Information Page of SAS Organisation

Institute of Geotechnics

International projects

BISILMAG - Bifunctional Silica and Magnetite Spherical Particles with Tailored Porosity and Surface Chemistry for Complex Water Treatment
Bi-funkčné sferické častice na báze kremíka a magnetitu pre čistenie vôd
Program: 7RP
Project leader: Ing. Václavíková Miroslava PhD.
Annotation:Project aims to develop bi(or multi)functional silica and magnetically removable adsorbents for water purification and remediation securing removal of chemical pollutants both organic and inorganic nature. SASPRO will unite the efforts of the scientists and their expertise in two adjacent fields - synthesis and functionalization of mesoporous silica and silica-based adsorbents from the Marie Curie Fellow Dr Melnyk and advanced experience in physicochemical characterization of surface binding with valuable experience of their implementation in water purification from the Institute of Geotechnics SAS. Our specific aims: 1) Creation of silica microsheres with well defined composition for selective uptake of metal cations. 2) Сombination the properties of magnetite (easy removal from the reaction medium, recovery) with the assets of functionalized polysiloxane (specific groups, large specific surface area) and contribute to the selective removal of contaminating cations and organic molecules simultaneously. 3) Synthesis of nanocomposite multi-functional microparticles, testing them on wastewater samples modeling complex water systems. The goals will be achieved through coordinated research uniting the efforts of specialists in materials synthesis, characterization and application. In addition these materials are promising for applications in chromatography, drug delivery, creation of chemo- and biosensors, etc.
Duration: 1.3.2016 - 31.12.2018

FOCAT - Photocatalytic purification of contamined water and air using nanostructured materials
Fotokatalytické čistenie kontaminovaných vôd a vzduchu použitím nanomateriálov
Program: Medzivládna dohoda
Project leader: RNDr. Fabián Martin PhD.
Annotation:The project is directed towards studying the processes of photocatalytic purification of polluted water and air, using nanostructured materials mostly on the basis of oxides. It will be focused on comparison the efficiency of photocatalysts - semiconductors based on oxides, obtained by mechanochemical synthesis with other commercial photocatalysts. The presently known commercial TiO2 photocatalysts, based on anatase/rutile synergism, will be improved by finding an appropriate substitute of the either of anatase or rutile component with other narrow-band semiconductors. Obtaining and applying the visible-light-active photocatalysts to water and air treatment and testing them in suspension reactors (water purification) and in flat-plate gas-phase continuous flow photocatalytic reactor (air purification) will be the aim of our study. The kinetics of the photocatalytic reactions will be evaluated on the basis of Langmuir-Hinshelwood model both under continuous flow conditions (plug-flow reactor) and under flow-circulation conditions using a gas circulation pump (ideal mixing reactor) to enter the kinetic region. The effect of the thickness of the photocatalytic coating with respect to operation in the diffusion or in the kinetic region will be estimated. Optimal experimental conditions for maximal conversion degree will be selected in view of achieving steady state operation and optimal reactor configuration removing the dead zones.
Duration: 1.7.2016 - 29.12.2017

Mechanochemical Activation and Synthesis – An Ecological Friendly Process in the Production of Materials for Photocatalytic Air and Water Purification
Mechanochemická aktivácia a syntéza - ekologicky prijateľné procesy prípravy materiálov pre fotokatalytické čistenie vody a ovzdušia
Program: Medziakademická dohoda (MAD)
Project leader: RNDr. Fabián Martin PhD.
Annotation:Doping of simple oxides (e.g. TiO2, ZnO, Fe2O3 etc.) by nitrogen results in formation of oxygen defects and shift of optical wavelength absorption maximum from UV to visible region. This fact has a great influence on preparation nanocrystalline photocatalysts working not only with UV but also with visible light. Due to the project we have prepared N doped TiO2 and ZnO. The change of their colour indicates the shift of absorption maximum from UV to visible region. This behaviour was further confirmed by DRS spectroscopy. Microstructural changes were evaluated by XRD and XPS analyses. At the present the as-prepared materials are tested for photocatalytic activity on azodyes (liquid phase) and ethylene (gas phase).
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2018

