International research award for top scientist C.N.R. Rao

C.N.R. Rao, a renowned scientist, has been awarded the prestigious Eni International Prize for energy research, the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) said Thursday.

“For his work on renewable energy and energy storage, Rao has been awarded the renowned ‘Energy Frontiers’ prize,” the institution said in a statement.

At the age of 86, Rao founded and led the JNCASR.

“Energy for humankind Rao has been studying hydrogen gas. His scientific interests included hydrogen storage, photochemical and electrochemical hydrogen generation, photovoltaic and solar hydrogen generation, and nonmetallic catalysis.

The Eni 2020 Award, generally considered as the Nobel Prize of energy research, will be handed to Rao on October 14 in Rome’s Quirinal Palace by Italian President Sergio Mattarella. The award comprises a monetary reward and a gold medal that has been struck.

The statement states that the award “honors Rao’s work on metal oxides, carbon nanotubes, and two-dimensional systems such as graphene, boron-nitrogen-carbon hybrid materials, and molybdenum sulfide for energy applications and green hydrogen production.”

Rao worked in all three of these fields, producing novel materials with advantageous features for hydrogen storage systems and supercapacitors with higher specific power and charge-discharge cycles.

“With this prize, we want to enhance energy efficiency and inspire future generations of researchers. “It underlines Eni’s commitment to scientific research and innovation,” the company stated in a statement.

Rao is a Bharat Ratna recipient, India’s highest civilian honor.

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Written by Ankur J Kakoti


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