Researchers worked for start-up with several patents

Researchers worked for start-up with several patents

Bomb squad inspect the spot of the powerful explosion that rocked the hypersonic laboratory at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, killing one and injuring three others. (DH Photo by Janardhan B K)

Super-Wave Technology Private Limited (SWTPL), a start-up founded by two IISc professors, has become the centre of attraction following the hydrogen cylinder blast at the premier institute's Laboratory for Hypersonic and Shock Wave Research on Wednesday. 

Founded by Profs KPJ Reddy and G Jagadeesh, the SWTPL carries out research in shock waves and their applications in various fields, especially in hydrocarbon and aerospace research. It has several patents to its credit. 

The startup has shrunk the Hypersonic Shock Tunnel (or HST) to such a small size that it can be accommodated on a table top. This has given aerospace engineering and hydrocarbon research students easy access to study engines that power aircraft to five times the speed of sound and also study its effects. 

Research carried out by Reddy and Jagadeesh in the area of shock waves for the past two decades has resulted in many inventions with high commercial and educational value. 

Some of their inventions have evolved into products like the needle-less drug delivery system, shock wave-assisted bamboo treatment plant, hand operated shock tube for university education (Reddy tube), Reddy tube-driven table top hypersonic shock tunnel and artificial insemination gun for animals (SuperBull). 

On February 18, 2015, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) signed a pact with the SWTPL for the development of an alternative to hydraulic fracturing or fracking technology that is used to produce shale oil and gas. The MoU was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, ONGC Chairman and Managing Director D K Sarraf and IISc Director Prof Anurag Kumar. 

According to energy experts, hydraulic fracturing has been successfully employed in the US and has led to surplus shale oil and gas production in the past few years. But hydraulic fracturing involves consumption of lots of water and produces chemical water. 

The shock wave technology is one of the most efficient energy dissipation phenomena where the sudden release of a massive amount of energy in a minuscule space triggers the formation of these waves and help in drilling.