Gasification & Catalysis


This group aims to provide necessary input in the fields of value addition, gasification and liquefaction of coal. This includes direct sourcing of coal for value added products including futuristic advanced carbon nanomaterials. R & D on gasification of high ash coal, biomass, petcoke and to address the industrial problem related to gasification. This research group also provides basic & applied research related to the catalyst and process development for synthetic oils and chemicals production from syngas generated from coal/natural gas/biomass feed stocks. 


Section 1: Gasification Methanol and Hydrogen Economy

Important Achievements

Past Achievements

  1. Development of model structure of coals from Lignite to Anthracite that has been internationally accepted as Indian school of thoughts.
  2. Categorization, reactivity and incubation period assessment of coal and lignite leading to spontaneous combustion at industrial coal-storage points and mines.
  3. Development of method for determination of Alpha Quartz in Coal and respirable fraction of Air borne dust by FT IR spectroscopy.
  4. Development of fly-ash based hard scouring powder.
  5. Development of carrying-case for dust loaded membrane filters and occupationally safe dust-generating device for preparation of standards.
  6. Development of a process for the preparation of nicotinamide from 3-cyanopyridine.

On going activities

  1. Development of techniques for preparation of value added products including carbon nanomaterials from coal.
  2. Development of pilot scale fluidized bed gasification facility feed rate capacity 15 - 20 kg/h and operating temperature up to 1000 oC.
  3. Gasification of high ash (up to 50%) coals from different coal fields of India in pilot scale fluidized bed gasification facility has been accomplished successfully to study the gasification performance.
  4. Developed correlation between physico-chemical properties of feed material and its effect on gasification kinetics.
  5. Key contribution in the first phase of multi-feed gasification as a part of National Mission Program (NM-9) headed by DRDO for utilization of multi-feed gasifier in remote defense locations.
  6. Developed iron and cobalt based catalysts for middle distillate and wax synthesis through FT process.
  7. Developed three cobalt based catalysts trade named as ALCOZAR-I, II and III. which are promising to be commercial catalysts for CTL technology.
  8. The successful installation and commissioning of the CTL Pilot Plant in a 10 L capacity reactor has been completed and tested two cobalt based CTL catalysts.


Section 2: Catalysis

NameDesignationEmail & phonePhoto
Head of the Research Group
Dr. Prakash Dhondiram Chavan

Sr. Principal Scientist & HORG E-mail : pdchavan[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in, chavanpd[at]gmail[dot]com
Phone : +91-326-2388315 (O), +91 99313 13637, +91 94313 17970 (M)
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Section 1: Gasification Methanol and Hydrogen Economy
Dr. Prakash Dhondiram Chavan Sr. Principal Scientist & HOS E-mail : pdchavan[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in, chavanpd[at]gmail[dot]com
Phone : +91-326-2388315 (O), +91 99313 13637, +91 94313 17970 (M)
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Dr. Sujan Saha Principal Scientist E-mail : sujansaha[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in, sjan_1976[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]in
Phone : +91-326-2388389 (O) , +91 94711 91168 (M)
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Mr. Vishal Chauhan Scientist E-mail : vishalchauhan[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in
Phone : +91 94118 50253
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Dr. Gajanan Sahu

Sr. Technical Officer (1) E-mail : gajanansahu[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in, gajanansahu[at]rediffmail[dot]com
Phone : +91-326-2388389, +91 99311 06448
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Mr. Rakesh Kumar Rawani Technical Assistant Service image
Mr. Nilesh Dhananjay Dhaigude Technical Assistant E-mail : nddhaigude[at]gmail[dot]com, nileshdhaigude[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in
Phone : 7588945019 (M)
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Mr. Mahendra Rajak Salesman E-mail : mrajak[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in
Phone : +91-326-2388263, +91 92045 29717
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Mrs Meera Singh Group D (NT) Phone : +91-326-2388298, +91 72500 52720 Service image
Section 2: Catalysis
Mr. Sudipta Datta

Sr. Principal Scientist & HOS E-mail : sdatta[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in, sud_datta[at]rediffmail[dot]com
Phone : +91-326-2388237/389 (O), +91 9471191154 (M)
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Mr. Pavan Kumar Gupta

Scientist E-mail : pavan[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in, pkchehit[at]gmail[dot]com
, +91-326-2388363 (O)
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Mr. Shiva Kumar Saw Technical Assistant E-mail : shivakumar[dot]saw07[at]gmail[dot]com, shivakumar[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in
Phone : 7205685844 (M)
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Mr. Rama Shankar Sah Lab Assistant E-mail : ramashankar[at]cimfr[dot]nic[dot]in
Phone : 2388389
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13 Results
Sl. No.A brief description of Facilities/ Equipment/Tools/software with photos
Section 1: Gasification & Liquification

FTIR (Perkin Elmer)

HPLC (Varian)

Fluidized Bed Gasification Test Facility

X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF)

Surface Area Analyzer

Thermo gravimetric Analyzer (TGA)

Gas Chromatograph

Fluorescence Spectrophotometer (Hitachi F-7000)

