PUNE: Paul Ratnasamy, former director of city-based CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL), will deliver a lecture on 'Alternative Energy Systems- Myths, Facts and Challenges' at the IUCAA auditorium (University of Pune campus) on February 23 at 11 am.
This event is jointly organized by IUCAA and non governmental organisation Innovidya. The talk will address the scope and challenges involved in the replacement of fossil fuels by solar / wind energies and biofuels.
"Currently over 80% of our energy comes from fossil fuels. However these fuels are the major sources of the green house gas pollutants which lead to severe environmental degradation including climate change. Energy from non-polluting sources - like biomass, solar and wind - is under development worldwide. Due to the recent research and technological advances, it is now technically feasible to produce conventional transportation fuels like diesel and gasoline from biomass like sugarcane bagasse and municipal / forest wastes," said a statement issued by NCL. It said that solar energy, in addition to generating electricity directly (photo-voltaics), can also produce liquid fuels, like diesel. Waste gases like CO and CO2 from steel/cement/power/chemical plants can be catalytically converted to transport fuels like ethanol and diesel. Ratnasamy's presentation will describe some technologies and their potential adoption in large commercial plants.
Ratnasamy joined NCL in 1977 and established Catalysis Research Group there and served as the director of the institute from 1995 to 2002. Ratnasamy is also known as Catalysis man of India. Ratnasamy also has a PhD from Loyola College, Chennai, and did his post-doctoral works at Clarkson College of Technology, New York, at Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and at University of Munchen, Germany.