NANOZEO - Nanoparticle Activated Synthetic Zeolite from Coal Fly Ash for Water Remediation
Remediácia vôd pomocou nanočasticami aktivovaných syntetických zeolitov na báze popolčekov
Program: Medzivládna dohoda
Project leader: Ing. Václavíková Miroslava PhD.
Annotation:Synthetic and natural zeolites have been successfully applied as adsorptive materials for effective removal of heavy metals, phosphates, ammonium and organic pollutants from contaminated waters. Zeolite synthesis is usually performed by the hydrothermal crystallization of silica gel, alkaline bases and aluminum salts at elevated temperatures and strong alkaline media. A novel promising approach for production of low-cost sorbents is the conversion of mineral waste from the incineration of solid organic fuels in thermal power plants in microporous materials with high adsorption or ion-exchange capacity, which can replace successfully the nature zeolites in the filters of water purification systems.
Duration: 4.5.2016 - 31.12.2017

CRM-EXTREME - Solutions for Critical Raw Materials Under Extreme Conditions
Riešenie problému kritických surovín pre materiály v kritických podmienkach
Program: COST
Project leader: prof. RNDr. Baláž Peter DrSc., Dr.h.c.
Annotation:Project is aimed at substitution of critical raw materials used in preparation of advanced alloys and composites under extreme conditions of temperature,loading, wear and shear in energy,,car and traffic sectors
Project web page:http://www.cost.eu-COST Actions/ca/CA15102?
Duration: 10.3.2016 - 9.3.2020

Development of innovative processes for the valorization of spent batteries
Vývoj inovačných procesov pre zhodnotenie použitých batérií
Program: Medziakademická dohoda (MAD)
Project leader: Ing. Luptáková Alena PhD.
Annotation:The project presets of the previous project continuation over the years 2013 – 2015. The principal goal of the project proposal (the continuation), is the proposal of innovative integrated hydro/biohydrometallurgical process, economic and environmentally, to enhance the spent alkaline and zinc–carbon batteries, with development – on pilot scale - of the process of recovery of metal values and the production of components of commercial interest.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2017

AdOX - Structure-Function Relationship of Advanced Nanooxides for Energy Storage Devices
Vzťahy medzi štruktúrou a funkčnými vlastnosťami vo vyspelých nanooxidoch určených pre uskladňovanie energie
Program: Multilaterálne - iné
Project leader: prof. RNDr. Šepelák Vladimír DrSc.
Annotation:The main objective of the proposed project is focused on the development of novel and sophisticated chemical routes towards energy harvesting materials within multidisciplinary oriented approach in the field of solid state chemistry. Basic concept includes (i) to obtain well-defined complex oxide materials by starting from welldesigned precursors, (ii) to utilize phenomena at the solid interfaces, particularly those between inorganic – organic solids, (iii) to utilize unique features of non-conventional processes, i.e. mechanical activation and microwave technology, and (iv) to characterize the products under well-defined and reproducible conditions, without restriction to the properties of the end use, e.g. the capacity fade of the complete Li-ion and Na-ion batteries. The target materials include (i) Li- and Na- containing nanocrystalline complex oxides mostly with structure of spinels, garnets, pyroxenes, olivines and orthosilicates and (ii) partially reduced and partially anion exchanged oxide nanoparticles (SiO2, SnO2 and TiO2). Non-conventionally synthesized oxides are expected to possess modified/enhanced structural and electrochemical properties. In the context of the proposed project, special effort will be focused on the systematic study of the structure-related functional properties directly connected towards energy storage applications. The final goal of the project is the optimization and prediction of the real structure of the products possessing e.g. the highest possible Li+ (Na+) ion conductivity by systematically introduced additives and the application of preparative processes of highest precision.
Project web page:http://adox.rie.shizuoka.ac.jp/
Duration: 1.10.2015 - 30.9.2018


National projects

BTZS - Bacterial transformation of sulphur compounds in processes of materials synthesis and degradation
Bakteriálna transformácia zlúčenín síry v procesoch syntézy a degradácie materiálov
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Ing. Luptáková Alena PhD.
Annotation:Project idea has issued from the sulfur bacteria metabolism existence which is the basis of the natural and industrial materials synthesis or degradation. Bacterial oxidation and reduction of sulfur and its compounds are the important part of the metabolism and suggest the possibility of their use in industrial technology as well as environment protection. The proposed project aims at study biooxidative and bioreductive properties of selected species of sulfur bacteria in removing of inorganic and organic pollutants from contaminated industrial waste waters and studying the origin, process and avoiding the corrosive effects on natural and synthetic materials with special emphasis on building materials. The expected project benefit is innovation of methods of application and control the bacteria metabolism having an affinity for sulfur and its compounds in bioremediation and biodegradation.
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2018

