History And Milestones


  • NCL emphasizes a balanced growth of both basic sciences and engineering with excellence as the guiding spirit. The leadership of NCL encourages pursuit of the highest quality science and development of globally competitive technologies.
research group
  • NCL establishes the first ever catalysis research group devoted to petrochemicals and chemicals. Catalysis, a class of advanced materials, is critical to the chemical industry. NCL, for the first time establishes the triangular link between catalyst development, catalyst manufacturing and catalyst users.
  • IPCL, commercializes a molecular sieve based shape selective catalyst for xylene isomerization at Baroda. This catalyst was at that time a monopoly of one company, namely, Mobil Corporation, USA. This establishes NCL as a foremost center for catalysis research in this part of the world. NCL/CSIR and IPCL jointly fight off an IP challenge by Mobil.
baroda 1     
baroda 2
  • NCL develops a unique process for direct alkylation of benzene with ethanol to produce ethyl benzene, a precursor to styrene. This process is commercialized at Hindustan Polymers at Vishakapatnam.
  • NCL pioneers the Tissue Culture Processes. NCL establishes a group under the leadership of Dr. Jagannathan, a distinguished biochemist who spearheads the effort. The first protocols for in vitro culture of plants were established at NCL. Several micropropagation technologies are developed and transferred to industry, namely, cardamom, eucalyptus, bamboo, teak, salvadora, sugarcane, banana, turmeric and ginger, NCL gives birth to a new industry. Tissue culture industry grows and matures by late 1990's.
tissue culture     
tissue culture 1     
tissue culture 2
  • tussue culture 3 NCL establishes an integrated group, largest in India for polymer science and engineering. NCL wins laurels for its contributions to polymer melt rheology and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics. Fundamental advances in polymer reaction engineering creates new understanding on modeling and prediction of the behaviour of industrial reactors producing polyesters. The know-how is practiced in several industries in India.
  • NCL substantially expands its advanced analytical facilities. Equipment such as, SEM, XPS, XRD, Raman Spectrometer and Solid and Liquid State NMR become operational in a separate building called Sophisticated Instrumentation Laboratory (SIL).
analytical facility 1
analytical facility 2 
analytical facility 3
  • Two new laboratory buildings are created to house the Polymer Science and Engineering Group as well the Biochemical Sciences Division.
  • Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, FRS, Head, Chemical Engineering and Process Development Division assumes office as the sixth Director of NCL (1989-95).