The Indian government’s Department of Science and Technology has launched an initiative called INSPIRE Faculty Program, aimed at fostering the development of independent scientific profiles and supporting individuals’ long-term careers. Out of the many applicants to the highly competitive program, only 22 individuals were selected for Engineering Science, including Dr. Niwesh Ojha. Dr. Ojha
conducted his doctoral research at the Gas-Solid Interaction Lab at Indian Institute of Technology, Patna under the supervision of Dr. Sushant Kumar.
Inspired by photosynthesis, his research was focused on developing technology that could transform carbon dioxide (CO2) into useful chemicals in the presence of visible light. This technology provides a renewable approach to CO2 utilization, which is essential as human activities such as burning fossil fuels for energy production and transportation have led to a rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Moreover, they have also worked on transforming nitrogen (N2) into ammonia, which is a widely used chemical in the production of fertilizers, paper, and explosives.
This study provides a renewable pathway for harvesting solar energy and storing higher energy-density chemicals. Their research has been published in top journals, such as Applied Catalysis B, Environmental, Journal of Colloids and Interface Science, and Applied Surface Science. Additionally, their work was selected as a Hot Article by Catalysis Science and Technology, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Dr Ojha has also presented his research at major conferences, including Stanford University’s SLAC and Solar Fuel Technologies. As of now, Dr Ojha is working as a postdoctoral fellow at the NanoBioMedical Centre of Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland. His contributions towards the development of renewable technologies for CO2 utilization and ammonia production serve as a stepping stone for a sustainable future.