Vivek Polshettiwar –
Catalyst for change

Purnima Parkhi and Vivek Polshettiwar episode 21 of Podcast

Episode 21 of the Modern Chemistry podcast features Professor Vivek Polshettiwar, interviewed by Purnima Parkhi.

Professor Polshettiwar is based at the Prestigious Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). Prof Polshettiwar was educated at a number of institutions across India, before he moved to France, the United States, and Saudi Arabia. In 2013 he joined the TIFR.

You can also listen to this podcast by clicking on this link:

Our theme music is “Wholesome” by Kevin MacLeod
Music from Film Music
License: CC BY
Connect with Purnima on LinkedIn.

Prof Vivek is a Leading researcher in nanotechnology. He runs a nano-catalysis Laboratory in TIFR, integrated into the Division of Chemical Sciences (DCS). He uses principles of nanochemistry to make new materials which have widespread applications.

Prof Vivek has published many papers in international journals. His NANOCAT group works on CO2 capture and conversion to tackle climate change through the development of novel nanomaterials for catalysis and solar energy harvesting

Prof. Vivek is a Fellow of the royal society of chemistry, UK. He has been rewarded an “Asian Rising Stars” at 15th Asian Chemical Congress (ACC), Singapore, by Nobel Laureate Professor Ei-ichi Negish . He has been recently awarded the 2022 IUPAC-CHEMRAWN VII Prize for Green Chemistry in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of green chemistry.

Terms used during interview

If you’re not familiar with some of the terms used in this discussion – some key ones are described here for your reference:

  • Artificial photosynthesis – A human-designed process that creates energy from Co2, water and sunlight, mimicking the same process which occurs naturally in plants.
  • Catalysis – Increasing the rate of a chemical reaction by adding a catalyst.
  • CO2 – Carbon Dioxide, one of the major greenhouse gases, and one of the molecules used by plants to create energy from photosynthesis.
  • Nano chemistry – Chemical process that rely on one or more component in a particle between 1 to 100 nm in diameter.
  • Solar photons – Particles of light emitted from the Sun.
  • Green Hydrogen – Hydrogen (H2) gener by renewable energy sources, or using low-carbon power.
  • Electrochemical water splitting – Splitting water molecules into component Hydrogen (H2) and Oxygen (O2) molecules by passing an electric current through the water.
  • Silica support – A (largely) non-reactive physical support medium for less robust chemically active compounds.
  • Urea – A chemical compound with the formula CO(NH2)2. Although useful in a wide range of industrial processes, 90% of global urea production goes into fertilizers.

Both Vivek and Purnima can be found on LinkedIn.