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Home  »  Subarna Sukanya Padhy

Subarna Sukanya Padhy

Academic Background

   I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Science with a major in Chemistry from Khalikote University, Berhampur (Odisha). Subsequently, I pursued my Master’s degree at Pondicherry University, Puducherry, specializing in Chemistry. During the first year of my M.Sc, I had an opportunity to participate in a summer internship at IISER Kolkata, where I acquired fundamental laboratory techniques. For my master’s project, conducted at Pondicherry University under the guidance of Dr. M. Bakthadoss, I primarily focused on Baylis-Hilman reactions. Following the completion of my Master’s degree, I joined Dr. Ekambaram Balaraman’s Research group as a project assistant in 2021, contributing to the project “Non-innocent ligands for catalysis with earth-abundant metals.” With a year of valuable experience, I commenced my doctoral research at IISER-Tirupati in August 2022, under the continued guidance of Dr. E. Balaraman. My current research endeavors revolve around developing Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHCs) utilizing biomass feedstock and Non-precious metal catalysts for sustainable and affordable chemical synthesis as the primary focus.

Research Interest

  The demand for cleaner and more efficient energy alternatives has surged amid the rapid decline of fossil fuels. Hydrogen, heralded as a potential fuel for future generations, has captured the immense attention of researchers. However, its storage and transportation challenges persist, hindering its practical utilization as a widespread energy source. Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) systems have recently emerged, offering a solution by storing hydrogen within minute organic molecules, specifically liquid organics. Contributing to the hydrogen economy requires abundant renewable feedstocks as LOHCs and establishing cost-effective catalytic frameworks. Following this goal, my research aims to forge LOHC systems, utilizing transition metal-based earth-abundant homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts. My primary focus lies in engineering LOHC setups rooted in alcohols and dimethyl carbonate substrates, harnessing the potential of these compounds as hydrogen carriers.

Advisor Information

   Dr. Ekambaram Balaraman, a chemist studying transition-metal catalysis and an enthusiastic chemistry teacher, has received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Hyderabad and Postdoctoral research from Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. He has worked as a senior scientist (July 2013 – Dec 2018) at CSIR-NCL, Pune. He has been selected as a part of the DST Coffee Table Book entitled ‘75 Scientists under 50 – Scientists shaping today’s India’ by DST, Govt. of India. Dr. Balaraman is a recipient of the Swarna Jayanti Fellowship (2020), Humboldt Research Fellowship (AvH) under experienced researchers’ category, CRSI-Bronze Medal (2020), MRSI Medal (2021), Thieme Journal Award (2020), The Asian and Oceanian Photochemistry Association (APA) for the Young Scientist (2019), AV Rama Rao (AVRA) Young Scientist Award (2018). He is an elected member of The National Academy of Sciences, India (2020), Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), Affiliate Member of International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), and Elected member of the Indian Nation Young Academy of Science (INYAS), INSA (2018-2022). He is in the editorial Advisory Board of Synlett (Thieme publisher) and Chemistry Open, (Wiley Publisher).

Dr Balaraman has significantly contributed to “sustainable and affordable chemical synthesis,” judiciously employing abundant feedstocks through catalysis. He has developed diverse C-C and C-N bond-forming reactions via dehydrogenation/borrowing hydrogenation strategy. His novel protocols use bioderived and renewable alcohols as a starting material and eliminate water and/or hydrogen gas as by-products, representing highly atom-efficient and sustainable reactions. Furthermore, diverse simple to complex organic molecules was achieved from alcohols using a novel chemical bond activation process, metal-ligand cooperation (MLC). In this concept, the ligand activates the substrate in cooperation with the metal centre by undergoing reversible structural changes in the catalytic pathway. It facilitates product formation with minimal energy input, operating under benign conditions. He has contributed to the catalyst development of a process to copolymerize propylene oxide with carbon dioxide to prepare poly(propylene carbonate) and define new electron donors for heterogeneous Ziegler catalysts used to manufacture isotactic polypropylene.

Group Website: https://sites.google.com/view/balaramansresearchgroup/dr-e-balaraman

Courses taken

Four courses (16 credits) and one audit course were taken in the first year of the Ph.D. program with an A+ grade in all the courses.

  1. CHM711: Molecular Symmetry and Spectroscopy
  2. CHM714: Transition Metal Chemistry
  3. CHM622: Organic Synthesis I
  4. CHM623: Organometallic Chemistry
  5. CHM741: Inorganic Spectroscopy

Internal Teaching Assistantships

  1. CHM 221-Organic Chemistry (BSMS 2021 batch, 4th Semester, Spring 2022)
  2. CHM 122-Chemistry Lab I (BSMS 2022 batch, 2nd Semester, Spring 2022)

External Teaching Assistantships:

  1. Instrumental Methods & Applications (Unit 5) (at Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering (SVCE) from Nov 2023 – present).


  1. UGC-NET JRF in Chemistry, AIR 62
  2. Qualified GATE 2023 in Chemical Sciences, AIR 167
  3. Secured 3rd Rank, M.Sc Chemistry


  1. Reshma Babu, Subarna S Padhy, Ganesan Sivakumar, and Ekambaram Balaraman* Expedient Tandem Dehydrogenative Alkylation and Cyclization Reactions Under Mn(I)-Catalysis. Catal. Sci. Technol., 2023, 13, 2763-2771.


  1. Reshma Babu, Subarna Sukanya Padhy, Rohit Kumar, and Ekambaram Balaraman*, Catalytic amination of alcohols using diazo compounds under Mn-catalysis through hydrogenative N-alkylation reaction. Chem. Euro. J., 2023, Accepted (https://doi.org/10.1002/chem.202302007).