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 Chemical Engineering Related Research Institutes


Central Electrochemical Research Institute(CECRI), Karaikudi

    It is one of the chain of forty national laboratories under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. (CSIR) New Delhi. Founded on 25th July 1948 at Karaikudi in Tamilnadu, it came into existence on the January 1953. During the last fifty years CECRI has been recognised as the premier institution for R&D in the field of Electrochemical Science and Technology not only in India but also in the South East Asia, with a total strength of over 600 personnel comprising scientists, engineers, technologists, skilled workers, administrative and other staff, with a combined laboratory space of 4,00,000 sq.ft. in a campus of 300 acres. There are Four extension centers for CECRI located at Chennai, Cochin, Mandapam and Tuticorin.

             Major R&D programs at CECRI are in the areas of Corrosion Science and Engineering, Industrial Metal Finishing, Batteries(Primary and Secondary), Electro-Metallurgy, Electro pyro metallurgy, Electro chemicals(organic and inorganic), Materials Science, Electrochemical Instrumentation & Pollution Control. The programs are directed towards development of new processes of products or novel use of electrochemistry.

             Over the years 680 patents have been filed, 190 processes have been developed and 140 sponsored projects, 110 grant-in-aid projects have been undertaken. Recognition of contribution made by CECRI to Indian industry has come in the form of 50 major and minor awards. Direct earnings by the way of foreign exchange savings and energy efficient electrochemical technologies including corrosion prevention amount to about Rs.500 crores.

Major Facilities

• Powder x-ray diffractometer

• X-ray fluorescence spectrophotometer 

• Thermal analysis system(TG and DTA)

• Differential scanning calorimeter           

• Gas-liquid chromatograph          

• Gel permeation liquid chromatograph

• High-performance liquid chromatograph

• Advanced Ion chromatograph

• Laser particle size analyzer         

• BET surface area analyzer          

• FTIR microscope  

• Metallurgical microscope and microhardness tester   

• Scanning Electron Microscope    

• Atomic force microscope  

• Scanning tunneling microscope   

• Scanning vibrating electrode technique(SVAT) and Kelvin probe setup

• Laser Raman spectrometer

• Nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer      

• Electrochemical workstation       

• X-ray fluorescence thickness gauge       

• Slow strain rate stress corrosion testing machine       

• Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer

• UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometer

• Fourier transform infra-red spectrophotometer         

• CHN Analyzer

• DC magnetron sputtering unit    

• Electron beam vacuum coating machine           

• Battery electrode coating unit    

• Universal tensile testing machine          

• CNC milling machine

CECRI technologies:Corrosion Science & Engineering, Electrodics, Electro Biology & Pollution Control, Industrial Metal Finishing, Electrochemical Material Science, Electrochemical (Inorganic), Electrochemical Instrumentation, Electrochemical(Organic), Batteries & Fuel Cells, Electrometallurgy                  

Centre for Education(CFE) : Centre for Education is one of the divisions of the Institute. In 1988, CECRI initiated a four-year, eight-semester B.Tech Course in Chemical and Electrochemical Engineering, which has been quite successful. Course has been recognized by the All India Council for Technical Education(AICTE) and the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineering(IIChE). In 2005, at the behest of CECRI Research Council and subsequent approval from Anna University, a two-year, four-semester M.Tech Course in Electrochemical Engineering has been initiated at CECRI. Both these programmes are under Adjunct Department of A.C. College of Technology, an autonomous constituent institution of Anna University, Chennai.


Regional research laboratory,  Bhopal

Area of expertise:

• Material Characterization & Development

• Materials Technology

• Materials Characterization

• Metallic Composites

• Polymer Composites

• Minerals Processing

• Micro Separation For MEMS

• Environmental Chemistry

• Building Materials Development

• Resources Modelling & Design

• Environmental & Disaster Modelling

• Water Resources Management

• Computer Simulation & Design

Materials Processing & Design

• Process Modeling


Central Salt and marine chemical research Institute CSMCRI, Bhavnagar

      Central Salt Research Institute(now known as Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute) was inaugurated by Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the First Prime Minister of India on 10th April, 1954.  At present, the Institute has around 350 staff on its roll and a sizable number of project assistants and research fellows pursing their doctoral programme.

   Currently, the R&D activities of the Institute revolve around the following areas:

        Inorganic chemicals and catalysis, Membrane Science and Separation technology,

        Bio-salinity, Application of non-conventional energy sources, Environmental Monitoring.

      The Institute boasts a good library and has required facilities to develop chemical processes on bench and pilot scale. It has sophisticated analytical instrument facilities, including powder and single crystal X-ray diffractometers, wide assortment of spectrometers, electrochemical instrumentation, Gas Chromatograph-MS, Liquid Chromatograph -MS, elemental analyzers and instruments for environmental monitoring and characterization of particulate matter. The Institute is well connected both locally and globally with niche IT infrastructure and solutions.

          CSMCRI has forged partnership with leading industries such as Daimler-Chrysler, Hindustan Lever, Pepsico, Tata Chemicals, Chennai Petrochemicals, Indian Oil, Atul Industries, NALCO, GNFC and Strides Arcolab and also with technology facilitators such as UNDIP, Centre for High Technology and TIFAC.

  ◙ Recent Technological Achievements of CSMCRI :

   ▪ 1 Million liters per day RO plant based on indigenous TFC membrane

   ▪ Animal-powered desalination

   ▪ Grass-root demonstration of high purity salt production

   ▪ Sulfate of potash fertilizer from waster bittern

   ▪ Improved adsorbent for oxygen enrichment in air

   ▪ 10000 TPA Zeolite A plant successfully commissioned

   ▪ Vegetable Salt

   ▪ Euro-compliant bio-diesel from seed of Jatropha curcas

   ▪ Eco-friendly brominating agent

   ▪ Value addition of kimberlite and CaCO3-containing fertilizer wastes

   ▪ Raft technology for cultivation of Eucheuma cottonii seaweed on Indian coast

   ▪ Plant extracts active against TB and malaria

   ▪ Nine US Patents granted in 2005

        India have possibilities of attaining a high position in salt production among the salt producing countries of the world. As is known, apart from being an indispensable item of food, salt is an important raw material for the manufacture of several heavy chemicals e.g. soda ash, caustic soda and chlorine. Besides, salt is used in food processing industries, such as fish curing, meat packing, dairy products and fruit and vegetable canning.


