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Prof. CNR Rao receives Eni Award for research in renewable energy sources, energy storage

Bharat Ratna Professor Chintamani Nages Ramachandra Rao has received the International Eni Award 2020 - Energy Frontier award for research into renewable energy sources and energy storage.

The 13th edition of Eni Award was announced earlier this week and will be presented on October 14, during an official ceremony held at the Quirinal Palace in Rome which will be attended by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella.

According to Eni, Prof. Rao received this award for his work on metal oxides, carbon nanotubes, and other materials, as well as on two-dimensional systems, including graphene, boron-nitrogen-carbon hybrid materials, and molybdenum sulfide (Molybdenite - MoS2) for energy applications and green hydrogen production. The latter can, in fact, be achieved through various processes including the photodissociation of water, thermal dissociation, and electrolysis activated by electricity produced from solar or wind energy. Professor Rao has worked in all three areas and developed some highly innovative materials.

The same or related materials have also been shown to have beneficial properties for the construction of hydrogen storage systems and supercapacitors with high specific power and an increased number of charge-discharge cycles. The latter are energy storage devices, like batteries, which will become an increasingly important part of the renewable energy sector.

The Eni Awards have been recognized globally over the years in the field of energy and environmental research and it aims to promote better use of energy sources and encourages new generations of researchers in the field.

Eni recognizes scientists through three major awards: Energy Transition, Energy Frontier, and Advanced Environmental Solutions in addition to awards that recognize young researchers.

While the Energy Frontier award was bagged by Prof. Rao, the Energy Transition award was conferred on David T. Allen of the University of Texas, for his work on hydrocarbon innovations for decarbonizing the energy sector. The Advanced Environmental Solutions Award, for research into the protection of air, water, and land and the reclamation of industrial sites, went to Jürgen Caro and Jörg Kärger, from the Universities of Hanover and Leipzig respectively, for their work leading to the development of micro-imaging techniques for the in-situ observation of diffusive molecule flows in nanoporous materials. 

Author : Shraddha Kakade
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