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History of Boreskov Institute of Catalysis


What is now called the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in the summer of 1958. The impetus was given by the Decree of the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union dated 7 May 1958 “On the accelerated development of chemical industries and, particularly, of manufacturing of synthetic materials and products based thereon to meet public needs and the needs of national economy” followed by the Decree # 395 of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR dated 27 June 1958 and the joint Decree #795 of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Council of Ministers of the USSR dated 23 July 1958 on the foundation of the Institute of Catalysis in the Novosibirsk Academgorodok.

The main areas of R&D activities of the Institute were formulated by academician G.K. Boreskov , the founder and the first Director of the Institute. The scope of the activities covered the development of catalytic theory, scientific basis of catalyst preparation, development and improvement of industrial catalytic processes, development of methods mathematic modeling of catalytic reactors. The correct originating idea, namely a combination of fundamental science with handling of urgent industrial problems, allowed the Institute to become in the first decade the largest research center in the world in the area of chemical catalysis. In 1992 the Institute of Catalysis was named after G.K. Boreskov.

The date of April 1965 may be considered the outset of the fruitful cooperation, which is still persists, between the academic Institute and industry. That time, a semicommercial contact apparatus for production of methanol-free formaldehyde over an iron-molybdenum catalyst was started up at the Novosibirsk Chemical Plant. The unique adiabatic bed tube reactor along with the new catalyst was the result of cooperative efforts of scientists from the Institute and engineers from the Plant under supervision of G.K. Boreskov.

1967 - The USSR Ministry Council, by its Decree "On improving the organization of catalysts production and the catalyst quality", entrusted to the Institute the scientific management of research in the area of development of industrial catalysts and the expert examination of engineering basis for them. The Department of Industrial Catalysts was established with the following primary aims:

  • Scientific and management activities for improving the quality of industrial catalysts (examination of engineering basis and analysis of data on the catalyst quality)
  • Development of scientific basis of preparation of catalysts and supports. The Department worked in close contact with Ministries, governmental departments, applied research institutions, industrial enterprises of the USSR and socialist countries.

1969 - The Institute of Catalysis was awarded The Red Banner of Labour for the success in advancing the chemical science and in training of high-skilled scientists. Among the recognized important advances was the success in solving a number of engineering problems in the framework of the cooperation between the Institute of Catalysis (Department of Mathematical Modeling headed by corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences M.G. Slinko) and Belgium corporate group UCHB on synthesis of nitrile acrylate through oxidative ammonolysis of propylene.

1970 - By agreement between the Ministry f Chemical Industry and the Presidium of the Siberial Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences, a Specialized Design and Engineering Bureau of Catalysts (SKTB Katalizator) was founded in Novosibirsk in the so-called commercialization belt. The Engineering Basis was developed under the supervision of Director of the Institute of Catalysis academician G.K. Boreskov and Vice-Director Prof. R.A. Buyanov. The Bureau activities were guided by the Institute of Catalysis (science) and by the Ministry of Chemical Industry (finances and management). Since that time till present days, the cooperation has lead to put into industrial practice numerous catalytic technologies, to manufacture pilot and semicommercial batches of a variety of catalysts and supports. The facilities have grown in capacity from hundreds kilos to hundreds tons. The catalysts, supports and adsorbents developed in cooperation between IC and SKTB were labeled as ICT (for example, ICT-02-6, ICT-3-11, ICT-12-8 etc.); they were widely used at chemical enterprises in the USSR and in other countries. Many of them are produced till now by Katalizator Co., successor and assign of the Bureau and are applied in many countries worldwide. For example, more than 600 t of catalyst ICT-12-40 for gas cleaning from organic compounds was supplied to the USA by mid-1999.

1978 - A Department of Catalytic Transformations of Hydrocarbons was founded in Omsk; it was headed by Dr. V.K. Duplyakin. Later (in 1991) the Department has become the Omsk department of the Institute of Catalysis. The main areas of R&D activities of the Department were formulated by G.K. Boreskov and Vice-Director Yu.I. Ermakov as the research on improvement of existing and creation of new catalysts and technologies for large-scale catalytic processes of hydrocarbon processing. The activities were based on close cooperation with the Omsk Refinery Plant and other chemical enterprises in Omsk. The first laboratories were accommodated at the territories of the Omsk Refinery and Synthetic Rubber Plant. The Institute of Catalysis helped to construct the Laboratory and Model Plant Buildings by 1989 and the Pilot Plant of Adsorbents and Catalysts (to produce up to 200 t/y) by late 1998.

Among the developments of the Omsk Department are high-efficient new catalysts for reforming, cracking, deep oxidation, which are applied in Russia and in other countries. New catalytic compositions were developed for processes of alkylation, skeletal isomerization, chemical transformation of methane, moderate-pressure synthesis of ammonia etc.

A comparatively short period of time was taken to become the leading institution in the areas of oil processing and petrochemistry in the Russian Academy of Sciences.

K.I. Zamaraev(1939 - 1996), Director of the Institute 1984 - 1995.1984 - Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences K.I. Zamaraev was appointed the Director of the Institute of Catalysis. It was a farsighted idea by G.K. Boreskov to invite Prof. Zamaraev to join the Institute in 1977. It seems like academician Boreskov thought of him as a potential successor.

1985 - The Interministerial Scientific and Engineering Complex (ISEC) Katalizator was founded in the late 1985 with the aim of creation of an effective mechanism for accelerated development and industrial implementation of new generation catalysts and catalytic technologies. ISEC Katalizator united activities of 25 academic and applied research institutes, semicommercial catalytic and machine enterprises. The Institute of Catalysis was appointed the leading organization with Prof. K. Zamaraev as the General Director.

In a very short time, Prof. Zamaraev created an effective business team in the Institute to come into contact with applied institutions and catalyst producers and to coordinate their activities throughout the USSR. The five-year ISEC activities contributed to the renewal of a quarter of basic industrial catalysts and technologies in the country. Several dozens of new catalytic technologies were implemented in the industry, many of which were used for the environmental protection. The ISEC products were 90% of introductions in the USSR industrial catalysis, more than a half of them being developed, entirely or partly, by the Institute of Catalysis. Many of the products were so effective that continued to be transferred to the Russian industry under conditions of severe economic crisis of early 1990’s.

V.N. Parmon, Director of the Institute At the same time, it was an excellent school for new generation specialists who practiced in the fruitful interaction between the science and industry. That appeared an invaluable experience when the country entered into the market world to provide not only survival but progress of the Institute of Catalysis under new economic conditions. In managing the complex ISEC structure, Prof. Zamaraev was assisted by the Vice Director of the Institute and Deputy General Director of ISEC Katalizator V.N. Parmon.

Early in 1995, Prof. Valentin Parmon became the Director of the Institute.

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