National Chemical Laboratory(NCL), Pune

   It is a research, development and consulting organisation with a focus on chemistry and chemical engineering. It has a successful record of research partnership with industry.

NCL at a Glance :

▪ Approximately 200 scientific staff with PhD.

▪ Interdisciplinary research centre with interest in polymer science, organic chemistry, catalysis, materials chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemical sciences and process development.

▪ Excellent infrastructure for measurement science and chemical information.

▪ About 400 graduate students pursuing research towards doctoral degree; about 50 students awarded Ph.D. degree every year; a strong and young talent pool which renews every few years.

▪ Publishes the second largest number of papers in chemical sciences (~ 430), files the largest number of patents, both in India (~60) and abroad (~60) and produces the largest number of PhDs in Chemical Sciences in India.

Areas of activity


▪Polymer Science and Engineering           
Polymer chemistry
Polymer physics
Complex fluids and polymer engineering
Polymer and materials modeling
Membrane science and technology             

▪Biochemical Sciences
Industrial microbiology
Plant molecular biology
Plant tissue culture

▪Physical and Materials Chemistry          
Nanomaterials science and technology
Materials chemistry
▪Theory and computational science            

Organic Chemistry
Chiral synthesis
▪New synthetic methods
Process chemistry for active pharmaceutical intermediates
Multistep organic synthesis of complex organic molecules
Bio-organic and bio-mimetic chemistry
Molecular diversity based chemical genetics

▪ Chemical Engineering Science     
Reaction engineering
Process simulation and modeling
Biochemical engineering
Industrial flow modeling
Process design and development of processes for fine chemicals and polymers

Education, training, dissemination and popularization

▪NCL trains one of the largest number of PhDs in the chemical and allied disciplines every year in India. Other than PhD students, many MSc, B.Tech/BE students also work on their final year projects at NCL.  Many scientists at NCL teach at local colleges and universities. NCL also conducts specialized continuing education programs for the industry.

▪PhD students are funded by research fellowships from CSIR and UGC. Continuing education programs are funded by the industry. Various professional societies, organizations and corporations have funded the conferences. Popular books and articles are funded by various sources including grants and sometimes in-house funding.


Chemical Group of CSIR Laboratories

      The Chemical Group of CSIR Laboratories or the CGCLs have developed technologies for a host of bulk as well as fine chemicals with emphasis on developing green technologies. CSIR has contributed remarkably to the production of agrochemicals. At one point of time, almost 70% of the pesticides produced were based on CSIR technologies. The emphasis at present is on developing safer agrochemicals, e.g. biopesticides.

      Catalysts are at the heart of the chemical industry. The recent advances in R&D in the sector include development of metallocenes, zeolites, catalysts for deep desulfurisation, etc. CSIR has contributed significantly to this area by not only developing improved versions of catalysts used by the Indian chemical industry but also novel zeolite catalysts such as Encilites. The catalysts have been successfully commercialized not only in India but also abroad. 

       Recent years have witnessed a paradigm shift in the R&D philosophy of CGCLs, from a local to the global focus, while seeking technological solutions to the problems faced by the Indian Chemical Sector. The drugs/pharma, biotechnology, catalysis(petrochemicals and bulk agencies) and certain segments of specialty chemical sector industries in India are keen to promote R&D in new product development to meet the product patent challenges of 2005. The major research areas that have attracted large-scale patenting by CSIR laboratories are:

*      Polymers

*      Biotechnology

*      Drugs/Pharma

*      Asymmetric synthesis

*      Agrochemicals

*      Value- added products from lipids

*      Catalysis

*      Petroleum Refining

*      Bulk Organics

*      New Materials

*      Electrochemicals

*      Nano particle systems

*      Natural product- based bioactives

Core competence :

The laboratory-wise core expertise of CGCLs is as follows:


Core Competence

National Chemical Laboratory (NCL, Pune)

Inorganic, organic chemicals, agrochemicals, bio-organic/biomimetic chemistry, chemical engineering science, complex fluids and polymer engineering, heterogeneous catalysis, homogeneous catalysis, industrial flow modeling, materials chemistry, nanomaterials  

Indian Institute of Chemical Technology(IICT, Hyderabad)

Natural products chemistry, inorganic and physical chemistry, chemical and instrumental analysis, fluoro-organics, specialty and fine chemicals, agrochemicals and lubricants 

Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP, DehraDun)

Petrochemical processes and products

Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute

(CSMCRI, Bhavnagar)

Inorganic chemicals, catalysis and new materials, membrane science and separation technology, bio-salinity and marine chemicals 

Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI, Chennai)

Chemicals for the Leather Industry

Central Fuel Research Institute (CFRI, Dhanbad)  

Coal-based chemicals and allied fields

Central Electro Chemical Research Institute

(CECRI, Karaikudi)

Electrochemicals (organic and inorganic), coatings, particularly for corrosion control


Regional Research Laboratory, Jorhat(RRL-Jorhat)

Agrochemicals, perfumery chemicals, extraction of plant products and oilfield chemicals 

Major accomplishments :

   The CGCLs have provided the process know-how and allied services including design engineering and commissioning assistance to nearly 30 chemical companies to set up or upgrade  production capacity. The commercial projects fall under agrochemicals, organic and petrochemicals, specialty/performance chemicals, drugs/pharmaceuticals, inorganic chemicals and polymers/compound sectors.


Science and Engineering Research Council

The Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) was established in 1974 and is an apex body through which the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India promotes R&D programmes in newly emerging and challenging areas of science and engineering. SERC is composed of eminent scientists, technologists drawn from various universities/national laboratories and Industry. This Council is assisted by Programme Advisory Committees(PACs) in various disciplines of Science & Engineering

It's Objectives:

To promote research in newly emerging frontier areas of science and engineering including multidisciplinary fields.

