Adinath Lahiri obtained his PhD (1941) from University of London, UK specializing in geochemistry and fuel technology. He served as Scientific Officer and Head, Fuel and Oil Research Section, Royal Aircraft establishment, Farnborough, UK; Assistant Director (Planning), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research to plan the Central Fuel Research Institute (CFRI) (1945-53) and Deputy Director and Director (1953-74), CFRI, Dhanbad.
Academic and Research Achievements: Lahiri did valuable work in the preparation of coal for charging into coke ovens and blending coals of different potentials for maximum conservation of prime-cooking coal. He developed the beehive coke over; contributed to the isolation and recovery of useful chemicals from the byproducts, coal-tar and gases both from high Coal. Lahiri (with his coworkers) developed the process for production of useful products like resins, pthalic anhydride, anthraquinone, maleic anhydride, xylenes, cyanopyridines, nicotinic acid, isonicotinic acid, benzoic acid, benzonitrile, cresols, napthol, resorcinol etc. Active carbon and ion exchangers for detemination of water-based coal were developed. Some of these processes have found industrial applications in the country. He guided the development of technologies for the conversion of coal to gas and liquid fuels; conducted research in petrography, mechanism of oxidation, solvent extraction, surface chemistry of coal, catalysts and adsorbents. He had to his credit more than 90 patents.
Other Contributions: Lahiri’s major contribution had been the building up of the Central Fuel Research Institute, Dhanbad into a premier fuel research center. He also formulated plans for establishing a Central Mining Research Station to deal with the mining problem of coal and other minerals. He was the Director, National Coal Development Corporation. Lahiri was the Member, INSA Council (1968-70).
Awards and Honours: Lahiri was the recipient of Padma Shri (1960) and Padma Bhushan (1969). He was a Fellow, Institution of Engineers, Institute of Fuels (London), and several other professional Bodies.