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Тhis all began in the early 1980s as the chemical and metallurgical industries of the Krasnoyarsk Territory had to enlist the services of research chemists in good earnest for the production of nonferrous, rare and noble metals. Besides, there were plans to build a major fuel-and-energy complex, for which purpose one had to start with the chemical processing of brown coal (lignite) of the Kansk-Achinsk basin, and with the laying of pipelines to bring natural gas and petroleum from the republic of Evenkia. In order to solve the set tasks, in 1981 a research center was set up in Krasnoyarsk, the Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology (Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences). More, from Yelena Voskresenskaya, the learned secretary of the Institute and Cand. Sc. (Chemistry).
The initiative to set up a new research institution in Siberia came from Academician Anatoly Nikolayev. On the practical side, we received a good deal of assistance from Academician Georgi Boreskov, director of the Catalysis Institute (RAS Siberian Branch), who took care of our equipment and in fact founded the department of carbo- chemistry at our Institute. In 1982 to 1989 it was Anatoly Kholkin, Corresponding Member of RAS, who headed our Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology; a man well known for his research in chemical and metallurgical processes. Today our head is Gennady Pashkov, likewise RAS Corresponding Member, whose research in the metallurgy of nonferrous, rare and noble metals is known in this country and abroad.
The mainstream lines of our work are these: first, methods of comprehensive use of mineral raws and ecologically safe techniques of oredressing and treatment (nonferrous, rare and noble metals) as well as methods of obtaining new materials. Second, the work to boost the efficiency of natural gas, petroleum and coal utilization. This likewise applies to chemical raw materials, both renewable and nontraditional, and biomass of plant origin in particular.
This area of research (nonferrous, rare and noble metals) involves twelve laboratories and is supervised by our director. It covers the entire range of R&D services for the min-ing-and-metallurgical complex-ore mining proper and extraction of such valuable associated components as bromine, iodine and strontium from saturated natural waters and brines. Specifically, our researchers are working to improve the conventional hydrometallurgical processes and develop innovative techniques. Chemistry of nonferrous, rare and noble metals; ways of utilization of technogenic and secondary raws, synthesis of materials-that's what we are concerned with. Speaking of our synthetic materials, mention should be made of high-dispersion powders of platinum metals, their bioactive compounds, structural and ceramic materials, colloidal solutions of ultradispersive diamond (we have obtained experimental proof that such solutions contain non-aggregated particles less than 10 nm in size). That's not all. We were the world's first to get a two-dimensional colloidal crystal of diamond that has a close packing with hexagonal symmetry. Such structures can be used in the manufacture of diamond films.
Our Institute is part of a larger research center, the Krasnoyarsk Science Center.* It won kudos thanks to one of our research projects registered as a discovery. This is
* See: S. Pshirkov, "Science Center in Krasnoyarsk", Science in Russia, No. 2, 1999. - Ed.
the conceptualized model of software support for strip-mining works. Taking part in this research venture were our colleagues from the Moscow Mining Institute. This model, when realized, will be of much help to mining engineers in their decision making.
So much for the first major area of our research. The other one, supervised by Dr. B. Kuznetsov, involves six laboratories concerned with the ecologically balanced technologies of high-degree processing of Kansk-Achinsk brown coal (lignites). Wood processing is another important sideline of their work, in particular, the processing of low-grade wood into substances useful for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. Waste utilization in wood-and-paper industries; recovery of carbon sorbents and fuel gas from charcoal; natural gas processing to obtain ethylene, propylene and dopes to motor fuels; disposal of radioactive wastes and toxic substances - all that is tackled by our Institute.
Here our scientists may claim priority in many fields. The list of their "firsts" is impressive indeed. For one, integrated processing of conifer bark into useful organic products. Or physicochemical studies of lignite biotransformation under aerobic conditions, and of implicated chemical and structural transformations. And so on.
Practical assimilation of our research findings is an important part of our activity on the eve of our twentieth birth anniversary. We have developed a batch of instruments, devices and techniques customized for use. Featuring in this list are catalysts and sorbents; acoustic shock technology for the preparation and concentration of placer sand; processing of low-grade nepheline ores; processing lignite into liquid fuels and useful organic products; utilization of technogenic and secondary raws with the extraction of nonferrous, rare and noble metals; waste-free processing of larch bark into tanning agents and sorbents. This list could be continued on and on.
Nauka v Sibiri (Science in Siberia), 2001
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