To selectively promote the general research capability in relevant areas of science and engineering taking into account capability of the host institutions.

To encourage young scientists to take up challenging R&D activities.

To give special encouragement to projects from relatively small and less endowed University Departments and Institutions.

To encourage patenting facilities to scientists and technologists in the country for Indian and foreign patents on a sustained basis.

Activities it supports

Project support to scientists in challenging areas in various disciplines

Unit and core group around outstanding scientists

Training programmes involving young scientists

SERC Student Fellowships

SERC Chairs in key areas of S&T

Setting up of Research support facilities

Organisation of Summer/Winter Schools

Women's scientist scheme

                It also encourages involvement of academic and research institutions to undertake research in identified areas. It also acts as a mechanism for inter agency coordination with other S&T agencies for better management of R&D funding through joint/complimentary funding in major projects. This is so since other S&T agencies fund R&D in their specialised areas such as agriculture(ICAR-Indian council of Agriculture Research), health(ICMR-Indian council of Medical Research), defence(DRDO-Defence Research and Development Organization), space(DoS-Department of Science), atomic energy(DAE-Department of Atomic Energy), non-conventional energy(MNES-Ministry of Non-conventional Energy sources) etc.

SERC- Schools

SERC Schools is to encourage Young Scientists to take up challenging research and development activities. Program Advisory Committee is promoting the program in disciplines like Life, Chemical, Physical and Engineering Sciences.

Its functions

SERC funds R&D projects in identified challenging areas to scientists in academic, research institutions including medical colleges and universities, national research laboratories, engineering colleges and engineering research institutes, etc.

SERC activities may be classified under the following disciplines

Physical Science

Chemical Science

Life Science

Earth & Atmospheric Science

Engineering Science

Mathematical Science

                Few examples of the broad areas identified by the SERC are Molecular Biophysics, habitat fragmentation biology, chronobiology, plant animal relationships, small permanent magnet machines, smart sensors, optical communication, use of hydrogen as fuel, watershed management, high precision manufacturing, design of VLSI circuits, sensors integrated robotics system, synthesis and structure, organometallic and cluster chemistry, physical chemistry based phenomenon like ultra fast reaction dynamics, corrosion etc., quantum optics and basic laser physics, non-linear optics, physics of biological systems, evolution of India crust, study of earthquake processes, climate observation and modeling, severe weather system, stochastic process modeling, combinatorial optimisation, game theory, etc. 

SERC funding provides

Sophisticated equipment, instruments and facilities to academic institutions as part of R&D activities/programmes

Training to brilliant young scientists through fellowships, workshops, summer/winter schools in few selected areas and students fellowships.


Chemical Research Society of India

The Chemical Research Society of India(CRSI) was established in the early part of 1999 as part of the 50th Anniversary of the Country's Independence. The Registered Office is currently situated in department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

The society was established with the following objectives:

To recognise, promote and foster talent in Chemistry and Chemical Sciences. 

To popularise Chemistry in general.

To improve the quality of Chemical Education at all levels. 

To recognise and honour lifetime achievement in chemical research through awards,

    grants, etc. 

To organise conferences, seminars, workshops, symposia and similar other programmes to

   facilitate and promote research in all branches of Chemistry. 

To interact and co-ordinate with industry to catalyse the growth of Chemical Industry. 

To interact with other societies or associations, both in India and abroad, having similar

   objects for mutual benefit and to conduct joint programmes. 

To publish newsletters, journals, books and other forms of communication to highlight the

   research activities of the Society as also the new developments taking place elsewhere in

   the  field of Chemical Sciences. 

To institute and award fellowships, scholarships, stipends, travel grants or otherwise

   support students and research scholars to encourage them to devote themselves to

   pursuits in Chemical Science. 

To undertake or to do all such other things as are necessary or convenient to be done for or

    in connection with or as are incidental to the furtherance of the objects of the Society. 


Department of Science & Technology (DST)

    It was established in May 1971, with the objective of promoting new areas of Science & Technology and to play the role of a nodal department for organising, coordinating and promoting S&T activities in the country. The Department has major responsibilities for specific projects and programmes as listed below:

Formulation of policy statements and guidelines on science and technology; and coordination of areas of science and technology, in which a number of institutions and departments have interests and capabilities

Support to basic and applied research in national institutions throughout the country and provision of minimum infrastructural facilities for testing and instrumentation

▪  Support to critical technology programmes

Support to autonomous research institutions, whose specialisation range from advanced medical research materials to astronomy

Fostering international cooperation and establishment of special joint centres/projects

Support socially oriented Science&Technology interventions in rural areas for weaker sections

Support knowledge-based and innovation driven entrepreneurship development to create self-employment opportunities

Popularisation of science and technology

Providing scientific services in terms of surveying and maps for Defence, External Affairs, State Governments and several other developmental agencies through Survey of India(SOI) and National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation(NATMO); Providing meteorological services for Agriculture, Water Resources Management, Disaster Warning, Civil Aviation as well as providing seismicity data through Indian Meteorological Department(IMD); and Management of Information Systems for Science and Technology.


  For the field of Chemical Engineering Department of Science and Technology has prepared following area of focus :


Introduction : The discipline of chemical engineering is undergoing a major transformation. A new paradigm of "borderless chemical engineering science" is emerging. The demands from the Society on `cleaner’ technologies rather `clean-up’ technologies, the emergence of `performance chemicals and materials’ etc., is driving the profession towards achieving symbiotic relationship with other disciplines. The present vision document is a reflection of the widening role of chemical engineering. It recognises the increasing role of those new areas where chemical engineering shares a diffused boundary with various science disciplines. It also proposes to undertake mission projects with the participation of the industry, in which contemporary advances in chemical engineering science will be applied to accomplish specific technological tasks.

