TSU chemists and an industrial partner, JSC Corporation Roskhimzaschita, are developing new materials to protect people against multiple threats, among which are particular dangers affecting the chemical and biological aspects of nature. Currently, the partners are working to develop an effective catalyst for neutralizing carbon monoxide (CO) in emergency situations - fires in hotels, subways, mines, chemical plants, and other places with large crowds.
- Carbon monoxide has no smell and color, but it has a very strong toxicity and great destructive power. Inhaling carbon monoxide in a concentration of 0.4% is fatal to humans, - said Valery Samarin, head of the forecasting and analytical department of JSC Corporation Roskhimzaschita. - With the TSU scientists, we are conducting collaborative research to develop an effective product for neutralizing carbon monoxide.
There are two basic requirements that apply to the new catalyst: first, it should not contain precious metals. In the current means of protection from the products of combustion, including carbon monoxide, catalysts are used for their oxidation comprised of expensive platinum group metals, which makes the production of catalysts extremely expensive, and protection becomes inaccessible.
Secondly, a new material should be usable in a wide range of conditions, particularly at high humidity, because moisture poisons known catalysts and greatly reduces their effectiveness.
Tomsk State University already has developed a plan. In the near future, scientists and industrialists will conduct a joint test for a low-temperature catalyst of CO oxidation containing manganese, cerium, and a number of other chemical elements. The study of the properties of new materials to protect people from technogenic damage is being conducted by the TSU Engineering Chemical and Technological Centre (ECTC).