IIT Madras ties up with Italian company Sotacarbo for Research  

Researchers will collaborate on biomass gasification, catalysts for CO2-to-methanol & syngas-to-methanol and Combustion 
CHENNAI, 11th January 2019: Indian Institute of Technology Madras has entered into a Research collaboration on sustainable energy with an Italian company, Sotacarbo - Società Tecnologie Avanzate Carbone SpA. As part of this tie-up, researchers from both the organisations will take up three main projects: Biomass Gasification, catalysts for CO2-to-methanol and syngas-to-methanol and Combustion and Oxy-Combustion. 
Research groups from Department of Chemical Engineering, National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) and the National Centre for Catalysis Research (NCCR), IIT Madras, already visited the Sotacarbo campus in Italy and interacted with their team. The agreement is expected to spearhead extensive collaborative research projects that will explore synergies between the groups. 
A Joint Development Agreement (JDA) between IIT Madras and Sotacarbo Società Tecnologie Avanzate low Carbon SpA was signed recently and was aimed at fostering collaborative research work between the two institutions in the areas of biomass and coal energy. 
Speaking about the collaboration, Dr. Gianni Serra, Sotacarbo Director of International Relations, said, “It was a no brainer to begin working together (with IIT Madras) as we have so many areas of interest in common. It’s early stages to say but the first signs are all promising. This JDA will be beneficial to both sides, paving the way for new projects and exchange of both young researchers and students.” 
Prof. Preeti Aghalayam, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras, is coordinating this tie-up. The agreement and meetings were facilitated by Dr. Bhima Sastri, an IIT Madras alumnus. 
Highlighting the importance of this collaboration, Prof Ravindra Gettu, Dean (Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research), IIT Madras, said, “Energy is an important focus of research in IIT Madras, and we welcome this opportunity to collaborate on the various identified areas on sustainable energy. We are grateful for your time and confident that our faculty teams will work very well and deliver beyond expectations.” 
Through this collaboration, the two organisations will also look at some additional areas such as other energy technologies and carbon capture and storage. 
Dr. Alberto Pettinau, Sotacarbo Scientific Director, said, “We picked IIT Madras because we appreciate their high level of experience in the same fields of research that are strategic for Italy and the Sardinian Region. This research needs a multidisciplinary approach and Sotacarbo and IIT Madras bring to the table different expertise and know-how, which can easily complement themselves.” 
Sotacarbo is a public owned limited company based in Sardinia, Italy, which has been working in the area of sustainable energy research and has been a vibrant contributor to the landscape for the past several decades. IIT Madras faculty from various departments have wide expertise in biomass and coal gasification, combustor design and diagnostics and catalysis.