Within the framework of the Ural Research and Education Center (UIREC), the South Ural State University (SUSU) is working together with the “Modern Insulation Technologies” plant to develop a new technology for the manufacturing of non-hazardous polyurethanes, applicable to a broad set of activities. The University will establish a new laboratory with the support of its industrial partner to achieve the set goals and train highly qualified personnel.
The “Modern Insulation Technologies” (MIT) plant produces heat-insulated pipes for district heating networks and for oil and natural gas transportation applications. In this regard, polyurethane foam is used for heat-insulation of the pipes themselves. Today, polyurethane is the most common polymer in the world and is utilized to produce a wide range of products in a variety of different areas, including clothing, footwear, furniture and insulation materials manufacturing.
A joint project between the “Modern Insulation Technologies” plant and SUSU aims to create a unique production of non-isocyanate polyurethanes synthesized from vegetable-derived components of domestic origin. The proposed technology will not use isocyanates derived from phosgene and chlorine, which are chemical warfare agents.
“We understand the prospect of this project and the scope of the future product range, and are interested in having a scientific partner located in the Chelyabinsk region”, – says Mr. Vladimir Tolkach, the head of the “Modern Insulation Technologies” plant. – “We invest in the creation of a laboratory, since we are planning to build a factory in the future and will require specialists to operate it. Thus, we work with SUSU, as it is essential for us to develop the skills required of the future university graduates.”
The new SUSU laboratory is planned to be open with the help of a grant from the UIREC and financial support from the MIT plant.
The introduction of a new “green” technology for polyurethane production is an import-substitution project. Furthermore, the construction of a plant where this technology will be introduced is intended to provide sophisticated workplaces for chemists, chemical technologists and environmental specialists in the Chelyabinsk Region.
MIT plant employees can already take advanced training courses with the help of a grant from the UIREC. During a meeting between MIT and SUSU Ms. Anna Bukhtoyarova – the head of Research and Technology Development division of the independent non-profit organization “Regional Infrastructure for Education and Science” – has told that a wide range of additional education programs is available to participants of the UIREC. The purpose of the education component of the UIREC is to find unique professional capabilities for science and technology projects and development of human resources.
The South Ural State University is a university of innovation, which conducts breakthrough research projects in most priority areas of science and technology development. In accordance with Russia’s strategy for scientific and technological development, the University is focused on fostering major scientific interdisciplinary projects in the fields of digital industry, materials science and ecology. In 2021, SUSU succeeded in the “Priority 2030” program. The University acts as the regional project office of the world-class Ural Interregional Research and Education Centre (UIREC).