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Institute of Environmental Engineering


 



The history of the Institute of Environmental Engineering (IEE) started in 1951 when the Department of Inorganic Chemistry was formed. Since then several structural changes and shifts in scientific research took place. At present the research palette of the Institute consists of environmental impact assessment and monitoring, wastewater treatment technologies and modelling, waste management, nanostructures, environmental catalysis and green chemistry. Analytical methods such as FTIR and Raman-spectroscopy give deeper insight into the chemical structures of different materials.


Environmental monitoring

The mission of the research group is to provide adequate information for stakeholders to help mitigate the environmental pollution of the ever increasing urbanisation and industrialisation. For this reason, a new type of quantitative method “The Informative Environment Qualifying Index (IIEQ) method” based on mathematical and scientific rules was developed. The IIEQ algorithm is suitable for environmental impact assessment, evaluation of different projects and making local alternatives and investments. During the evaluation process it is possible to analyse on three different levels: the level of the whole environment, the level of different environmental elements (air, surface water, soil) and the level of environmental parameters. The significance of this approach is, that it makes possible to analyse the environmental parameters and elements on one hand by themselves and on the other hand as a system of the environmental components. The results of the method are objective, reliable, unequivocal and consequent. The environmental impact assessment is backed up by mobile monitoring systems of various environmental elements. We put great emphasis on the development of measurement methodologies for field and laboratory measurements concerning water and air quality. The overall environmental impacts of products, services or processes are evaluated by means of lifecycle assessment tools.



Wastewater treatment Research Group

The knowledge on wastewater treatment technologies accumulated by the Institute of Environmental Engineering is outstanding at national level. Decades of experience help the work of the Institute in researching activated sludge, biofilm and hybrid processes.

In the laboratory of the Institute the students can gain knowledge of the practical aspects of the widespread and novel technologies. The experiments and design of treatment systems are aided with modelling since 1992. Several successful R+D project were carried out concerning effluent quality improvement of industrial wastewater of various sources - rendering plant, dairy, paint, adhesives, oily emulsion, surface treatment. Another major research area is the treatment of sludge and the reject water remaining after the dewatering of digested sludge. Additionally we investigate the options of removing micropollutants (including pharmaceutical residues) at low concentration from surface waters and industrial wastewater by means of enzymatic degradation. Besides education and academic research we offer our expertise to industrial partners.



Research Group of Surfaces and Nanostructures

The study of the structure, properties and reactivity of oxide surfaces is of utmost importance in the light of developing high dispersity nanocomposites for applications in catalysts, sensors, special adsorbents and in surface protection, as well. In certain fields it is necessary to use complex systems with tailor-made surface properties.

Extensive research has been conducted for the development of clay-based nanostructures and hybrid (organic-inorganic) materials including their complete structural and surface characterization. The development of electrocatalytic thin films for potential use in waste water treatment and in different fields of the electrochemical industry is also highlighted.

Most significant results of the research group:

  • Complex investigation of the formation mechanism (reaction pathways) of mixed-oxide thin films by thermal analysis, mass- and vibrational spectroscopy; studies on segregation phenomena by SIMS method;
  • Structural and surface characterization of clay mineral organo-complexes. Elaboration of novel synthesis methods for the preparation of kaolinite nanostructures/nanohybrids using multiple intercalation. Study of the role of experimental parameters on the synthesis routes and characteristics of nanomaterials formed.

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