NOCIL Award for Excellence in Design/Development of process plant/Equipment IIChE (1997) for design and development of Supercritical Fluid Extraction Pilot Plant.
P K Patwardhan Technology Development Award for Development and Transfer of Supercritical Fluid Extraction Technology (2000-2001)
Over the recent years our group has been focusing on a number of industry-funded research projects that involve supercritical fluid-based processing. These broadly maybe subsumed in the areas of: micronization of pharmaceutical actives, dyeing of fabrics. In the former category protocols for micronization of a variety of pharmaceutical actives have been developed along with theoretical models for prediction of particle size as a function of process parameters. The models combine thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of the process and make use of classical and modified theories of homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation. The simulations executed using these models indicate that the models are amenable to use for obtaining optimal process conditions for obtaining a desirable range of particle size. In the second category, a range of fabrics and dyes have been considered for experimental study of uptake of dyes under supercritical conditions. The processes so developed aim to replace traditional, aqueous-phase dyeing which generate considerable amounts of waste water, which cannot be recycled cost-effectively. Unique protocols for pre-treatment and post-treatment of the fabrics have been developed to ensure appropriate levels of dye uptake and retention. The experimental work has furthered the general understanding of the underlying dye transport and adsorption processes in supercritical fluid media.