Pune: “Charting out the future of the automotive industry, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) will provide Li-ion batteries to CSIR National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) for the characterisation of materials used in it to understand how these materials decay structurally over multiple charge-discharge cycling,” said Manjusha Shelke, senior scientist at NCL.
She said recently, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between ARAI and NCL for a collaborative research in the field of chemical-material applications for future automotive requirements.
The MoU was signed by Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Director of ARAI and Prof AK Nangia, Director CSIR-NCL during a function held at ARAI campus recently. Along with Shelke, MR Saraf, Senior Deputy Director and Head of the Technology Group at ARAI were present.
“We have started with lithium battery project but there are multiple other projects like alternative fuels i.e. Dimethyl Ether (DME), ethanol from biomass, smart materials for automotive, fuel cells, etc could be taken depending on the mutual interest of scientists/engineers of both the institutes,” Shelke added.
“It is a MoU to agree in principle for collaborative research, however, funding is not available yet and mutually agreed projects will be submitted to funding agencies,” said Shelke.
Meanwhile, in view of growing penetration and thrust on e-mobility, battery technology holds the key to widespread, cost-effective and India specific e-mobility solutions and adoption at a large. Speaking after the MoU was signed, Rashmi Urdhwareshe said, “This collaboration is a step forward to synergise the strengths of both these research-oriented organisations to work on safe, sustainable solutions in the automotive domain.”
“Though there is enormous scope for ARAI and NCL to work together in different fields, the focus initially will be on chemical and battery engineering for automotive application. The battery has been on priority charts of the entire scientific community working in e-mobility. ARAI has been quick enough to identify this need and has been finding and collaborating with suitable partners to speed up the indigenous development of a solution for this need,” Rashmi added.
While commenting on this tie-up, Prof AK Nangia said, “We need to work on industry-ready solutions in time. Else, industry will start looking for solutions providers globally. In such case, speedy development of commercially viable technology will hold the key position. ARAI-NCL joint research can go a long way in the areas that are given as priorities by NITI Aayog, to reduce energy import bill, use of renewable and sustainable energy. Some of the areas where this partnership can work include-electric mobility, batteries, alternative fuels, fuel cells, catalyst development, 3D printing.”