Areas of focus: In consonance with the requirement mentioned in the introduction, the following areas have been identified for special attention:

New Separation Science and Engineering

Novel Reactors

Manufacturing Science: Behaviour and Structure of Polymers and Ceramics

Interfacial Science and Engineering

Engineering of Small Systems

Microscopic Analysis of Solids Handling

New Modeling Tools

Mission Projects

New Separation Science and Engineering

Increasing demands for `super pure’ chemicals and materials, where the impurity levels are in the parts per billion range, is providing the drive towards not only generation of new separation technologies, but also of clever combinations of existing ones. New challenges in downstream processing in biotechnology with emphasis on separation of specific species from a solution containing many species are beginning to emerge.

Development, design and analysis of systems containing smart membranes, hot membranes, ion selective membranes, membranes using electrical and other fields, generation of controlled pore size and pore size distribution and pore geometry and orientation, etc. provide exciting opportunities in research. Separations using monoclonal anti-bodies will be replaced by antibody mimics based on molecularly imprinted polymers. Continuous adsorption processes, design of special solvents for extraction, combination of extraction/membrane separation processes, etc. will also need intensive research. The emphasis will have to be on use of ambient conditions, avoidance of phase changes, high selectivity and complete recovery.

Novel Reactors

A drive towards `process intensification’ is leading to the search of novel reactor configurations, which will enhance selectivity as well as productivity. New spatial configurations of reactors    (e.g. gauze reactors) for performing specific tasks are emerging. Combination of reaction and separation in a `combo’ system is likely to bring large dividends. Use of diverse fields(sound, microwaves, photo energy, etc.) to provide unusual environments in which chemical reaction could be conducted would lead to the evolution of new fields such as sonochemical and microwave reaction engineering.

Manufacturing Science: Structure and Behaviour of Polymers and Ceramics

Polymers and ceramics will dominate the materials scenario in the coming decades. Innovations in manufacturing science will lead to control of composition at a molecular level. Better understanding of the relationship between the structure and function will lead to a scientific basis for `engineering’ of polymer and ceramic products delivering special functionalities.

Polymer reaction engineering, including gas phase polymerisation, reaction injection moulding, reactive processing for incorporation functional groups, etc. involves interesting challenges in diffusion/reaction phenomena. Block copolymers especially self-assembling systems pose interesting challenges. Tethered polymers(grafted or absorbed on surfaces) and polymers at fluid interfaces, which mimic biological systems, open up new avenues.

Innovative technology for processing of polymers and ceramics will offer exciting opportunities. Production of advanced structural ceramics would require intelligent manipulation and control of macroscopic properties by controlling the surface and interfacial properties in early stages of formation of the ceramic(5-100 nm) through chemical and physical manipulations, or in other words, resorting to `ultrastructural’ processing. 

Interfacial Science and Engineering

   Interfaces abound in chemical engineering operations and interfacial phenomena control not only several chemical processes but also characteristics of products. Deeper insights into diffusion, adsorption and reaction phenomena through the use of sophisticated tools such as Monte Carlo or molecular dynamic simulations, etc. will enhance the understanding of the processes at interfaces.

   Research on liquid-solid interfaces, including adhesion science, reactions at interfaces, precipitation phenomena, modification of crystal morphology, immobilisation of cells, use of surfactants as bilayered vehicles for microencapsulation, molecular recognition at specific sites on surfaces, etc. present the diverse and bewildering range of topics that provide exciting research opportunities in this area.

Engineering of Small Systems

The basis for synthesising new materials is shifting to `small systems’. Diverse systems including microemulsions, reverse micelles, vesicles, nanoparticles, etc. are being studied. When dealing with `small systems,’ the particles are so small that their properties differ dramatically from bulk. Synthesis of materials at such small dimensions using self-assembling systems is already gaining importance. Thermodynamics, transport and reactions in these systems pose new challenges, conceptual as well as practical. Chemical engineers are already trying to design "liquid composites" through such investigations.

New Tools in Mathematical Modeling

   Chemical engineers have always been involved in the quantitative understanding of various phenomena of interest to them. They use mathematical modeling as an important tool for quantitative analysis. New mathematical tools, which suit the complexities and uncertainties in the chemical engineering systems such as black box modeling, artificial neural networks, fuzzy logic, phase-space reconstruction, cellular automata etc. need to be more extensively used and brought into the profession. These tools not only offer superior methods of prediction under specific circumstances, but will have to be developed so that they become relevant to industrial operations.

Microscopic Analysis of Solids Handling

  Where as chemical engineers have made a major headway in the understanding of gas and liquid dynamics, the area of solids handling has been sadly neglected, in spite of its great importance. The constitutive equations for solids flow remain empirical in nature. The progress on microscopic modeling to predict the macroscopic behaviour has been very slow because of the very complex behaviour observed with even the simple granular solids. The behaviour becomes even more complex when mechanical bridging, local sintering, electrostatic interactions, etc, are also involved. Solids handling is of considerable importance to chemical industry and there is great scope to do research in a variety of areas such as flow of cohesive powder, gas particle flows in risers, spouted and fluidised beds, flow regime maps, segregation phenomena, etc. The area offers great challenges and its understanding at microscopic level is still in its infancy.

Mission Projects

  Mere scientific explorations without exploitation are sterile. The benefit of the new knowledge derived on the basis of advances in chemical engineering science must be derived by industry. It is, therefore, proposed to use the engineering science base for technology development in a mission mode. However, these programmes will have to be driven by the market needs and demands and, therefore, will have to be drawn in consultation with industry. Such mission projects will aim towards development of new processes and products in key areas (such as fine chemicals) based on contemporary knowledge and skills in chemical engineering science. Specific mission projects will be identified based on discussions with the industry and the business opportunities they offer. This will be a continuing exercise. Such projects will be focussed and, if necessary, networked. Special monitoring arrangements, involving people from academia as well as industry, will be employed to ensure that these projects are completed within time and are used by industry.



       India is endowed with a large variety of rich mineral resources. Of the 84 minerals it produces, four serve mainly as fuel, 11 are metallic, 49 non-metallic and 20 minor minerals. CSIR’s mandate in this area is to pursue R&D programmes for effective utilization of minerals and ores including over burden, lean and off grade ores and wastes, and develop environment-friendly processing technology for metals and manufacturing.

