Author Archives: Sohrab Darabshaw
India

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A team of researchers in India have introduced an eco-friendly and energy-efficient battery that is being touted as “the future” of batteries — not only for the automobile world but for drones and other tech gadgets, too.

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Researchers tout energy efficiency, cost savings

Researchers at the Shiv Nadar University and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay claim to have developed a technology for production of this eco-friendly lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery. The researchers claim the battery is three times more energy-efficient and cost-effective than the Li-S batteries currently in use, the Hindu Business Line reported.

The Li-S battery technology deploys the principles of “green chemistry,” the Financial Express reported.

The technology incorporates the use of: byproducts from the petroleum industry (sulfur); agro-waste elements and copolymers, such as cardanol (a byproduct of cashew nut processing); and eugenol (clove oil) as cathodic materials.

The university said it decided to introduce the technology after five years of research by Dr. Bimlesh Lochab, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry. The university claimed the Li-S battery technology would be significantly cheaper and sustainable. while offering up to three times higher energy density and intrinsic flame-retardant properties.

For this research, Lochab’s team had tied-up with the IIT-Bombay team of Dr. Sagar Mitra, professor in the Department of Energy Science and Engineering.

New features

So, how is this battery different from what’s available on the market?

It synthesizes a bio-based molecule and also boasts of a new type of cathode for Li-S batteries. These developments can help push the promising battery technology to higher performance levels.

“The research will aid the production of cost-effective, compact, energy-efficient, safe and environment-friendly Li-S batteries, offering a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries commonly used at present,” Shiv Nadar University said in an official release.

Sulfur in the battery comes from industrial waste. Meanwhile, the cardanol comes from bio-renewable feedstock.

In addition, the eugenol (derived from clove oil) copolymer is also environmentally sustainable, halogen-free and flame-retardant, all of which make the battery safe to use.

When this tech will be commercially exploited, this new Li-S tech-based battery will have a longer life and can be manufactured in very small units. That means those benefiting from it will include technologists who make gadgets requiring a power source.

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solar panels

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India will propose a World Solar Bank at the World Solar Technology Summit organized by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in September, the Business Standard reported.

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The virtual conference by the India-headquartered ISA will showcase state-of-the-art, next-generation technologies to ramp up solar deployment affordably.

By the numbers

The likely capital size of the World Solar Bank would be U.S. $10 billion. ISA officials said the country that would request to host the headquarters of the bank would have to contribute 30% of the proposed capital.

“A global competition would be held among the member countries to decide who will have the bank’s headquarters,” the ISA official was quoted as saying by the Business Standard.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend the inaugural event. In addition, along ministers from all ISA member countries and other R&D institutions from around the world would attend.

Summit topics

The summit will be divided into four technical sessions. Well-known companies and research organizations in the green energy space will present their work and deliberate on solar technology trends.

Topics will include, according to pv magazine:

  • Photovoltaic technology development and its future;
  • Recent advances, including conversion efficiency improvements and declining costs in PV modules and storage
  • Disruptive solar technologies for grid application – ground-mounted, floating or on residential and commercial rooftops
  • solar beyond the power sector

One of the aims of the World Solar Bank is to bring together global resources to fund solar power projects in ISA member countries.

The ISA came together in 2015 during the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. The alliance, a partnership of solar resource-rich countries, currently has 121 countries as members.

Most of the participating countries are from Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe. Pakistan and China are not members of the ISA.

While speaking at the curtain raiser for the summit to be hosted by ISA next month, Indian Minister of State for Power R.K. Singh pointed solar energy is the future and technology would drive its down.

A few days ago, Modi reiterated the “One Sun, One World, One Grid” (OSOWOG) plan. The plan call for a transnational electricity grid supplying solar power across the globe, first announced in 2018.

M. Stanley Whittingham will deliver the keynote address.He will be joined by John B. Goodenough and Akira Yoshino. The trio won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of lithium-ion batteries.

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India

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Moody’s Investors Service forecast a 10% decline in Indian steel consumption for fiscal year 2021, the Economic Times reported.

Nonetheless, Indian steel companies are upbeat, with some chief executives seeing the first green shoots of recovery. (For additional news and analysis of trends in steel and other metals markets, sign up for MetalMiner’s Gunpowder e-newsletter.)

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scrap steel

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India’s first scrap-based steel plant will soon come online.

Tata Steel has set up the new plant in Haryana in central India. The plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 500,000 tons, the Hindu Business Line reported.

Tata has set up the plant in collaboration with Aarti Green Tech Ltd, a subsidiary of Aarti Steel.

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India’s sponge iron manufacturers have appealed to the federal government to restrict the exports of iron ore pellets.

Such a move would help cut the price of steel and increase consumption in the domestic market.

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A few days ago, India took one more step in the clean energy direction when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated one of the world’s largest solar parks in Rewa in central India.

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India’s coal sector is in the limelight following a series of recent government decisions.

A new study by data analytics company GlobalData shows that India and a few other countries would step in to bolster an anticipated about 7.8% drop in U.S. coal production this year.

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One of India’s biggest steel conglomerates, Tata Steel, has posted a “higher than expected” consolidated net loss during the January-March 2020 quarter of approximately U.S. $163 million.

Compare this to its net profit of about U.S. $311 million reported during the same period last year and one can understand the enormity of the situation.

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India has imposed definitive anti-dumping duty on certain steel products imported from China, South Korea and Vietnam after an investigation established these items caused injury to domestic producers.

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India launched its first natural gas exchange earlier this week. The Indian Gas Exchange (IGX) is a nationwide, online delivery-based gas trading platform for delivery of natural gas, Zee News reported.

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