Ramasubramania Iyer has an undergraduate in chemistry from the University of Mumbai India, a bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemical technology with a specialization in oils /fats, and lipid chemistry from https://www.ictmumbai.edu.in/. He worked in a research center supported by ICI (India), to prepare emulsifiers for safe, concentrated emulsion explosives for mining applications. His Ph.D. thesis was on “The role of the diffuse double layer in the disposal of fly ash slurries from coal-fired power stations” from https://www.chemeng.uq.edu.au/ Australia. This was followed by short excursions on algae growth, treatment of wastewater from shale rock pyrolysis, food flavors, and utilization of fly ash for value addition. Long-term research experience on sequestration of carbon dioxide for enhanced coal bed methane recovery placed him on a learning curve on greenhouse gases.
Lipids present in oilseeds (non-edible oilseeds to be more specific) and microalgae are sources for preparing biodiesel. Is basic research required on non-edible oilseeds and microalgae to make biodiesel preparation and use feasible? What is magical about olive oil in dietary intake? Biosynthesis of lipids in plants has been an abiding interest.
Purity issue of surfactants.
Surfactants are used for emulsion formulations, in interfacial catalysis and soft condensed matter. The evaluation of surfactants for performance is best done when surfactants are of the highest purity. Labeled surfactants are not of the highest purity. However, labeled surfactants are used on a large scale since they are less expensive. If evaluation and model studies are done on labelled surfactants, it would include impurities and compounds that do not represent what the label specifies. It would be interesting to know how practitioners go about using surfactants. Is there any difference in application areas’ properties when evaluation and model studies are done on surfactants of the highest purity, and application performed with labeled surfactants of the same structure.
Methane, carbon dioxide, water vapor. Three greenhouse gases. What is the combined effect of these three greenhouse gases on climate change? Here is the seminal paper of Svante Arrhenius https://www.rsc.org/images/Arrhenius1896_tcm18-173546.pdf “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground” to start an archival study.
Science communication by reading between the lines.
The immense amount of interdisciplinary scientific literature generated online could escape a researcher’s reading menu. Apart from the accessible preprints/ journal publications, articles by science communicators on web sites convey good science. For example, an article “Immunology Is Where Intuition Goes to Die, Which is too bad because we really need to understand how the immune system reacts to the coronavirus” by Ed Yong in https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/08/covid-19-immunity-is-the-pandemics-central-mystery/614956/ is well written. The title, several lines, and words in the article results in compelling reading. Posting of impactful publications and articles will be on twitter.
Critical thinking to the evolution of scientific text.
A study is being initiated to explore the possibility of interpreting Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction of a text to the evolution of scientific text in the last two decades, embedded with Michael Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu’s critical thinking philosophies.