     CSIR’s emphasis has been on upgrading the knowledgebase towards better understanding of the raw material proposition, process dynamics improvement in the existing technologies, maximizing utilization of the available resources and production capacity in an eco-friendly manner. Not only has it carried out extensive mineral exploration surveys, evolved innovative mining methods, developed a host of technologies for beneficiation of minerals for production of Fe, Cu, Al, Zn, Ni, Mo, Mg, Mn, Ti, Cr, P2O5, etc., and alloys, it has also developed various techniques and a large number of formulations for protecting metal items/structures from corrosion, and technologies having direct relevance to society.

      This sector is served mainly by: the National Geophysical Research Institute(NGRI), Hyderabad; Central Mining Research Institute(CMRI), Dhanbad; Central Fuel Research Institute(CFRI), Dhanbad; National Metallurgical Laboratory(NML), Jamshedpur; Regional Research Laboratories at Bhubaneswar, Jorhat and Thiruvananthapuram; Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi; and Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute(CMERI), Durgapur.

     The core competence of the various CSIR laboratories serving this sector is as follows: 


Areas of Core Competence

National Metallurgical Laboratory

(NML, Jamshedpur)

Mineral processing and engineering including characterization of ores, minerals and products, beneficiation of ores, minerals and recovery of values from industrial wastes, agglomeration of ore fines and concentrates, flotation and electro flotation, mechano-chemical activation of minerals; pyro, hydro and electro-metallurgical processes of metal extraction, gainful utilization of natural resources and solid waste management and metal casting and forming and alloy development.

Regional Research Laboratory, Bhubaneswar

Development of environment-friendly and energy-efficient technology for: processing of non-ferrous minerals for production of strategic metals, recovery and utilization of values from secondaries/wastes/effluents, processing of iron-bearing materials for alloy production using different advanced techniques such as smelting reduction, production of advanced materials by adopting chemical/electrochemical/biotechnological routes under different conditions, preparation and testing of agglomerates to find their suitability for smelting purpose

Central Fuel Research Institute(CFRI, Dhanbad)

Coal Characterization, beneficiation, etc.

Central Mining Research Institute(CMRI, Dhanbad)

Technologies for exploitation of coal and other mineral deposits, geo-mechanics and mining methods, safety standards in mines, eco-friendly mining practices, disaster management of mines, beach placer deposits, design of mining equipment and machinery

Central Electrochemical Research Institute

(CECRI, Karaikudi)

Electro-metallurgy, electro-pyrometallurgy, industrial metal finishing, and protection from corrosion

National Geophysical Research Institute

(NGRI, Hyderabad)

Mineral exploration and engineering geophysics

National Institute of Oceanography (NIO, Goa)

Coastal/offshore surveys and mining

Regional Research Laboratory (RRL, Jorhat)

Characterization, beneficiation, agglomeration and utilization of ores and minerals

Regional Research Laboratory

(RRL, Thiruvanthapuram)

Solid waste remediation processes, beneficiation processes for value addition to mineral resources, mineral separation by flotation, flocculation and hydrocyclonning

Central Mechanical Research Institute(CMERI, Durgapur)


Robotics and mechatronics, mechanical product design and manufacturing technology, rapid prototyping and tooling, farm and industrial equipment and machinery, new generation/platform products and manufacturing processes, quality control and standardization of products and materials, and residual life assessment of industrial/power plants, etc.



       Advanced materials have well defined functionality and find application in fields as diverse as information technology, opto-electronics and non-linear optics to drug-delivery. Over the years CSIR has developed several novel processes and materials to address to the need for desired tailoring capability. Recent developments have focussed on nano-materials, composites, polymers, including conducting polymers, intelligent materials, magnetic materials, sensors, structural ceramics, bulk amorphous alloys, glassy alloys and biomaterials. Recognizing the importance of these materials in the present industrial scenario, CSIR has been involved in developing these materials through different novel processes such as wet chemical processes, self propagating high temperature synthesis, bio-mimetic synthesis, plasma, ion, laser synthesis, special melting and infiltration techniques, rapid solidification, etc.

The CSIR laboratories engaged in research in this area and their core competence are as follows: 


Areas of Core Competence

National Chemical Laboratory (NCL, Pune)

Heterogeneous, homogeneous and bio catalysts, polymers, composites, coatings, new materials, e.g. nanomaterials and smart polymers

Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT, Hyderabad)

Adhesives, biodegradable polymers, conducting polymers, catalysts, cyanate ester polymers, solder resistant and rain erosion resistant coatings 

National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML, Jamshedpur)

Material characterization and evaluation, magnetic materials, sensor materials, advanced structural ceramics, bio-ceramics, hydroxy apatite -based hybrid composites, metal-ceramics and ceramic-ceramic joining, advanced alloys like shape memory and damping alloys, hard coatings, oxidation and wear resisting nanocomposite coatings 

Central Glass & Ceramics Research Institute (CGCRI, Kolkata)

Glass science, glass technology, specialty glass processing, optical communication fibres, anti- reflective and anti-glare coatings, nano composite films, nano ceramic powders, clay-based ceramics, non-oxide ceramics, ceramic membranes, ceramic bio-medical implants, electro-ceramics, engineering ceramics and composites, refractories 

National Physical Laboratory

(NPL, New Delhi)


Materials science and materials characterization, processing and characterization of monolithic and composite materials, advanced carbon products, polymeric and soft materials, liquid crystal display devices, bio-sensors, and polymeric electronic devices including xeroradiography, conducting polymers, electronic materials, and Indian Reference Materials

National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL, Bangalore)

Composites and coatings

Central Electrochemical Research Institute

(CECRI, Karaikudi)

Corrosion resistant coatings, Luminescent materials, organic conducting polymers and novel oxide materials, photovoltaic materials for solid and liquid junction solar cells, supersonic conductors

Regional Research Laboratory, Jorhat

Nanomaterials as catalysts, ceramic monolith, silica and alumina-based materials, cement and building materials, oil field chemicals, e.g., propellants, masonry bricks, boards, paper, etc., utilizing waste materials

Regional Research Laboratory, Bhopal

Metal matrix composites, agricultural implements, polymer composites, computer simulation studies for materials

Regional Research Laboratory, Bhubaneswar

Thermal plasma dissociation of zircon, titania rich slag by thermal plasma processing of raw and pre-reduced ilmenite and plasma processing of industrially important high temperature materials

Regional Research Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram

Polymers for specific applications, polymer composites, polymer processing and blends

   Several other laboratories are also contributing to this theme area. Indian Institute of Petroleum(IIP), DehraDun, has developed catalysts for petroleum refining processes; Central Building Research Institute(CBRI), Roorkee, has developed a host of building materials and components and Central Scientific Instrumentation Organisation(CSIO), Chandigarh, is associated with the development of custom-tailored special materials.