Crossing Point Temperature Measurement System

High Pressure Fixed Bed Tubular Reactor (Pressure-100-Bar, Temp: ~ 500oC, Catalyst Vol-100 mL)

Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor (Pressure: 100 Bar, Temp: 450 oC, Reactor Vol: 1.0 L)

Gas Chromatograph for Gas and Liquid Analysis 


TPD/TPR/Pulse Chemisorptions Unit

UV-Vis Spectrometer 

Sl. No.NameSponsorDurationObjectiveMajor output(if any)
Section 1: Gasification & Liquification
1Coal Constitution (CLP 3009)Coal Constitution

Routine analysis and tests done for outside parties and various on-going projects in this institute. Analysis and tests done are chiefly Crossing Point Temperature (CPT) and Ignition point temperature(IPT) in Coal. Quantitative determination of various functional groups in coal.

CPT and IPT of samples are determined on payment basis.

2Prevention of asphaltene aggregation towards improving real term process viability of coal liquefaction.SERB, DST, New Delhi01-08-2013 to 01-08-2016Project No - GAP–7030

To study the self aggregation phenomenon of asphaltene in molecular scale and develop an easy method in order to minimize asphaltene aggregation by trapping various guest molecules within the asphaltene aggregates for efficient conversion of coal to oil.

Major outputs (if any): Coal tar samples were sourced from various nearby coke plants such as Barari, Lodna, Bhowrah etc. and also from our Coal liquefaction (CTL) plant. Coal Derived Asphaltene (CDA) sample could be successfully prepared as per ASTMD2007-80 method from respective tar samples and derived anthracene oil. The (CDA) sample was characterized by CHN, NMR, UV and Fluorescence spectroscopic analysis. Aggregation studies of CDA have been done in organic solvents with series of electron acceptors as probe materials.

3Development of iron & cobalt based mesoporous and macroporous catalysts for conversion of syngas to liquid hydrocarbon through Fischer-Tropsch routeSERB, Department of Science and Technology, Government of IndiaFrom 16th November, 2015 to 15th November, 2018
  • Synthesis and characterization of iron & cobalt based mesoporous and macroporous catalysts with high surface area, tailorable pore sizes, controllable particle sizes and shapes.
  • To determine conversion efficiency of catalysts towards syngas to liquid hydrocarbon through Fischer-Tropsch synthesis
  • To maximize conversion efficiency and C5+ selectivity with variable reaction parameters like H2/CO ratio, space velocity, reaction temperature and pressure.
  •  To increase catalyst life and mechanical stability with different types of structural promoters (Zr, Al, B etc.)
  • To increase thermal efficiency of the reaction and to increase syngas conversion and C5+ selectivity with doping of trace amount of reduction promoter like Ru, Pd, Pt, Cu.
  1. Major outputs (if any): Preparation of Meso-porous support is in progress
4Development of Indigenous Catalyst through Pilot scale studies of Coal-to-Liquid (CTL) conversion technologyMinistry of Coal, Government of IndiaFrom 1st January, 2010 to 30th June, 2016
  • To develop suitable catalysts and to study the coal-to-liquid conversion technology in Pilot Scale in an integrated plant consisting of low cost air blown gasifier and a multi-tubular fixed bed reactor (Catalyst Capacity: 10.0 L);
  • To test high ash Indian coals in the gasifier;
  • To generate basic design & process parameters for further scale-up to commercialization;
  • To characterize the products (liquid and gaseous) and its up-gradation/processing for commercial use

Establishment of a Coal – to – Liquid Pilot Plant for testing of Fischer – Tropsch Catalysts

5Catalytic petcoke gasificationIn-house fundingSeptember 2015 to August 2017
  • Selection of catalyst
  • Gasification reactivity study with and without catalyst
  • Effect of catalyst on petcoke conversion
6Prefeasibility study on Coal Gasification to supplement Natural gas with Syngas (Project No. CNP-7125)Gujarat Gas Limited, GujaratSeptember 2014 to March 2016
  • Survey of coal Gasification Technology options available globally according to the types of coals and their pros and cons
  • Estimated quantity and quality of coal required for running aforesaid centralized coal gasification plant on long term basis.
  • CAPEX & OPEX of one/two selected technologies for the centralized coal gasification plant will be included in the final report.
  • Economic analysis comparison of coal gas generated mainly from Imported coal vis-à-vis Imported natural gas.

Prepared pre-feasibility report consisting of survey of different gasification technologies and techno-economic analysis for coal to SNG project in India.

7Tap Coal : Co-gasification of High Ash Indian Coal and Biomass (Project No:CSC-0102)CSIR Network Project under 12th Five Year PlanApril 2013 to March 2017
  • Gasification Reactivity of coal-biomass blends with different gasifying agents
  • Gasification performance of coal and coal-biomass blends in the fluidized bed gasifier (FBG) test facility
  • Ash agglomeration behavior and entrainment during co-gasification of coal and biomass in FBG
  • Empirical modeling of the data generated in Thermo Gravimetric Reactor (TGR), Fluidized Bed Gasifier (FBG).


  • Generated gasification performance database in FBG
  • Generated gasification reactivity and kinetic data in TGA for selected coal and biomass blends.
7 Results