New pro-environmental chemical engineering solutions | Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2020-12-10

New pro-environmental chemical engineering solutions

Prof. Grzegorz Boczkaj
prof. Grzegorz Boczkaj from the Department of Process Engineering and Chemical Technology. Photo Dawid Linkowski / Gdańsk University of Technology
PhD, DSc, Eng. Grzegorz Boczkaj, professor of the university from the Department of Process Engineering and Chemical Technology conducts research on new solutions that fit into the idea of the so-called green chemistry - reducing the environmental impact of chemical processes.

Prof. Grzegorz Boczkaj achieves the highest publication results (200 points) at the Faculty of Chemistry and is in the top four scientists at Gdańsk University of Technology in terms of the required filling of the publication slots. He is currently conducting research in two large research projects funded by the National Science Center. The aim of the project implemented under the OPUS program is to develop innovative solutions dedicated to the chemical industry, especially refining. Prof. Grzegorz Boczkaj and his research team conduct extensive research on the application of the phenomenon of cavitation.

The phenomenon of cavitation can be useful in the treatment of industrial wastewater. The energy released in the liquid stream, at the moment of implosion of cavitation bubbles, can be used for effective degradation of organic pollutants in the water phase - explains the professor - This effect, when properly utilised, has a positive effect when used to accelerate chemical reactions occurring during advanced oxidation processes used to degrade organic pollutants.

There are also studies on the usability of the cavitation process in refining fuels, e.g. gasoline, aviation fuels and diesel oil. Chemical changes caused by the phenomenon of cavitation can improve the quality of fuels - they will be both more efficient and less harmful to the environment.

The second project, carried out as part of the Sonata Bis program, on which prof. Boczkaj is currently working, is obtaining new types of deeply eutectic liquids. More specifically, it consists in designing and testing the properties of new types of solvents and extraction media for gas-liquid and liquid-liquid processes.

Eutectic liquids are currently of great interest to scientists around the world - they can be an alternative to chemical substances, e.g. organic solvents considered harmful to the environment - explains Prof. Boczkaj - Eutectic liquids, if the ingredients are properly selected, are cheap, non-toxic, non-volatile, and often also highly biodegradable, in contrast to typical organic solvents used in industry for years.

Eutectic liquids can be widely used as solvents, environment for conducting chemical reactions, sorption media for removing pollutants from water and wastewater, as well as for selective extraction of chosen components or fractions from fuels.

The scientist emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary, international research cooperation between scientists. Professors from India, Iran and Mexico come to our University to conduct research together. The composition of the team of young researchers led by prof. Grzegorz Boczkaj is also multicultural - doctoral theses are carried out here by, among others PhD students from Albania, Russia, Portugal, Iran and Pakistan. – In my team, I try to combine views from various groups of interests – chemical engineering, analytical chemistry, organic synthesis or microbiology, which allows for a broad scientific view on the same aspect from many different angles - he explains.