       CSIR has geared itself to face the challenges in the Healthcare, Drugs and Pharmaceuticals sector by taking several measures such as prioritization of research programmes, creation of state-of the-art facilities, induction of new talent and most importantly, establishing linkages within CSIR and with other national agencies/industry.

The projects networking CSIR laboratories, other R&D institutions, and industry to capitalize on their combined strength include those on: new drugs based on our traditional knowledge, biodiversity, marine resources, search for new molecular targets for selected pathogens, in-silico biology, predictive medicine, new animal models and animal substitute technologies, etc.

Recent advances in biology such as genome sequencing have opened up unlimited opportunities in medicine. After deciphering sequence of genes(structural genomics), it is now possible to elucidate their function(functional genomics).  Ultimately it is believed that through proteomics, new disease markers and drug targets can be identified that will help design products to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. Technologies of combinatorial synthesis and high-throughput screening(HTS) offer the potential to speed up the pace of drug research and reduce the time and cost of investment in drug discovery. All these tools and techniques and research disciplines are now being applied in current R&D programmes of many CSIR laboratories in order to become internationally competitive.

      CSIR laboratories at the forefront of drugs and pharmaceutical research and the expertise available are as follows:


Areas of Core Competence

Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI, Lucknow)

Drug discovery to development, synthetic/natural product chemistry, combinatorial chemical synthesis, molecular modelling, HTS, structural biology, broad-based biological screening, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, phase-I clinical studies, chemical and fermentation technology, quality control and standardization, proteomics, medicinal chemistry, molecular and cell biology, pharmacology, and phytochemicals/ herbal drugs/ nutraceuticals research.  

Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB, Kolkata)

Synthetic/natural products/medicinal chemistry, infectious diseases, cellular physiology, drug designing, molecular modelling, molecular biology, biotechnology, cell signals for oncogene expression and metabolic diseases, immunology, human genetics, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, molecular and cell biology, pharmacology, phytochemicals-nutraceuticals. 

Indian Institute of Chemical Technology

(IICT, Hyderabad)

Synthetic and natural products chemistry, chemical /process engineering, combinatorial/medical chemistry, asymmetric synthesis for chiral drugs, custom synthesis, computer-aided modelling and drug design, glyco-therapeutics, peptides and peptido-mimetics, enzyme mimics (drug delivery systems), pharmacology, pre-clinical toxicity pharmacokinetics, toxicology, phytochemicals /herbal drugs/nutraceuticals research, quality control and formulation.  

Indian Institute of Microbial Technology

(IMTECH, Chandigarh)

Molecular and cell biology, microbial genetics, immunology, structural biology, protein engineering, fermentation technology, culture type depository, microbial gene bank, bioinformatics, proteomics, molecular and cell biology. 

Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology

(IGIB, Delhi)

Genomics & Molecular Medicine, Predictive medicine, Genome Informatics (in-silico biology), Bio-informatics, Pathway modelling, Proteomics structural biology, Comparative Genomics & Gene Expression, Immunology and molecular genetics of respiratory disorders including allergy, Nucleic Acids & Peptides, Bioactive molecules of medicinal importance.  

Regional Research Laboratory


Agrotechnology, synthetic(chiral) and natural product chemistry, herbal drugs, select biological screening, bioprospecting, microbial biodiversity for industrially useful enzymes, genetic fingerprinting, identification /authentication of medicinal plants, fermentation technology, quality control and standardization of herbal drugs, establishment of medicinal plants gene bank, bioinformatics, pharmacology phytochemicals/herbal drugs/nutraceuticals research.   

Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants(CIMAP, Lucknow)

Agrotechnology of economically important herbs, process technology for phytochemicals, herbal drugs, nutraceuticals, genetic fingerprinting of plants/herbs, plant bioinformatics, genetic improvement, bioprospecting, molecular and cell biology, quality control and formulation.  

Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology

(CCMB, Hyderabad)

Advanced molecular and cell biology, biotechnology, sperm-associated proteins/fertility-potential of sperm, DNA-fingerprinting, signal transduction, eye diseases, hepatitis vaccine, microbial genetics, transgenics, anti-microbial proteins, genomics, proteomics molecular and cell biology. 

National Chemical Laboratory(NCL, Pune)


Synthetic chemistry, tissue culture, biotechnology, industrial microbiology, nanoparticle technology, smart polymer gels, chemical/process engineering, process/enzyme/fermentation technology, combinatorial chemistry, medicinal chemistry, quality control and formulation. 

Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT, Palampur)

Identification, collection, isolation and characterization of plants and microbes chemical and molecular characterization of bioactives, genomics, tissue culture, agro-technology of medicinal plants, phytochemicals/herbal drugs/nutraceuticals research, and chemical/process engineering.  

Industrial Toxicology Research Centre

(ITRC, Lucknow)

In vitro test systems for bio-evaluation/identification of molecules or neurological disorders and antioxidant activity, complete toxicity evaluation in small animals; identification and action mode of hazardous toxicants/pollutants, diagnostics for toxicants/pollutants; safety evaluation/preventive measures for environmental/industrial hazards, and quality assessment of drinking water.

