New Delhi: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) achieved a milestone of sorts on Tuesday as it announced that its research and development centre at Faridabad has become the first public sector oil and gas company to cross the milestone of filing 1,000 patents. A statement released by IOCL said that the company had filed its 1,001st patent this week. “The R&D Centre’s IP (Intellectual Property) portfolio comprises 794 active patents, of which 542 patents were granted abroad and 252 in India. The centre has also registered a healthy commercialisation rate for its patents, higher than the global average,” it said.
Patents developed in-house
Complementing the R&D team for lending a competitive edge to IndianOil’s business through innovative products, processes and technologies, Sanjiv Singh, Chairman, Indian Oil, said that several quality upgradation projects implemented at Indian Oil refineries for the production of BS-VI fuels are based on deep desulphurisation, isomerisation and dimerisation technology patents developed in-house.
Patented technologies in use
Indian Oil’s internationally-awarded INDMAX technology patent, successfully commercialised at Paradip Refinery, improves LPG yields by 40 percent besides ensuring the highest propylene yields in its class. Similarly, the Centre’s bio-methanation technology is best-in-class in methane yields and is being implemented at the Namakkal (Tamil Nadu) plant for the production of compressed bio-gas (CBG).
The R&D Centre
Established in 1972, the Centre is a pioneer in downstream petroleum sector R&D and has received wide acclaim for indigenising lubricants technology by launching the SERVO brand. With over 5,000 formulations and over 800 active grades covering all conceivable applications, including rail-road and marine oils, SERVO has grown to be the largest selling lubricant brand in India.
From being the birth-place of the highly successful, fuel-efficient ‘Nutan’ kerosene wick-stove in the late 70s, the R&D Centre has come a long way in the past four decades. According to Dr SSV Ramakumar, Director (R&D), IndianOil, the Centre has been focussing on developing high-quality, environment-friendly products and innovative refinery processes that boost resource efficiency, enhance refinery-petrochemicals integration and offer flexibility in product pattern and yields in line with market demand.
With 50 percent of its active patents in the refining category, followed by 16 percent in biotechnology, the R&D team has made considerable progress even in the highly IP-crowded field of Ziegler-Natta catalysts, used in the production of polymers (plastics). “We have not only created white space here but succeeded in earning a rich haul of patent grants that are well recognised by global majors,” adds Dr Ramakumar.
In line with IndianOil’s business agenda, the R&D Centre has expanded its research domain to cover petrochemicals, nano-technology, alternative fuels, energy storage solutions and Hydrogen-based fuel cell research, among others.
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