Since its establishment in July 2001, CRDC has developed a bouquet of innovations, bagging as many as 62 patents from the country as well as abroad, including the US and Europe, and 68 more are pending for approvals.
“Of the total patented innovations, around 20 are already commercialised and are deployed at various BPCL facilities,” Sanjay Bhargava, executive director and chief of CRDC, told PTI over phone from New Delhi.
Within the next one month they will be filing for five-six patents as well, he added.
The centre, with an annual budget of Rs 80-100 crore, has published 141 research articles and its innovations are cited in five books, Bhargava said.
CRDC, recognised by the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, has been set up with a mission to transform ideas into innovations.
Some of the notable patented innovations are BPMarrk, which is an intelligent tool for advanced assaying of crude oils, which characterises and evaluates crudes at a fraction of the time taken by traditional assaying methods that take a month at least.
“BPMarrk drastically slashes the time required to generate results from three to four weeks to merely one hour. This is patented in India, the US, Europe and Africa,” Bhargava said.
Another patented innovation is the K-Model, a software for quick and accurate prediction of crude oils’ blend compatibility and blend optimisation that are generated within minutes compared to a traditional process that takes several weeks.
The K-Model is getting completed for commercial deployment at a private refinery and is being contract manufactured by a Baroda-based company, he said.
Bharat GSR CAT is a high-performance catalyst for reduction of sulphur in gasoline. This is the world’s first catalyst prepared from fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) spent catalyst. The novel catalyst is only one-third the cost of imported alternatives, he said.
Bharat Ecochem is a patented fuel additive that protects the metallurgy of fuel tank and other accessories of vehicles running on ethanol-blended petrol. Another innovation called Bharat Neutrachem is a patented to neutralise amine system to prevent corrosion in refinery columns’ overhead circuits. It is deployed in its Kochi Refinery.
Then there are CO Promoter or COP-CAT which is a superior additive promoting complete combustion in FCCU regenerator dense catalyst bed and is deployed in Mumbai Refinery.
BPCL is the third company in the world after Exxon-Mobil and Chevron to have such a technology, Bhargava said.
The patented Drag-Reducing Additive enhances the flow of finished products in cross-country pipelines.
Its Diesel Lubricity Additive or LDA improves the lubricity of high-speed diesel and its Divided Wall Column Technology is a novel 4-cut divided wall column configuration that improve separation of naphtha, compared to conventional distillation columns.
Bharat Petroleum is the first domestic company to demonstrate this technology, he said.
CRDC is based in New Delhi to nurture “fertile ideas” and grooms them into “mature innovations”. It provides vital support to the strategic business units of BPCL refineries, and carries out frontline research in an slew of areas from advanced technology development for refining and petrochemical processes, to alternative energy.
It also provides extensive R&D support in alternative energy. Other research initiatives include waste heat utilisation, swappable batteries for electric vehicles, solar power and emerging energy solutions.