kim, E.-J., Chunawala, J.R., Choi, K.-Y. Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 2018, 119, pp. 45–51.

Our Success Stories

Our recent achievements:

  1. First commercial plant (60 KLPD) in India has been set up to recover Potash and other value added by-products from spent wash generated by M/S Aurangabad Distillery Ltd., Walchandnagar, Maharashtra (2019).
    • Received CSIR technology prize for the year 2019.
    • Received appreciation letter from Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.
  2. First Commercial plant in India for detergent grade Zeolite-A (10,000 TPA) at Naredi, Kutch using low grade bauxite for M/S Gujarat Credo Minerals Industries Ltd., Ahmedabad (2016).
  3. Development of commercially viable technology for recovery of pure salts (sodium chloride & sodium sulphate) from waste generated in textile industries and implementation at Chinnakarai CETP, Dyers Association of Tirupur. The plant (6 KLPH) is in operation since 2017.
  4. Process development and scale up for commercial scale recovery of potassium carbonate (3500 TPA) and sodium carbonate (1000 TPA) using waste stream and solid waste of isobutyl benzene (IBB) plant for Vinati Organic Ltd, Mumbai (2017).
  5. First commercial plant (1000 TPA) to produce synthetic hydrotalcite in India and the first of its kind in the world to produce synthetic hydrotalcite using effluent streams from organic pigment industry and salt industry for M/s Heubach Colour Ltd., Ankleshwar, part of the multinational Heubach group (2012).
    • Received CSIR technology prize for the year for the Year 2013.