National Botanical Research Institute

(NBRI, Lucknow)

Pharmacognosy, ethnopharmacology, herbal drugs (authentication, standardization, characterization), nutraceuticals, agro-technology of medicinal plants, plant bioinformatics, genetic characterization and genetic improvement of economically important plants, proteomics, transgenics, molecular and cell biology, pharmacology, phytochemicals/herbal drugs, quality control and formulation.

Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute

(CSMCRI, Bhavnagar)

Bioactives from plants, cultivation of desert economic plants and their value addition, sea weed cultivation, phycocolloids and marine microbes, biotechnology, synthetic chemistry and drug intermediates desalination water treatment technology for pure water for drinking, low sodium and plant/herbal salt.

Regional Research Laboratory(RRL, Jorhat)

Bioactives from plants, drugs and drug intermediates, isolation and characterization of active molecules and analytical services.

National Institute of Oceanography(NIO, Goa)


Collection and identification of marine flora and fauna, biological screening (antimicrobial, anticancer, oxytocic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fouling cytotoxic, antimalarial, antiosteoporotic antiviral, immunomodulatory) and marine natural product chemistry for the identification and structure elucidation of active molecules.

Regional Research Laboratory


Synthesis of drugs/drug intermediates, natural product isolation, biological screening, chemical fingerprinting, herbal drugs, nutraceuticals, bioprocess/enzyme technology and phytochemicals.

Central Food Technological Research Institute

(CFTRI, Mysore)

Nutraceuticals, health-promoting effects of spices/herbs/foods (antioxidants, digestion-stimulants, anti-inflammatory), traditional remedies, food-safety/nutritional toxicology, nodal codex food laboratory, animal and plant cell culture, PCR probes and biosensors, phytochemicals /nutraceuticals research, quality control & formulation, toxicology and bioprocess/enzyme/ fermentation technology

Central Leather Research Institute(CLRI, Chennai)

Controlled drug delivery systems, collagen-based biomaterials, skin biology

Central Glass and Ceramics Research Institute

(CGCRI, Kolkata)

Ceramic membrane technology based water purification technologies, Ceramic based bio-medical implants

National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI, Nagpur)  

Water purification, diagnostic kits etc.




The Indian food processing industry is on an assured track of growth and profitability, thanks to the rapid advances in developing food technologies that are essential for the conversion of farm produce into usable food items. The CSIR mandate in Food Technology Sector is: Food preservation, food processing, food security, food safety and development of human resource, keeping in view the nutritional and health factors for targeted segments of population such as infants, aged population, women and defence force.

CSIR has developed, over the years, several novel food processing technologies, which have been widely commercialized. The contributions of CSIR institutions in this Sector mainly pertains to the following broad aspects:

 Development of improved methods for preservation and storage

 Development of new food products in various categories, such as traditional and health

     foods, specialty foods, ready-to-serve foods, nutraceuticals, beverages, etc.

 Improved methods of food processing along with scale-up

 Value addition of food products

 Ensuring safe foods and food products

 Byproducts/wastes utilization

 Food processing machinery/equipment

 Eco-friendly packaging

 Development of environment-friendly processes with underpinning of food safety and


 Biotechnological intervention in food processing for enhancing nutritional values

The basic R&D efforts are in the following areas: biochemistry, nutrition, fermentation technology, bio engineering, flour milling, baking, confectionery, food engineering, food microbiology, food packaging, food protectants, infestation control, food safety, analytical quality control, fruit and vegetable technology, grain processing, lipid science, traditional foods, meat and poultry products, fish processing, plant cell biotechnology, plantation products, spices, flavour technology, protein chemistry and technology and sensory science.

             Laboratory-wise core competence is as follows:



Central Food Technological Research Institute

(CFTRI, Mysore)

It exclusively deals in foods and food processing, and is today a major international player in this sector. It has the mandate to develop post-harvest technologies for efficient protection, conservation and processing of agricultural produce with focus on developing export-oriented value-added products from horticultural and plantation crops. Besides, its mission is to design and fabricate prototype food processing machinery and to assist food industry through consultancy, contract research and other technical support services. CFTRI has qualified for International Standards Organization (ISO) Certification. It has also achieved the distinction of getting the NABL accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, DST, in the fields of chemical and biological testing.  

Regional Research Laboratory

(RRL, Thiruvananthapuram)

Optimum utilization of regional / national resources. In food technology sector, it has undertaken agro-processing of and value- addition to spices, coconut, oil palm, cassava, etc.

Regional Research Laboratory

(RRL, Jorhat)

Development of technologies based on the immense natural wealth of the North-Eastern region. It has developed agro-technologies for citronella, lemongrass and edible mushrooms.

Regional Research Laboratory

(RRL, Jammu)

Developing post-harvest technologies that includes processing of regional produce, developed PCR-based methods for the detection of food-borne pathogens - a technology that would lead to the development of diagnostic kits.

Regional Research Laboratory

(RRL, Bhubaneshwar)

R&D efforts are geared towards development of an ultrasonically-aided anaerobic reactor for biomethanation of agricultural/vegetable wastes and designing a solar distillation system for solar drying of kendu leaves, timber, etc. Has developed expertise for kewada production.

Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute

(CMERI, Durgapur)

Major R&D efforts have been focused on the development of appropriate machinery for productivity enhancement in the agricultural and the post-harvest processing sectors.

Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology

(IHBT, Palampur)

Agro-technologies related to tea processing and organic farming.Nationally recognized for pesticide residue analysis in tea and herbals. Nutraceuticals and nutrigenomics.

Industrial Toxicology Research Centre (ITRC, Lucknow)

Identifying the action mode of hazardous toxicants/pollutants and developing diagnostic techniques for food safety evaluation. Quality assessment of drinking water.

National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI, Lucknow)

Developed nursery technology for clonal propagation of difficult-to-root plant species besides tissue culture protocols for trees and medicinal plants. It has expertise in preparation of herbal health protective nutraceutical formulations, fruit-based herbal health drink and development of neem- based pesticides besides organic cultivation of vegetables and other economically important plants.

