Volume2 Issue 7/8                                                                                                                                                                 Oct/Nov 2003


The spirit was festive. The mood was upbeat. Things had never looked so good in recent times. It was in this happy atmosphere, that a change of guard took place quietly at the helm of the Mumbai Regional Centre.

The year Oct 2002 – Sept 2003 was an eventful one for MRC. It was packed with Seminar, Refresher Courses, Lectures on interesting subjects, Factory Visit, Picnic, Get-togethers etc. One only wishes that more members had availed of the benefits from these programmes. The continued apathy of many of our members should be a matter of concern to all and not just the handful of Executive Committee members. We need to chip away at this indifference and strive utmost to rekindle and revive their flagging interest.

The new Executive Committee has the challenging responsibility of steering CHEMCON 2004 to a roaring success, an endeavour in which they need the support of the entire chemical engineering fraternity of Mumbai City.

While raising a toast to the outgoing Executive Committee, which they fully deserve, it maybe appropriate to remind them of the famous lines from Robert Frost’s poem

The woods are lovely dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep....


Chairman’s Message

At the beginning of 20th Century, Chemical Industry was mainly meeting the requirement of textile industry. Development & innovation during the last century and two world wars have changed the face of the chemical industry and made it into a $1.6 trillion business. Europe, USA and Japan are the largest chemicals producers in the world. However, Chemical Industry’s best growth prospects are now in the developing world especially in China and India.

India’s chemical industry is growing rapidly after commencement of liberalisation of the industrial sector and has reached a level of $28 billion per year. The industry constitutes more than 6% of India’s GDP and is a major exporter of agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, dyes & pigments and speciality chemicals. Per capita consumption of plastics is 3 Kg in India, compared to an average of 40 Kg in developed countries, which indicates that Indian Chemical Industry has the potential to grow to a level of $100 billion by 2010. Though there has been an increase in overall production of chemicals, no green field mega projects are being progressed despite the anticipated futuristic growth.

Indian chemical industry is having many handicaps such as plants of uneconomical scale having outmoded technology of yesteryears, insufficient R&D support, inadequate infrastructure, etc. Though Government help would be of paramount importance in overcoming many of these handicaps, Indian chemical industry can address many of these issues by developing chemical hubs / clusters like Antwerp in Belgium, Chemsite in Germany, Jurong Island in Singapore, etc., which may help in developing world class infrastructure for the industry at competitive costs. There is a definite case for increasing R&D expenditure to improve efficiency of operation and to develop new products since it is spending only 2% of sales compared to an international average of 18%. Chemical firms can examine feasibility of outsourcing most of the support services including quality assurance laboratory facilities, etc. For managing the risk of adverse price movements of feedstock & products, financial tools like hedging are available.

Chemical industry by nature does not tend to make changes quickly. However, to be globally competitive, the industry may benchmark its performance vis-ŕ-vis leaders to match or even exceed the performance of its competitors. A lot can also be learnt from Chinese model of development of chemical industry, which inter-alia involves mastering the replication of skills needed for establishing & managing sophisticated mega chemicals / petrochemicals projects from multinationals and practice these in setting up new indigenous grassroots projects. It seems to be a feasible proposition since technology and equipment are available in international market and skilled labour is anyway cheap in India.

Mukesh Rohatgi


The 43rd AGM of the Mumbai Regional Centre of IIChE was held at Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT-Bombay, Powai on 19th September at 6.30 p.m. Due to lack of quorum, the meeting was adjourned and reconvened at 7.00 p.m. The following points were discussed:

  1. Chairman Mr.D.P.Misra welcomed the members present
  2. The minutes of the 42nd AGM held on 28th Septemeber 2002 were published in Newsletters and circulated in advance. Since members had no comments to offer, it was taken as read. The minutes were unanimously approved (Proposed by Mr.M.K.Bhattacharya and Seconded by Mr.P.M.Karia)
  3. Honorary Secretary Mr.K.Sahasranaman presented the Annual Report for 2002-03 using PowerPoint. Following comments were received from members.

a) Mr. V.K. Srivastava suggested that the RB Roy Choudhury Memorial Lecture should be listed separate from the monthly lectures as it has a special status in the MRC activities.

b) Mr. A Sankholkar and Mr. V.K. Tangri felt that the membership procedure should be made more ‘user friendly’ and that this should be conveyed to the HQ for implementation

    1. Mr. TVK Satyanarayana opined that Part A of Indian Chemical Engineer which is more technical should go only to those who are keen on such articles, whilst Part B which is of a more general nature should be sent to all members. Some members also felt that the content of both Part A and Part B should be revised to reflect the needs of the industry, as this would increase the appeal of the journal. With a view to reduce costs, it was also suggested that Part A should be made available only at a nominal payment. Another suggestion was that the members support the journal through advertisements either from their own organisations or through their contacts. (The relevance of this discussion was due to the presence of Prof. S Basu, the Hon. Editor of the Journal)

The Annual Report was unanimously adopted. (Proposed by Mr.P.K.Saxena and seconded by Mr.T.L.Prasad)

  1. The Hon. Treasurer Dr.S.S.Bhagwat presented the statement of the audited accounts for the year ending 31st March 2003.
  2. The following observations were made by members:

    Mr. TVK Satyanarayana suggested that standing instructions be given to the bank to automatically transfer all cash receipts into a fixed deposit keeping only a minimum requirement for day to day operations in the savings account. This will give more interest accruals.

