Centre for Applied Research & Development (CARD) is the in-house R&D Centre of NLC India Limited and has been recognized by the Department of Science & Technology since 1975.

The testing and R&D facilities were upgraded under a project (LERI) sponsored by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Vienna during 1995 - 2000. The main objective was to strengthen CARD to improve its capability to provide analytical, environmental monitoring, R&D, technology and services to industry and the Government. Under this project, services of national and international experts were utilized for lignite utilization and opencast mines, power stations related problems and acquired sophisticated equipments, training and established combustion and gasification testing facilities.

The major functions of CARD are carrying out Science & Technology Projects (Ministry of Coal), In-house S&T Plan Projects, Pollution level measurements, Quality control Testing & Consultancy services, Pilot Plant studies based on R&D and commercialization of technology developed, Coordination of S&T projects taken by other NLC Units, Institutional services for students, Special studies for operation & new schemes etc.



CARD has a well-established analytical facility and is rendering analytical services towards quality control of various products/materials used in mines, power stations and other service units as well as outside agencies. The analytical testing facility includes lignite analytical, microbiology, material testing, environmental section, soil mechanical section, metal testing, paint testing, general analytical, petrography etc.

The sophisticated instruments available include Scanning Electron Microscope with EDS, ED-X-RAY Fluorescence Spectrometer, Elemental Analyzer, TGA/DTA, Heating Microscope, Inductively coupled Plasma spectrometer, Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, High Pressure Liquid Ion Chromatograph, Nitrogen Analyzer, Fluorescence Microscope, Petrography microscope, Metallurgical Microscope, Surface area analyzer, Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System, Power quality analyzer etc. CARD facilities are available for internal use and utilized by other agencies like SAIL, BHEL, MECL, GSI, STCMS etc.


Scanning Electron Microscope Real time Air Quality Monitoring System
CARD has implemented Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) an application tool for all day-to-day sample related works.



CARD is carrying out various R&D works on lignite utilization, diversification, product development, by-product utilization, solid waste management, wasteland reclamation, corrosion evaluation and prevention etc. For implementing these projects, CARD is associating with outside agencies like, IIT-Delhi, IITM-Chennai, IIT-Kharagpur, CIMFR-Dhanbad, TNAU-Coimbatore, BHEL-Trichy, Anna University-Chennai, Madras University-Chennai, Annamalai University-Chidambaram, NIIST-Thiruvananthapuram, VIT-Vellore, NIT-Trichy, CECRI-Karaikudi, VCRC-Pudhucherry, IRERC, Kollam, etc. Based on the R&D works, some of the processes have been scaled up to pilot plant scale. The projects include Ministry of Coal funded R&D projects as well as in-House S&T funded projects. CARD has completed seventeen projects funded by Ministry of Coal and seventeen projects under in-house R&D. There are two on-going Ministry of Coal funded projects and nine on-going projects under in-house R&D and a study on upgradation of brown coal in association with M/s Kobe Steel Ltd., Japan with a funding from NEDO, Govt. of Japan.

CARD/NLC has conducted extensive studies on mine spoil reclamation, integrated farming system, slope stabilization, ash pond reclamation, utilization of Fly ash, bottom ash and bottom slag etc.

Corrosion studies have been conducted in SME structures of Mines to develop suitable coating material. Corrosion studies are also being conducted in SWC pumps to prevent erosion-corrosion due to adverse conditions in mining environment.

Spreader 148 coated with poly siloxane Slope stabilized with plantation at Mine-II Integrated Farming System


CARD has patented a process for the production of potassium humate from lignite. Potassium humate helps to build up organic matter status in soil and is a plant growth stimulant. By commercialization of this product, lignite will have a diversified utility in producing a value added product and thereby promoting agricultural growth in the country.

CARD successfully completed a joint R&D project with National Institute of Interdisciplinary Science & Technology (NIIST), Thiruvananthapuram, for development of a process for the production of activated carbon from Neyveli lignite. This is a novel method for the production of activated carbon from lignite . Zeolite has been synthesized from Neyveli lignite fly ash under the consultancy project given to IIT/Kharagpur for the reduction of calcium in blow down water of Thermal Power Stations. Feasibility studies on using zeolite are proposed on pilot scale water treatment plant at CARD.



Potassium Humate: A pilot plant of capacity 7.20 Lakh litres per annum has been developed successfully. Humic acid is extracted from lignite. Potassium humate is used for agricultural application and for land reclamation. Obtained Golden Pea-Cock Eco-Innovation Award during the year 2008 by World Environment Foundation. Biofertilizer: Biofertilizers like Rhizobium, Azospirillum, Azotobacter & Phosphobacteria are produced using lignite as a carrier material. The products are mainly used in mine spoil/ash pond reclamation and green cover development in Afforestation. Activated Carbon Pilot Plant: A pilot plant was erected for development of a process for production of activated carbon from lignite. The product was tested its quality and further studies are in progress for improvement. Zeolite from fly ash: A Bench scale plant has been established for production of zeolite from fly ash.


Humic Acid Plant Zeolite Bench scale plant


 NLC India Limited