by Olga SKOROKHODOVA, Cand. Sc. (Tech.), Editor-in-Chief of the journal Paintwork Materials, Their Applications
This summer in St. Petersburg there was a specialized International Exhibition EXPOCHEMISTRY 2005. The exhibition, the biggest of its kind, attracted hundreds of firms and was visited by tens of thousands of specialists.
Every year at this time the Far EXPO Company, the Russian Union of Chemists and the Chemical Society named after Mendeleev invite their colleagues in this and other countries to demonstrate their achievements in designing and building chemical plants, development of industrial and laboratory equipment, control and automation devices, methods of transportation of special cargoes and products like synthetic resins and plastics, rubbers, chemical fibers, combustible fuels and paint-and-varnish materials, glass-reinforced plastic reagents, household items and materials for farming and building construction. As compared with last year, the number of firms taking part of the EXPOCHEMISTRY-2005 increased by 10 percent, and the range of exhibits by 50 percent.
The exhibits were presented by some 70 research centers from more than 10 regions of Russia and also Belorus, Ukraine, the United States, China, Norway and Germany. Among them were such prominent companies as HALOGEN, EUROCHIM, LUKOIL, SIBUR and FOSAGRO as well as their smaller rivals which, as it turned out, are not only keeping abreast of the industrial giants, but often surpass them in their output.
One such participant was the ZAO AGROVIT (St. Petersburg) which demonstrated some unique technologies utilizing water-soluble phosphate glasses, an AVA complex fertilizer of sustained action, a method of sorbtion-microbiological water purification from oil pollution and many other things. The ZAO KHIMEKS Company (St. Petersburg) specializing in the production of epoxy resins, compounds, active solvents and binding media for the production of fibreglasses put on the display some chemical products which are not produced anywhere else in Russia.
There were big displays by two firms from Volgograd: OAO KHIMPROM specializing in industrial and household chemistry, such as washing and bleaching of materials, and OAO KAUSTIK - one of this country's biggest producers of industrial and household materials. Its "menu" includes chlorine, caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, calcium chloride and chloride, frost-resistant latex and chladon.
Products of organic synthesis were demonstrated by the OAO "NOVOCHERKASSKY Plant of Synthetic Products". These included methanol, formalin, pyrrolodin, raws for the production of cosmetics drugs and other medical items. One of their latest achievements is the unique PO-6 VAS hydrocarbon foaming agent used in fire extinguishers. It is compatible with all such materials and can be used with all kinds of water. It is available at the lowest price among such analogues.
Another interesting entry were products demonstrated by the manufacturing firm FGUP "Starorussky Zavod KHIMMASH". It produces instruments for various physicochemical processes linked with the intermixing, storage and heating of neutral or aggressive, including explosive materials.
Its science-intensive products were demonstrated by the FGUP EZAN company (Chernogolovka, Moscow Region)*. It is known as a leading producer of equipment for the manufacture of monocrystals from melts, etching and precipitation of fine coatings, instruments used in the Automated System of control of technological processes (ASU TP), telecommunication, analytical and vacuum equipment.
Other RAS entries demonstrated tangible results of fundamental studies which were on display at EXPOCHEMISTRY-2005. The Institute of High-Molecular Com-
* See: A. Petrov et. al., "Structural Macro-kinetics: From Theory to Practice", Science in Russia, No. 5, 2005. - Ed.
pounds (St. Petersburg) demonstrated its latest technological projects for the manufacture of medicinal preparations, blood substitutes, different kinds of membranes, flocculants*, and thermoresistant materials. The Institute of Chemistry of Silicates named after I. Grebenshchikov (St. Petersburg) demonstrated the results of its studies in the field of physico-chemical processes which occur in silicate systems and infusible oxides which are used as the basis of glass, cement, ceramics and refractories.
The program of the Exhibition included the First Interregional Conference "Market and Rational Uses of Fertilizers and Agro-Chemical Products". It was attended by specialists from 15 regions of Russia and Kazakhstan, Belorus and Ukraine. Their general conclusion was that at the present time the domestic industry of mineral fertilizers is predominantly oriented to the foreign market. In 2004, for example, some 80 percent of these products were exported. According to specialists, forecasts of the development of the domestic market indicate that without changes of the current situation in our agriculture, the consumption of fertilizers in the near future can increase to the level of 1.4 - 2.0 mn tons a year only. And if the situation changes for the better - up to 2.0 - 3.5 mn tone only.
The Program of EXPOCHEM-ISTRY-2005 included a one-day seminar "ASU TP in the Chemical industry". Its participants presented their reports and exchanged opinions on the latest innovations in this field. They assessed the latest domestic instruments for measuring the consumption, pressure and temperature, industrial controllers and other equipment for automatic control of chemical reactions. The experts analyzed the latest achievements in improving the software and the methods of preparation of designs and technical supply of the ASU TP plants of the industry.
On the whole, the exhibition has confirmed the mounting potential of the Russian chemical industry and the progress and achievements of our researchers in the sphere of innovations and utilization of high-tech equipment.
* Flocculants - special substance used in water treatment and cleaning of drainages. - Ed.
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