Ecological Innovations by SUSU Students to Be Supported by the Governor’s Grants

SUSU students presented a unique technology, which will help free the air of Chelyabinsk off bad odours and hazardous contaminants. Students of the Faculty of Chemistry of South Ural State University have invented a technology which has no analogues across Russia. It allows to completely clean water off such hazardous compound as phenol.

This substance is generated in metallurgy production and remains in the process water. The currently available methods of treatment do not allow for a 100% removal of this compound from water. Though this water is not discharged into nature and is re-used in production, the remains of the hazardous phenol actively evaporate into the atmosphere. This is the odour that the citizens of Chelyabinsk smell outdoors. The unique technology was presented by the chemists to the Chairman of State Duma Committee for Ecology and Environment Protection Vladimir Burmatov.

“This catalyst agent cleans industrial water off pollutants which the nature can’t “digest” on its own. When interacting with titanium-oxide containing catalyst, phenol decomposes. In the future, we’re planning to improve this technology, so that it could target not just one compound, but all those contained in the water used for industrial needs,” comments one of the innovation’s authors, SUSU postgraduate student Valeriya Polozova.

Vladimir Burmatov notes not only big ecological importance of this innovation, but also low cost of this method’s implementation.

“This technology is already in demand by Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, but strangely, other metallurgy manufacturers have still not turned their attention to it. Phenol is hazardous for health and ecology, and is a source of bad odours spreading over the city. This is a problem the industrial enterprises should be addressing. For big-scale productions the expenses for such treatment systems are very small, but every citizen of Chelyabinsk will see its effect,” notes member of State Duma Vladimir Burmatov.

Photo: Chairman of State Duma Committee for Ecology and Environment Protection Vladimir Burmatov

Also, the member of the parliament made a decision to support this project with a grant of the Student Initiative contest, which will be held in the region with the assistance of the Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region Boris Dubrovsky for the second year in a row. The winners of this contest are awarded grants for fulfilment and development of their projects.

Besides the chemistry students, representatives of other faculties demonstrated their projects. An ecological festival, a project on improvement of the university’s indoor space, a media school, development of a mobile application for students, and many other initiatives were approved for participation in the contest to compete for the Governor’s grants.

Let us recall that in 2017 the regional contest of youth projects Student Initiative was first held at the initiative of the member of State Duma Vladimir Burmatov and with support from the Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region Boris Dubrovsky. Students from 17 municipalities of South Ural competed for grants. More than 163,000 people participated in the contest, and 335 students of universities and other vocational organisations from among them presented their innovations. As a result of the in-person defending of the projects, the expert jury revealed 77 winners, whose initiatives were granted financial support. The grant amount equalled up to 50,000 roubles.

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