Research and development works in the Inorganic Technology and Ceramics Department are carried out by three research teams:
Advanced Ceramics Team deals with wide aspects of shaping of ceramic materials both monolitic and composites (ceramic-ceramic, ceramic-polymer and ceramic-metal composites). Our research is focused on dense constructional and functional ceramics, porous ceramics designed for filtration, bioceramics used in medicine and dentistry, shear thickening fluids, ceramic microreactors and archeometry.
In our work we use shaping methods based on pressing as well as methods based on colloidal chemistry such as slip casting, gel casting, direct coagulation casting (DCC) and tape casting
Modern shaping methods require application of various organic and inorganic processing additives. These additives are intended to improve the shaping method itself or even are a decisive factor in the successfully application of shaping method. Frequently they also cause a great reduction in production costs of ceramic materials. Therefore, our study are focused on searching, designing and obtaining new and better processing additives that may enhanced the shaping process. So we can say that in our research we combine elements of inorganic and colloidal chemistry, organic synthesis and polymer technology.
In recognizing the need to care for our environment, the designed new organic processing additives meet the criteria for so-called green chemistry. In other words, they have to be friendly for us and for our environment at all stages of the production of ceramics. For this reason, we do extensive research on the synthesis and application of saccharides and their derivatives in fabrication of high-tech ceramic materials.
In recent years the Advanced Ceramics Team has also cooperated with many foreign centers such as the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Japan, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) in Switzerland, Institute of Glass and Ceramics in Spain and the Institute for Problem of Materials Science in Ukraine
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Research and development on catalysts for many important large-scale processes of inorganic chemical industry are carried out in the Technical Catalysis Team. Work on these catalysts has above all an application aspect, i.e. research is carried out to improve the catalysts currently used in the industry or to work out a new kind of catalytic systems, which are more active than the commercially used catalyst. The second most important goal is the scientific aspect, that is knowledge about the nature of catalyst operation obtained through the extensive characterization of the prepared catalytic materials (applied techniques: TEM, SEM, XRPD, XPS, impulse chemisorption, static chemisorption, physisorption of N2, TG-MS, TPR, TPD and many others). Gaining additional information regarding the way the prepared catalysts function, lets us improve these catalytic systems, i.e. obtain catalysts with higher activity in the given reaction.
We are interested in catalysts for important industrial processes, such as:
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Plasma processes represent a new interdisciplinary field of research in our Department. These processes are traditionally used for the synthesis of ozone and are more commonly used in manufacturing non-conventional coatings (microelectronics, optics, packing for the food industry, hardening of working surfaces of cutting tools) and in processing of methane to C2 hydrocarbons.
We are also investigating plasma-catalytic processing of particularly stable substances, environmentally hazardous substances and toxic materials in industrial waste. We collaborated with the Institute of Chemical Engineering, Polish Academy of Science in Gliwice in project ordered for the abatement process engineering and disposal of harmful gases and emissions, with the Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion, and the Faculty of Environmental Engineering of the Warsaw University of Technology.
We are also cooperating with Technische Universität Braunschweig in the European program Era Chemistry. This program concerns studies on the chemical activation of carbon dioxide and methane. In cooperation with the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) the following research is currently conducted: Control of volatile organic compounds by low temperature plasma with catalyst.
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