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Production of the marketable materials based on shungite and agricultural waste

Project Status: 3 Approved without Funding
Duration in months: 36 months


Rational use of natural resources and the involvement of the secondary redistribution of waste production, the creation of energy-efficient production - an urgent task of economic development.
Composites based on amorphous carbon occupy an important place due to their unique performance properties. High specific strength and stiffness, heat, radiation, corrosion and wear resistance make them widely used as materials for construction in aerospace, petroleum, chemical industry, nuclear energetics, etc. In metallurgy products based on amorphous carbon are indispensable materials for current conducting and structural elements due to its low electrical resistivity, high thermal conductivity and heat resistance together with the above unique performance properties.
One of the sources of raw materials during the project are agricultural waste for production of furfural, promising material in the production of high-strength fine-porous carbon sorbents.
Another type - virtually untapped carbon minerals - shungite rocks named so because they contain carbon mineral - shungite. Shungite rocks form natural formations and dumps after mining ores, resources are sufficient for use at an industrial scale. Shungite content in the layers and dumps varies from a few percent to 30 %. Base of mineral part consists of a mineral quartzite and various aluminosilicates. According to scientific data part of which was obtained during implementation of ISTC K-1700 project, and results of quantitative assessment of shungite resources, they could be considered as promising carbon-mineral raw materials for a wide range of industrial application. In 2013, innovative pilot production of carbon-mineral sorbents for aqueous media and rubber filler based on shungite was created.
This project proposes research on obtaining carbon-containing materials for sorption of noble and radioactive metals, cleanup of gaseous mixtures from toxic substances and their application for electrochemical and catalytic processes.
Project goal is to obtain efficient carbon materials from mineral and plant raw materials which can be used for:
- sorption of noble and radioactive metals;
- sorption and removal of toxic substances from air;
- manufacture of carbon-containing electrodes and catalysts for industrial electrochemical and catalytic processes.
The project will include the following tasks:
1. Development of technology for manufacture of activated carbon using agricultural waste.
2. Study of shungite rock, separation and study of its carbon and mineral fractions.
3. Development of scientific background for creation of electrodes from shungite concentrate and plant carbonizates.
4. Preparation and study of impregnated sorbents for cleanup of air from toxic substances.
5. Preparation, study and application of catalysts based on carbon and mineral parts of shungite rocks
Project implementation fully meets the goal and tasks of ISTC and will provide:
- broadening of scientific knowledge on application of furfurol and shungite rock concentrates in electrochemistry, catalysis and sorption processes;
- development of technological composition and recipes for manufacture of innovative products that meet commercial needs and contribute solution of national and international technical problems;
- provision of alternative occupation of weapon scientists and engineers in research having peaceful goals;
- contribution to solution of the problem of rational utilization of natural resources: non-traditional sources of carbon and silicate raw material are proposed for production of sorbents, catalysts and modified electrodes
- improvement of environmental situation by solution of the waste processing problem and utilization of the obtained materials for cleanup of environmental objects.
The project will be realized by scientists of the Center of Physical Chemical Methods of Research and Analysis of al-Farabi Kazakh National University and branch “IHT-BEREN” of the Institute of High Technologies of the National Company “Kazatomprom”.
Project participants – Doctors and Candidates of Chemical and Technical Sciences, highly qualified experts in the field of technology of inorganic substances, physical chemistry, catalysis and electrochemistry. Part of project participants do the research in the framework of the following programs: “Creation and experimental mastering of the technologies for production of scarce chemicals and reagents from waste and industrial products of chemical and metallurgical industries”, “Theoretical background for creation of wasteless technologies and materials”. They study local shungite rocks and products of plant waste processing – furfurol in comparison of famous carbon materials, work on creation of non-traditional methods for production of fillers of composite materials, sorption materials, catalytic systems and electrodes for electrochemical processes.
Role of foreign collaborators during the project will include:
- exchange of information;
- comments to technical reports (quarterly, annual and final);
- cross checking of experimental results;
- testing of the materials developed during the project;
- joint use of equipment during experiments;
- joint seminars and webinars;
- joint participation in conferences;
- obtaining of joint patents.
For reaching the projects goal, classic and modern physical chemical methods of study and analysis of raw material, intermediate and final products (sorbents, catalysts, electrodes) will be used. In addition, obtained products will be tested according to national and international regulations and standards.
Project will be realized in the laboratories of Center of Physical Chemical Methods of Research and Analysis and National Open-Type Laboratory of Nanotechnology of al-Farabi KazNU, and branch “IHT-BEREN” of the Institute of High Technologies of the National Company “Kazatomprom”

Participating Institutions


Affiliated State Enterprise Center of Physicochemical Methods of Research and Analysis of the Republic State Enterprise al-Farabi Kazakh National University


LTD Scientific-Production Centre “Ulba” (Ulba Center)


Iowa State University of Science and Technology / Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering


Western Michigan University


Stevens Institute of Technology


Carl von Ossietzky University