Industry News

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is gearing up to enter the battery vertical soon and willing to acquire superior technologies for that, and customise them to Indian conditions while improvising on its lead-acid storage solutions.

This foray is intended to produce batteries that help in driving electric vehicles beyond the 50-km range.

It comes amidst the prophecy that all vehicles powered by internal combustion engines are going to be phased out with the electric drives taking their place.

“Domination of the Indian roads by the electric vehicles is going to take a long time, mainly due to the pricing and logistical issues,” said IOC Director (R&D) S.S.V. Ramakumar.

Pilot project

Addressing the media after inaugurating a CNG station at Ibrahimpatnam here on Saturday, Mr. Ramakumar said another cutting-edge technology, which the IOC’s R&D division was set to take from the lab to the roads in the near future, was hydrogen and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) mixtures, which were being piloted by a Delhi Government-owned fleet of buses.

“The IOC is prepared to make an on-site production of these fuels once the result of the trials is known,” he said. “A nano-material that helps LPG in cutting metals with greater finesse when its temperature is increased from the present 1,900 to 2,500 degree celsius is under development. This will facilitate elimination of highly toxic oxy-acetylene gas being used by the heavy industries, including ship breaking units,” he said.

Mr. Ramakumar said a product set for pan-India launch was a superior blend of engine, transmission and axle oils, which was validated in Karnataka. This category of products would bring down the tail-pipe emissions of commercial vehicles by 30% and give a fuel saving of 4 to 5%.

BS VI fuels

Mr. Ramakumar further said the IOC was in the forefront of producing BS-VI fuels, which would have 10 PPM of sulphur compared to 50 PPM in the BS-IV variants and just 8% of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (which are carcinogenic) against 11% in BS-IV fuels.

An enzyme that the IOC started producing in-house was going to break the global monopoly of a US-based company. With it, the expenditure entailed by the enzyme consumption in the manufacture of ethanol would decline substantially, Mr. Ramakumar added.

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