Sponsored Projects

ANEL is actively involved in various funded collaborative projects from different agencies in developing novel nano materials for potential applications


DST - Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB)

29.6 Lakhs

January 2021 - Present

Development of 2D heterostructures based wear and corrosion resistant  coatings

MoS2 based coatings are widely used as anti-wear coatings for various applications. One of the necessary conditions for obtaining ultralow friction of MoS2 is the absence of contaminants such as oxygen and humid air. In the presence of oxygen/moist air, MoS2 quickly oxidises to molybdenum trioxide (MoO3), and this oxidation rate significantly increases with relative humidity. The presence of MoO3 promotes the chemisorption of water and thereby shows lower coefficient of friction (CoF). Even though MoS2 is highly lubricating, the corrosive nature of this dry solid lubricant limits its application in an oxidising and humid environment. So, extending the range of working environments for MoS2 is a significant technical challenge for tribo corrosion engineers. The present project aim to develop new strategies and material combinations to improve the corrosion resistance properties of MoS2 nanosheets based coatings. 


ICAR-National Agriculture Science Fund (NASF)

Collaborating Institute: ICAR - Indian Istitute of Spices Research (IISR), Kozhikode

74.2 Lakhs

August 2020 - Present

Risk assessment of nanoparticle accumulation in soils: Effects of engineered metal oxide nanoparticles on soil bacterial communities, soil microbial processes and evaluation of phytotoxicity using genomic approaches

The present project is a multidisciplinary study that deals with synthesis and characterization of agriculturally important metal and metal oxide NPs of Zn, Cu and Fe (essential plant nutrients) and their effects on soil bacterial communities and microbial endpoints and plant gene expression vis a vis important plant functions/phytotoxicity including biosynthesis of key secondary metabolites and the interrelationships of the above domains. All these parameters have never been taken up in a single study so far in any crop. Overall, in the present project NPs will be synthesized and their impact on key microbial processes in soil and plant functions/phytotoxicity/gene expression will be recorded vis a vis their key characteristics.


Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment - Defence Research and Development Organization (CVRDE-DRDO)

42 Lakhs

April 2016 - October 2019

Development of nano lubricants for diesel engines

The main objective of the project is to develop energy efficient lubricating oil by the addition of solid lubricant nanoparticles such as MoS2, WS2 and graphite, with the aim of performance improvement of IC engines through the reduction of friction/ wear and fuel consumption. The type of surfactant and their dosing level was determined based on the stability studies. Effect of nanoparticles on various thermophysical properties of the oil such as density, viscosity, flash & fire point, cloud & pour point, oxidation stability, soot holding capability, Acid number, etc. was investigated by means of standard methods. The effect of nanoparticles on the tribological properties such as friction and wear was investigated, with the help of Pin on disc apparatus/Four ball tester and, optimum dosing level of nanoparticles in the oil was determined. Techniques such as SEM, AFM, etc. were used for characterizing the surface roughness of the pin/disc after the standard test, thus obtaining the effect of nanoparticles on the surface roughness. As the cooling of oil is of prime important to maintain the lubrication properties of oil, a test rig was fabricated and experiments were done to investigate the effect of nanoparticles on the cooling performance of oil, in the heat exchanger. Endurance tests is being conducted in diesel engines, with lubricating oil and nanoparticle added lubricating oil and the roughness of various components of engine such as piston rings, valve seats, etc. will be compared.


NTPC Energy Technology Research Alliance (NETRA)

56.6 Lakhs

April 2016- October 2018

Development of stable nanofluids for heat exchanger for improved cooling in Thermal power plants

