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Groundbreaking research to reduce emission of harmful gases

Groundbreaking research to reduce emission of harmful gases

Dr Indra Bahadur in the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the Durban University of Technology has successfully concluded groundbreaking research on thermodynamic properties of ionic liquid mixtures which can promote new and cleaner technologies that incorporate ionic liquids so companies that use these technologies involving ionic liquids can obtain carbon credits due to the reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Bahadur, from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, says the important finding about ionic liquids is that they are a new class of solvents that have a very low vapour pressure which makes them non-volatile. “Ionic liquids have the potential to replace conventional volatile solvents thereby reducing the emission of greenhouse gases which are known to cause global warming. Therefore ionic liquids can also be recycled, thus promoting one of the “Green Chemistry” principles, of reducing chemical waste in production processes,” says Bahadur, the scientist. He further says that ionic liquids are being used in solar cell, batteries, organic syntheses and sulphur reduction in petroleum technologies.

He says the objective of his research was to obtain the thermodynamic properties of the ionic liquids mixtures. He adds that they are used to understand the nature of intermolecular interactions such as van der Waals interactions in binary or ternary ionic liquid mixtures.

Furthermore, he says, thermodynamic properties of binary or ternary mixtures containing components capable of undergoing specific interaction exhibit significant deviations from ideality due to differences in the molecular size, shape and structure. He worked very hard over long hours each week day and weekends in the past 2 years to achieve and complete his research. He is grateful to his supervisor, Professor Nirmala Deenadayalu, who was supportive and also encouraged him greatly during the process of his doctoral research. He first developed his own plan of research. He did both laboratory work and writing concurrently. He conducted his research in the laboratory. He says the outcome of his research stems from the interpretation of the thermodynamic values which he obtained for the ionic liquids used in his experiments. The results show that packing effects and / or strong intermolecular interactions between the different molecules due to the different chemical nature of the components.

Bahadur has a B Sc (Hons) in Chemistry from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India and M Sc (Physical Chemistry) from University of Delhi, Delhi, India. He is currently completing a third research paper to be published in the Journal of Chemical Engineering Data. He is involved in tutoring first year pulp and paper technology students and he assists them to do the practical work for Biotechnology and Food Technology groups. He is also involved in tests and marking tests for pulp and paper technology students. He is also doing his literature review for his post doctorate which he hopes to complete in 2011.

For an interview, please contact: Dr Indra Bahadur
Cell: 071 3046025
Tel: 031 373 5306