Published: 27th May 2021
At 86, Prof CNR Rao wins Int’l Eni Award 2020, equivalent to Nobel in Energy Research
President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, will attend the official ceremony where the award will be presented. The award aims to promote better use of energy sources and encourage research
Such is the work of chemist Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao, simply known as CNR Rao, that he has won every possible award/honour in his field — Marlow Medal, India Science Award, Dan David Prize and several others. And now, he has added another feather to his cap by receiving the International Eni Award 2020. To put it into context, this honour is considered to be equivalent to the Nobel Prize in Energy Research.
Also called the Energy Frontier award, the 86-year-old will receive this honour, which includes a cash prize and a specially minted gold medal, during an official ceremony at Quirinal Palace, Rome on October 14 2021. It's for his research on renewable energy sources and energy storage that he will receive this internationally-recognised award associated with the fields of energy and environmental research.
What also helped the Bengaluru-born professor win this honour was his work on metal oxides, carbon nanotubes and other materials and two-dimensional systems, including graphene, boron-nitrogen-carbon hybrid materials and molybdenum sulfide for energy applications and green hydrogen production. In fact, the latter can be achieved through various processes, including the photodissociation of water, thermal dissociation and electrolysis activated by electricity produced from solar or wind energy. Professor Rao has worked in all three areas and developed some highly innovative materials.
Prof Rao is the Honorary President and the Linus Pauling Research Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) in Bengaluru. In the year 2014, he won the highest civilian award in India, Bharat Ratna