The present study mainly focuses on the investigation on the application of phase changing materials (PCM) based nanofluids for effective cooling in heat exchangers of thermal power plants, while considering the practical issues. The precursor used for the synthesis of encapsulated PCM is a mixture of paraffin wax and petroleum jelly and the encapsulation of PCM in nano polystyrene shells was done by mini emulsion polymerisation. The heat transfer studies were conducted on a double pipe counter flow heat exchanger and the results showed upto 53% enhancement in heat transfer with PCM nanofluids with respect to the base fluid, as compared to Al2O3, CuO nanofluids. The evaporation studies performed on mini cooling tower and its prototype, showed 23 % reduction in evaporation as compared to water. The pressure drop studies were carried out in a 6 m long stainless steel pipe in laminar and turbulent regimes. The pumping power showed only a marginal increase of 1.25% for a 10% increase in pressure drop for PCM nanofluids as compared to water. The main advantages of the use of PCM based nanofluids in the thermal power plants are augmented heat transfer with reduced evaporation loss, thus achieving the conservation of water as coolant. The pilot scale trial of the above product has been carried out at Dadri Power plant of NTPC on 6th and 7th October 2018, with successful and very encouraging results.


Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL)

1.2 Cr

2010 -2016

Investigations on the Application of Catalytic Nanoparticles as Diesel and Bio Diesel Additives

The main objective of the project is to investigate the effect of catalytic nanoparticles on diesel engine performance and exhaust gas emissions. The catalytic nanoparticles synthesized involve Cerium oxide, Cerium oxide doped with Zirconium and Yttrium in different proportions. Chemical and physical methods were employed for the production of these nanoparticles and were characterized. The nanofluid i.e. catalytic nanoparticle mixed with diesel was prepared by means of standard Ultrasonic shaker. Dispersion stability of nanoadditives in diesel was estimated from the zeta potential using DLS. The long term dispersion stability of nano additives in diesel was studied with stationary and oscillating mode of storage tanks. The effect of nanoadditives on the properties of fuel was studied by using standard ASTM methods. Fuel filter clogging test was carried out to investigate the effect of nanoparticles on Filter blocking tendency (FBT) of the fuel filter. Preliminary investigation on the lubricity of catalytic nanoparticle added diesel was done on a standard pin and disk apparatus and an extensive study was done on a standard fuel injection system test rig, fabricated in-house. Fundamental investigation on the combustion characteristics of ceria and its mixed oxide nanoparticles dispersed in diesel was done by measurement of flame temperature distribution by means of interferometric technique. A detailed investigation on the effect of catalytic nanoparticles on engine performance and emissions was done on a standard diesel engine at Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM). Emission studies show a significant reduction in the smoke with a slight improvement in the efficiency of the diesel.


Aeronautics Research Development Board, DRDO

10 Lakhs

2009 -2013

Development and Optimization of Miniature and Micro Heat Pipes for Thermal Management of Avionic Devices

The project mainly focusses on the development of two novel designs of miniature/micro heat pipes for application in thermal management of electronic components related to avionic systems. The first objective of the project was to develop two novel designs of miniature/micro heat pipes such as (i)Thin walled miniature heat pipes with longitudinally ribbed vapor space and (ii) Micro heat pipes with wire-sandwiched channels. Two types of heat pipes were fabricated and extensive experiments were done on them under different operating conditions and to determine their operating limitations. Second objective of the project was to develop computational models for the proposed designs, to predict the performance, to perform parametric studies and to benchmark with experimental results to validate the models. Computational models for the proposed designs were developed and computational results were validated with the experimental results.


Department of Science and Technology (DST)

20 Lakhs

2006 - 2009

Holographic Studies on Mini Channels for Optimal Thermal Design of Microelectronic Systems

The project mainly focuses on the heat transfer studies using mini channels by means of digital interferometry. The channels are fabricated using high quality optical glass and aluminum blocks The parameters varied during the experimentation includes the flow rate of the water and the input heat flux and correlations were proposed for the design of the mini channels. Mach Zehnder Interferometry was used for obtaining the temperature distribution in the channels. The interferograms grabbed using a CCD camera, coupled to a computer and digital image processing technique, has been used for obtaining the temperature distribution from the fringes. The temperature profiles are obtained at different sections of the channels for various values of the average Reynolds number and various heating levels. The local and average heat flux values are obtained from the constructed temperature distributions. Results of parametric studies are compared and contrasted with relevant entry length solutions from the literature.


Applied Nano Engineering Laboratory
School of Materials Science and Engineering
National Institute of Technology Calicut
NIT Campus P O, Kozhikode, Kerala,
INDIA - 6703601


Email: sajith@nitc.ac.in

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