ISE - Identification of Specific Drilling Energy Based on Vibration Signal
Identifikácia špecifickej energie rozpojovania hornín z vibračného signálu
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Ing. Lazarová Edita CSc.
Annotation:The main goal of the project is to develop and elaborate a method for use of vibration signal in the identification of specific energy during rock drilling. The introduction of the vibration signal for assessment of rock drilling process issues from previous theoretical knowledge acquired from study and investigation of the rock cutting mechanism and from extensive experimental research performed at the Institute of Geotechnics, Slovak Academy of Sciences based on input and output parameters monitored during the rock drilling process. The project shall issue an optimization diagram of vibration signal energy, whose extreme value in the area of applicable drilling regimes shall be determined by the argument of minimum of specific drilling energy.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2019

Magnetic behavior of nonequilibrium nanooxides prepared by mechanochemical routes
Magnetické správanie nerovnovážnych nanooxidov pripravených mechanochemickými metódami
Program: VEGA
Project leader: prof. RNDr. Šepelák Vladimír DrSc.
Annotation:Novel nonequilibrium & nanocrystalline stannates (M2SnO4, MSnO3), titanates (M2TiO4, MTiO3), germanates (M2GeO4), and silicates (M2SiO4) containing magnetic cations (M = Co2+, Ni2+, Fe2+) are planned to be prepared via one-step mechanosynthesis. It is expected that the proposed project will make significant contribution to the understanding of phenomena underlying an anomalous magnetic behavior of mechanosynthesized nanooxides of various structure and chemical composition. The planned systematic investigations of relationships between the far-from-equilibrium nanostructure and magnetic properties of nanooxides will allow us to verify whether the model proposed in our earlier work for ferrimagnetic spinels, based on the competition between the effects of spin canting and site exchange of cations between two sublattices, can also be applied for the interpretation of magnetic behavior of other structural types of spin-disordered oxide compounds.
Duration: 1.1.2014 - 31.12.2017

SEMINANO - Mechanochemistry of Semiconductor Nanocrystals: from Minerals to Materials and Drugs
Mechanochémia polovodičových nanokryštálov: od minerálov k materiálom a liekom
Program: APVV
Project leader: prof. RNDr. Baláž Peter DrSc., Dr.h.c.
Annotation:The scientific project will be focused on elaboration of the specific mechanochemical routes to synthesize the advanced substances with high level of utilization in nanotechnologies. From these routes mechanochemical synthesis, mechanochemical reduction, mechanical activation and nanomilling will be applied. The research and development under the umbrella of the project will deal with several nanophase materials (mainly semiconductor nanocrystals, QDs) which will be characterized by a set of sophisticated methods. After synthesis and characterization, the utilization in material science (optical properties), medicine (toxicity and anticancer effects) and metallurgy (preparation of nanophases) will be studied in detail. Special attention will be devoted to the study of relation between synthesis parameters and properties utilized in processes under study.
Duration: 1.7.2015 - 30.6.2019

Mechanochemistry of Solids for Utilization in Nanotechnologies
Mechanochémia tuhých látok pre využitie a nanotechnológiách
Program: VEGA
Project leader: prof. RNDr. Baláž Peter DrSc., Dr.h.c.
Annotation:The scientific project will be focused on working up the mechanochemical routes to prepare substances with high level of utilization in nanotechnology. The processes of mechanical activation, mechanochemical synthesis and nanomilling used in mechanochemistry will be applied with the aim to solve the scientific goals of the project. The objects under study will cover arsenides (InAs), oxides (Fe3O4), carbonates (CaCO3) and chalcogenides (MexAy) (Me=Cd,Zn,As; A=S,Se)). In some cases the modification of the nanoparticle core with organic capping agents will be studied.
Duration: 1.1.2014 - 31.12.2017

Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of Polycomponent Materials for Mineral Processing and Environmental Technologies
Mikrovlnná syntéza polykomponentných materiálov pre úpravnícke a environmentálne technológie
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Zubrik Anton PhD.
Annotation:The project aims to study the synthesis, properties and utilization of magnetic carbon materials based on natural as well as industrial carbon precursors (Slovak coal, biomass, fly-ash). Various processes will be employed to develop new materials: microwave pyrolysis, classical pyrolysis as well as co-precipitation with iron cations on carbon matrix. The goal of the project is to develop material possessing magnetic properties with high pore volume and specific surface area. Composites will be characterized by physical and chemical methods. The sorption affinity of composites towards heavy metal ions and organic pollutants from water will be examined as well. Solid-liquid separation after the sorption will be performed by magnetic filtration and the regeneration of sorbent will be investigated. The scheme of process cycle (Sorption/Magnetic Filtration/Desorption/Regeneration-Sorption) will be designed taking into the account the properties of composites as well as sorption efficiency and regeneration factor.
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2018

Synthesis and Applications of Oxides for Production of Ecologically Clean Energy
Syntéza a aplikácia oxidov pre výrobu ekologicky čistej energie
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Fabián Martin PhD.
Annotation:Nanocrystalline complex oxides of various morphologies will be prepared via variety of chemical methods, including one-step mechanosynthesis, and tested mainly as materials for electrolytes in intermedium temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFC´s). Due to the precise analysis combining long-range and short-range structure sensitive analytical methods we will be able to penetrate into the local structural disorder in the as-prepared nanooxides and specimens taken after their sintering. Quantitative information on the short-range structure and on the diffusion phenomena and dynamics of oxygen ions in the synthesized oxides, provided by the detailed combination of several physic-analytical methods, will be complemented by the characterization of their electrochemical behavior. It will be of major importance to establish the interplay between the local structure and electrochemical performance of synthesized nanooxides with the aim to develop a novel high-conductive IT SOFC´s electrolytes for fuel cells.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2018

The Study of Atmospheric Deposition, Particulate Matters and Contamination of Selected Environment Components in Industrial and Urban Area of Košice and Middle Spiš
Štúdium atmosférickej depozície, suspendovaných častíc a kontaminácie vybraných zložiek životného prostredia v priemyselnom a urbánnom prostredí Košíc a stredného Spiša
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Ing. Hančuľák Jozef PhD.
Annotation:The project is focused on two specific components of the environment polluted area, to study air quality through selected components of atmospheric deposition and particulate matters (PM) and the issue of contaminated soils and bottom sediments. The main goal is to obtain deficit knowledge about the interaction and relationship of deposited particles of atmospheric deposition, their deposition fluxes and characteristics, origins and sources of particulate matters in the air. Study area of contaminated soils and bottom sediments is aimed at assessing the risks of potentially toxic elements through acute and chronic ecotoxicological tests and contact phytotoxicity tests.
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2018

Study of physico-chemical properties of nanooxides prepared by combined mechanochemical-thermal synthesis
Štúdium fyzikálno-chemických vlastností nanooxidov pripravených kombinovanou mechanochemicko/termickou syntézou
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Tóthová Erika PhD.
Annotation:The research will be focused on the preparation of two attractive materials with interesting physico-chemical properties by combined mechanochemical-thermal synthesis. The plan (intent) concerns the multiferroic material LiFeSi2O6 and the well-known semiconductor ZnO. The accent is put on the preparation route, i.e. on the mechanochemical activation and following calcination of the precursors. The unconventional mechanochemical activation increases the internal and surface energy and decreases the coherence (cohesion) of the material at the same time, and this can reduce the temperature of the solid state synthesis. The influence of mechanical activation on the physico-chemical (magnetic and optical) properties of such-prepared material with respect to materials of same composition but prepared by conventional methods will be studied.
Duration: 1.1.2017 - 31.12.2019

Prediction of Drillability of Intact Rock and Rock Mass
Výskum predikcie rozpojiteľnosti hornín a horninového masívu
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Ing. Ivaničová Lucia PhD.
Annotation:The proposed project is focused on a complex research of drillability of rocks and rock mass. The main goal of the project is to evaluate and predict the rock drillability based on their physical, mechanical and technological properties using the energy theory of rock cutting (specific cutting energy). Modelling of the rock drillability by conventional mathematical and statistical methods and means of artificial intelligence and modelling of the force conditions at the rock-tool contact should enable the assessment of the effects of various factors, such as drilled rock type, applied drilling regime, drilling tool type and should deliver determination of the mutual relations between the input and output variables of the rock drilling process. The verification of the derived model of rock drillability should identify the dominant factors affecting the rock and rock mass drillability.
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2018

