Institute of Catalysis
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Institute of Catalysis
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Acad. G. Bonchev St., Bldg. 11,
Sofia 1113, Bulgaria

Tel: +359 2 9793563;
fax: +359 2 9712967;
e-mail: About > Main activities

Main activities  

Pioneering investigations started in 1996 in IC on the process of water gas shift in the presence of nano-sized gold catalysts, deposited on various metal oxide supports. Now the attention is focused on the most promising methods for purification of hydrogen by decreasing the content of carbon monoxide down to levels below 10 ppm in a medium rich in hydrogen. A number of joint research work projects are devoted to this problem: COST D15/0016/00 and COST D36/003/06, NATO Collaborative Linkage Grants EST. CLG.976641 (2001-2002), EST-CLG 979797 (2002-2004), as well as NATO CBP EAP CLG 982799 (20072009), projects with the National Science Fund NSF (X-1216, X-1320, X-1502, U X-1603, TK X-1709). Effective collaboration is being developed with universities and research institutions in Italy, Poland, Belgium, Romania, Latvia and Greece.

A permanent tendency in the scientific research activities of IC is the preparation and characterization of new nano-materials, applicable to catalytic processes for removal of toxic volatile organic compounds in industrial emissions, as well as hydrodesulphurization and hydrodenitrogenation of oil fractions for the production of ecologically clean fuels. The studies in this direction are of primary importance in collaboration with our partners from Italy, France, Spain, England, Belgium, Poland and Romania mainly through bilateral collaboration projects. Several such projects are sponsored by the NSF or the projects represent a part of a wider multilateral; collaboration such as the NATO EST.CLG. 979797 and EC COST D36/003/06 projects.

Nano-sized particles of oxides of transition metals have been synthesized by a modified mechanical-chemical method, developed in IC. The obtained materials are catalytically active in reactions of decomposition of methanol and oxidation of carbon monoxide. In this field we have joint research work projects with universities and institutes in France, Spain, Slovakia and Serbia, as well as projects with the National Science Fund NSF (the contracts NSF -403, -1321, -1504).

Nano-sized materials have been synthesized such as hydrotalcite-like systems, used for various processes aimed at environmental protection or applied to the oil chemistry (hydrogenation of carbon dioxide, oxidation of carbon monoxide, selective catalytic reduction of nitrogen oxides, oxidative dehydrogenation of ethane and propane) and modified nickel hydrosilicate systems, applied to the process of hydrogenation for manufacturing nutritious fats from vegetable oils. IC fulfils joint research work projects together with the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Romanian Academy (Bucharest), the Institute for Studies on Catalysis and Environmental Protection in Lyon, France, the Institute of Catalysis and Chemistry of the Surface of the Polish Academy (Krakow), Institute of Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy of the Serbian Academy (Belgrade), the Institute for Petrochemical Syntheses of the Russian Academy (Moscow). IC receives some financial support by the Ministry of Education and Science, the National Fund „Scientific Research" (-1217, -1411, RILA-EGIDE 2/8 and 3/11). Joint research work supervision is accomplished on the activities of several PhD students, studying these topics.

Nano-sized multifunctional catalysts have been synthesized on the basis of heteropoly compounds having Keggin’s or Andersen’s structure, which are suitable for purification of gases from dangerous toxic components, for production of ecologically clean motor fuels. This investigation is carried out within the framework of collaboration between scientific research institutions in Bulgaria, Italy, Czechia, Russia, Slovakia and Serbia.

New nano-structured photocatalysts are elaborated, which utilize the solar energy or artificial illumination and which can be applied to decomposition of organic and inorganic pollutants in water and air. The collaboration on these topics is achieved in partnership with Germany, Greece, England and Russia, within the framework of the following projects: NATO Program „Science for Peace" Contracts SfP 977986 (2002-2006), SfP 982835 (2007-2010), NATO Collaborative Linkage Grants, as well as in partnership based on contracts with the National Fund „Scientific Research" (NFSR -549, VU -1105), joint project between IC and company „Plastcom" sponsored by he Program for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises of the Ministry of Economy and Energetics. Lasting professional contacts have been established with the AtaroClima Company, Plovdiv.

Quantum-chemical methods have been applied for seeking catalytic materials for new chemical processes having ecological importance (hydrotreatment, photocatalytic decomposition of organic pollutants). This work is carried out in collaboration with colleagues from Switzerland, the Canadian Research Fund, the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France and projects with the Ministry of Education and Science - NSF. A method has been elaborated based on the Density Functional Theory (DFT) for investigation of catalytic models and solid surfaces including intercalation systems and the hydrodesulfurization of thiols on molybdenum sulfide has been studied.

Nano-structured catalysts are in the process of development, modified with small amounts of noble metal, obtaining in this way bimetallic systems for the production of hydrogen from biomass, for obtaining hydrogen by reforming of methane with carbon dioxide, for manufactuing clean motor fuels by the reaction of Fischer-Tropsch. These investigations are carried out with the sponsorship of NSF of the projects -1515/05, BG-7, 2-11-01/2006 and --1709, with the Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry in Madrid (Spain), with the Institute of Catalysis and Chemistry of the Surface in Krakow (Poland), with the University of Torino (Italy), the University of Namur (Belgium), the Near-East Technological University in Ankara (Turkey), the Institute of Organic Chemistry in Moscow (Russia), the Program COST D36/003/06.

Mechanical-chemical activation of Ni(Co)-Mo catalysts deposited on alumina promotes their activity in the process of hydrodesulfurization. Supports based on alumina, modified with calcium oxide and chromium oxide, possess about five times higher mechanical strength, than those on the non-modified alumina. Molybdenum and nickel-molybdenum catalysts on modified alumina have higher activity in reactions of hydrodesulfurization and hydrogenation and a lower degree of deactivation by coking. These catalysts show higher activity and stability than that of similar commercially available products used in industrial installations.

Intensive work is going on contemporary oxidation processes using ozone for the purposes of ecology, the chemical industry, medicine, pharmaceutical industry and others. For this purpose a number of ozonating devices have been worked out having different capacity. These investigations are the result of joint research work projects sponsored by NATO (NATO SfP 982835) and bilateral cooperation with Russian scientists.

The methods of EPR and ENDOR spectroscopy are being developed and widely applied in catalysis, dosimetry, determination of the structure of complexes in solution. The interaction of heavy particles with solids has been registered by EPR and UV-spectroscopies. There is collaboration with the International Agency for Atomic Energy going on involving the participation of colleagues from Germany, Belgium and Russia.

New plasma-chemical methods are being elaborated for preparation of nano-sized metal, oxide, carbide, nitride compounds and mixtures of them in the form of powders for the needs of various branches of the industry, production of adsorbents and catalysts. Collaboration with colleagues from Latvia is ponsored by the NSF.


10 April 2016
Countries work together to find solutions for Critical Raw Materials Under Extreme Conditions (CRM-EXTREME)

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