    Clarifications were asked on the building fund accumulations and transfer, which were adequately addressed by the Hon. Treasurer.

    The Statement of Accounts was unanimously adopted (Proposed by Dr.M.Srikrishna and Seconded by Mr.K.C.Sutaria)

  3. It was unanimously decided that the present auditor M/s K.S.Jhaveri shall continue for another year. It was also agreed to increase auditor’s fees to Rs.2000 with effect from last year. (Proposed by Mr.M.K.Bhattacharya and Seconded by Mr.K.C.Sutaria)
  4. The election officer Mr.G.Sundaram announced the results of the election to the new Executive Committee for the year 2002-03.
  5. The elected members introduced themselves to the General Body.

  6. Mr. DP Misra, Hon. Chairman, MRC, announced that a polyclinic was inaugurated at the Ankaleshwar RC. The clinic will address the needs of the small-scale industries in the area. If the idea takes off it would be the model for such polyclinics at other regional centres. Mr. Misra also expressed the need to set up a disaster response centre in areas of high industrial activity. The disaster management centre concept exists on New Zealand and can form a blueprint for such a system in India. IIChE is working closely with ICMA on this concept. Similarly, IIChE should take the concepts of responsible care and safety to the general public at large. This should be part of the activities of the IIChE.
  7. Mr. Sutaria suggested that the contact details of the executive committee members should be made available to all the members for better communication.

9) Mr. MV Deshpande suggested that the MRC should now look at increasing its profile. For this, if necessary we should hire the services of a professional agency so that we are able to improve the quality and quantity of programmes and this will also generate more revenue.

10) Honorary Joint Secretary Dr.S.Ganeshan proposed the formal vote of thanks and the members adjourned for fellowship and dinner.



Honorary Secretary

New Executive Committee

Mr. Mukesh Rohatgi (Chairman)

Prof. R.K.Malik (Vice-Chairman)

Dr. S.Ganeshan (Hon. Secretary)

Mr. A.Sankholkar (Jt.Hon. Secretary)

Dr. S.S.Bhagwat (Hon.Treasurer)

Mr. V.K.Tangri

Prof. V.C.Malshe

Mr. T.L.Prasad

Dr. Sanjay Mahajani

Mr. P.K.Kannan

Mr. K.S.Ravi

Mr. V.Y.Sane

Mr. P.K.Saxena

Mr. K.Sahasranaman (Ex-Officio)

Mr. V.K.Srivastava (Co-opted)

Mr. B.Narayan (Co-opted)

CFD – An Overview

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a tool for obtaining numerical solution to problems of Fluid Flow, Heat Transfer, Mass Transfer, Chemical Reaction and related phenomena. It is no coincidence that CFD and Numerical Analysis were born at around the same time. CFD means different things to different professionals. While mathematicians regard it as a numerical method for solution of non-linear partial differential equations, for mechanical engineers it represents numerical solution of Navier-Stokes equations. Aerospace engineers look to CFD for numerical solution of conservation laws, while to chemical engineers, it is a numerical method to solve transport equations. Whatever be the application, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of Fluid Mechanics for the successful implementation of CFD.

CFD has been successfully applied for the following:

Efficient Combustion

Heat Transfer Studies

Underground Water Management

Plume Studies in rivers, chimneys

Air and Water Pollution Control

Ventilation Studies

Estimation of forces on fluid machinery

Design of Gas Turbines

Application of CFD to a problem involves the following three stages:

  1. Develop mathematical model (partial differential equations) describing the motion of flow.
  2. Produce the numerical equivalent of mathematical models, which can be solved on a computer. This involves finite difference approximations, which should produce an accurate, stable and efficient method for solving the problem.
  3. Solve the resulting set of ordinary differential equations or algebraic equations.

Typically a CFD problem involves complex geometry. The solution consists of mapping this complex geometry into a grid pattern. Two kinds of grid solutions are possible – structured grid and unstructured grid. In structured grid solution, the domain is divided into a collection of rectangular boxes. Thus a 2D domain is transformed into a rectangle and a 3D domain is converted into a box. In an unstructured grid solution, the given domain is filed with simple shapes such as triangles, so that it is fully mapped. The grid selection has an important bearing on the cost and time for the solution and also its accuracy.

Website of the Month

This month’s website is an on-line resource centre for CFD related news and information. Starting off as a hobby in 1994, the site is maintained by Jonas Lasson and contains information on Internet Resources, Books, Projects, Events, Announcements, Discussion Forums and Job Opportunities – all pertaining to CFD. The forums feature general discussions on CFD as well as on specific commercial software packages. The Projects Database is an interesting section and includes Chemical Reactor Design, Wastewater Filtration, Air Flow Optimisation, Turbomachinery Design Analysis etc.

Send your feedback on this and the Newsletter in general to Of course do keep visiting for the MRC news and for the news from the IIChE Headquarters.

Forthcoming Programmes

Dec 19th to 22nd CHEMCON at Bhubaneshwar

Jan 29th 2004

Dr.R.B.Roy Choudhary Memorial Lecture (Speaker, Venue under finalisation)

Keep watching our website for further announcements.