Use of Screening Methods for The Quality Assessment of Selected Environment Components
Využitie screeningových metód pre hodnotenie kvality vybraných zložiek životného prostredia
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Findoráková Lenka PhD.
Annotation:The project is focused on the use of screening methods for assessing of soils and sediments quality from selected areas of eastern Slovakia polluted due to the former mining workloads. Originality of this project will be the use of earthworms of the genus Dendrobaena in order to reduce and eliminate possible contamination of test soils and sediments. By using ecotoxicological screening methods risks of tested samples contamination will be evaluated. Investigation of phase changes and determination of kinetic parameters in study samples will be carried out before and after ecotoxicological tests and application of earthworms using spectroscopic methods and thermal analysis.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2019

Bioremediácia - The Development of Bioremediation Technology of Metals Removing from Soil and Sediment
Vývoj bioremediačnej technológie odstraňovania kovov z pôdy a sedimentov
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Ing. Štyriaková Iveta PhD.
Annotation:Heavy metal contamination of soil and sediment is one of the main environmental problems in all world. Heavy metals are generally toxic and non-biodegradable in the soil and sediment matrix. It is important to develop a practical and economical technology for removal of heavy metals from metal-contaminated soils and sediments. Bioremediation primarily uses bacteria to removal and transform heavy metals. The biological method has been considered as an efficient and cost-effective alternative to physicochemical treatment technologies for soil and sediment remediation. Under regulated conditions of bacterial activity, there will be possible to make the biological processes at bioremediation of soil and sediment more effective. The bioleaching mechanism leads to the decreasing of metals concentration in sediments and these sediments can be applied again into soil. The metals released into leachates by bioleaching will be accumaccumulated by sorption to developed mineral filters which form a closed process.
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2018

ZVNI - Development of a system for continuous monitoring of pollution impact on the high-voltage insulation
Vývoj systému pre kontinuálne monitorovanie vplyvu znečistenia na vysokonapäťovú izoláciu
Program: APVV
Project leader: RNDr. Fabián Martin PhD.
Annotation:The dynamics of the environmental pollution is affected by the industrial emissions and the ongoing climate change. The environmental pollution on electrical insulation is one of the problems faced by distribution utilities and electricity transmission system. Moreover, it can be classified as a potential danger for reliable operation of an electric power system. Seasonal conversions affect the tendency accumulation of contaminants on the surface of insulators and cause chemical changes which influence their original characteristics. This fact needs to be addressed, as mentioned insulation is an important part in the chain of the transmission and the distribution systems reliability. Current knowledge points to the fact that, depending on the profile of the insulator, the pollution, the humidity and the temperature of the surface are strongly related to the insulation withstand. External pollution modifies the electrical breakdown strength of isolation. In Slovakia, thousands of insulators are included in the electricity transmission and distribution systems. Nevertheless, at present time in Slovakia no information is gathered about the current state of pollution in key areas of strategic energy objects. The project is focused on the development of modern equipment, enabling real-time monitoring of insulator surface condition either in autonomous mode or as part of an existing network-based IT infrastructure with a remote dispatching control system. This proposal of research and development is invoked by the project implemented within the EU
Duration: 1.7.2016 - 30.6.2020

Recovery of Selected Critical Minerals from Environmental Loads after Mining, Metallurgy and Coal-Fired Power Industry
Získavanie vybraných kritických surovín z environmentálnych záťaží po baníctve, hutníctve a uhoľnej energetike
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Dolinská Silvia PhD.
Annotation:The mineral waste coming from mining (mineral processing), metallurgy and coal-fired power industry can be also treated as a significant source of so called critical mineral raw materials or possibly elements. Submitted project proposal includes detailed analysis of the following selected waste from Slovakia: black coal fly ash (Košice), tailings from flotation and polymetallic ore processing (Markušovce), bauxite residuum (dump of red mud after Bayer process, Žiar nad Hronom), from viewpoint of critical elements abundance. On the basis of obtained data physical and physico-chemical techniques of critical elements beneficiation will be proposed. An extraction of critical elements by various chemical agents and an optimization of leaching process will be performed. Chemical and physico-chemical methods will be applied in selective separation of critical elements from leachates. An influence of microwave energy on efficiency of critical elements extraction from waste will be also investigated.
Duration: 1.1.2017 - 31.12.2020

Projects total: 21