IIT Kharagpur has set “Specialty Friction Reducers” in motion

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  • IIT Kharagpur researchers have contributed to product development and commercialization of specialty friction reducers for challenging unconventional oilfield environments.

Recently, IIT Kharagpur researchers have contributed towards a new domain of indigenous innovation, “Specialty Friction Reducers” for unconventional oilfields and most significantly, this technique has led to commercialization of this product by an Indian Manufacturer, for the first time, for the global oil and gas industry.

We have developed the technique for characterizing the specialty friction reducers involves a unique combination of drag reduction and viscometric measurements, specifically replicating the complex oilfield environment. The work further enabled correlation between the fundamental polymeric structures of the friction reducers and its performance in challenging unconventional oilfield environments (extremely high salinity/ hardness and high shear conditions)”, said Prof Sandeep D Kulkarni, the lead researcher and the Associate Professor of Deysarkar Centre of Excellence in Petroleum Engineering, IIT Kharagpur.

The research scholar, Navneeth Kumar Korlepara along with Prof Sandeep D Kulkarni, has worked and contributed extensively on this project as well as Prof Kiran Gore, the Assistant Professor of the Department of Chemistry and his group put invaluable inputs into this project. This research work was mainly sponsored by Dr. Asoke Deysarkar, Chairman of PfP Industries, USA who is also an eminent IIT Kharagpur alumnus. The automatic flow loop built by the team for drag reduction evaluation is first of its kind in the country and it was showcased at National Conference on Upstream Petroleum Engineering 2019 held in IIT Guwahati.  Several journal publications in this domain are underway.

To ensure practical impact of the above innovation, Dr. Kulkarni had initiated synergistic product development in collaboration with the US industry professionals (sponsor) and Indian manufacturers which has led to a first container of 18 tons of the developed specialty friction reducer being readied by the Indian manufacturer, MSME, Envitech Chemical Specialties Pvt. Ltd., for shipment to the US oil and gas industry.

 Congratulating the whole team, the IIT Kharagpur Director, Prof Virendra Kumar Tewari added, “Potentially, this Make-in-India exercise based on above indigenous innovation is expected to scale up, in the long run. The researchers need to work hard and make it a reality particularly for the MSME sectors to get benefited”. 

 Dr. Deysarkar said, “R & D efforts at IITs should ensure tangible value addition for the society and the country. Such innovations would strengthen Make-in-India and could make India Inc. part of global supply chain for a range of specialty products”.

Media Contact: Prof Sandeep D Kulkarni, Associate Professor

Email: sandeep.kulkarni@iitkgp.ac.in, Ph. no.: +91-3222-284882

Contact: Paramita Dey, Junior Assistant

Email: media@iitkgp.ac.in, Ph. No.: +91-3222-282004

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