Central Institute of Medical & Aromatic Plants

(CIMAP, Lucknow)

Post harvest processing of plants and value addition to extracted products for active formulations is an important area of ongoing research on medicinal and aromatic plants.

National Institute of Oceanography

(NIO, Goa)

It has the mission of collecting and identifying marine flora and fauna for biological screening and processing of marine-based foods.



      The CSIR mandate in the Biology and Biotechnology Sector is:  To develop commercially viable products/technologies by carrying out research in genomics and molecular medicine, r-DNA technology, protein engineering, drug/nutraceutical development, DNA and immuno diagnostics, synthetic chemistry, toxicology, fermentation technology, analytical biochemistry, environmental sciences, besides bioprospecting, developing novel agro technologies, and conserving biodiversity.

     CSIR’s core competence in this area is multi-dimensional as several CSIR institutes carry out basic and applied multidisciplinary R&D work in the fields of biology and biotechnology including areas such as agro biotechnology, genetic manipulation of microbes, molecular genetics, control of gene expressions, recombinant DNA products, etc.

   Laboratory-wise core competence is as follows:

Core Competence
Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology
(IGIB, New Delhi)
It has the mission to translate concepts developed in basic biological research to commercially viable technologies for health care. It carries out research in various areas of modern biotechnology and biological sciences such as allergy and infectious diseases, molecular pathogenesis and recombinant DNA technology, while the main focus is on genomics and bioinformatics. IGIB has emerged as one of the leading institutes conducting globally competitive research in Functional Genomics and Genome Informatics for the benefit of human health.
Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology
(CCMB, Hyderabad)
R&D in frontier and multi-disciplinary areas of modern biology with a view to aiding development of biochemical technology in the country. CCMB has been chosen as a Centre of Excellence by UNESCO Global Network of Molecular and Cell Biology and has been designated as a South Centre of Excellence for Research and Training by the Third World Academy of Sciences, Italy.
Institute of Microbial Technology
(IMTECH, Chandigarh)
Basic and application-oriented research in  molecular biology and microbial genetics; cell biology and immunology; protein science and engineering; and fermentation technology and applied microbiology. 
Central Drug Research Institute(CDRI, Lucknow)
Development of new drugs employing modern technologies of genomics, proteomics and structural biology for target identification, optimization using high throughput screening and combinatorial techniques, in addition to systematic investigation of natural products to develop novel herbal drugs. Research activities are also focused on designing new vaccines and development of novel tools for molecular detection of diseases based on DNA diagnostic and immunodiagnostic tests. 
Central Food Technological Research Institute
(CFTRI, Mysore)
Development of post-harvest technologies for efficient protection, conservation, and processing of agricultural produce with focus on developing export-oriented value-added products from horticultural and plantation crops. 
Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP, Lucknow)
R&D on genetic improvement through conventional breeding and biotechnological methods, agrotechnology of economically important medicinal and aromatic plants, process technology for phytochemicals, knowledge-based herbal formulations, genomics and DNA fingerprinting of plants, bioinformatics, bioprospection for new drugs and agrochemicals, and organic farming. 
Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT, Palampur)
Establishment, upgradation and sustainable management of bioresources in the Himalayan region through agrotechnology, processing technology and biotechnology. 
Indian Institute of Chemical Biology(IICB, Kolkata)
Development of natural products of medicinal, biological and industrial value, besides designing innovative immunoassay techniques, and tissue-targeted drug-delivery systems. 
Industrial Toxicology Research Centre
(ITRC, Lucknow)
R&D in toxicology by using advances in genomics and proteomics for ensuring safety to human health and environment. The focus is to understand the mechanism of toxicity at molecular level, including development of biomarkers for assessment of human exposure to chemicals.  
National Botanical Research Institute(NBRI, Lucknow)
R&D in plant biotechnology, conservation biology, plant physiology, environmental sciences, plant breeding and agrotechnology. NBRI also worksg on documentation, inventorization, evaluation, conservation of biodiversity and bioprospecting. 
Regional Research Laboratory, Jammu
(RRL, Jammu)
R&D on medicinal and aromatic plants, their conservation and genetic improvement, tissue culture, plant based drug development, their quality control and standardization. In the area of biotechnology, RRL,Jammu has made contribution in fermentation technology and molecular biology leading to cloning of genes and their expression for industrial uses.  
Regional Research Laboratory, Jorhat
(RRL, Jorhat)
R&D on aromatic and medicinal plants, exploration of microbes and screening them for novel metabolites for biotechnology based processes.  
Regional Research Laboratory, Thiruvananthpuram
Development of biocatalysts, bioactive compounds, secondary metabolites and other value-added products from microorganisms and plants utilizing the regional resources for various industrial applications with special reference to health care and green technologies. 
Central Leather Research Institute
(CLRI, Chennai)
R&D in core areas of leather technology that include leather processing, leather products, environmental technology, and leather science and technology. 
Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute
(CSMCRI, Bhavnagr)
R&D in salt engineering, marine chemicals and desalination of brackish/saline water, marine algae, photoinorganic chemistry and phytosalinity.  
National Chemical Laboratory
(NCL, Pune)
Research efforts are geared towards biochemical sciences, nanotechnology, plant tissue culture, bio-organic and bio-mimetic chemistry. Besides, focus is on micro-propagation of endemic and endangered medicinal plant species, and isolation and heterologous expression of genes for the synthesis of biodegradable polymers. 
National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI, Nagpur)
Focus of research is on environmental biotechnology and genomics for designing user-friendly products/technologies to control pollution. 
National Institute of Oceanography
(NIO, Goa)
With the objective of harnessing the ocean wealth, marine biotechnology is an important focus of research. NIO has expertise in the areas of marine biology, biodiversity, bioorganic chemistry and microbiology. It is actively engaged in the discovery of novel drugs, nutraceuticals, industrial enzymes and other useful products.  
Indian Institute of Chemical Technology
(IICT, Hyderabad)  
High quality basic and applied research in bioinformatics, entomology and toxicology besides developing specialty chemicals, biodiesel and nutraceuticals.