Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Heterogeneous processes on solid surfaces for sustainable technologies

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.04.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Materials science and technology   
2.02.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Chemical engineering   

Code Science Field
P003  Natural sciences and mathematics  Chemistry 

Code Science Field
2.10  Engineering and Technology  Nano-technology 
2.04  Engineering and Technology  Chemical engineering  
Heterogeneous chemical processes, surfaces and interfaces, nanostructured systems, topological insulators, catalysts, environmental footprint, hydrogen and methane production, remediation of water and air, carbon dioxide capture, sustainable technologies
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (11)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  36327  PhD Blaž Belec  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2018  86 
2.  30944  PhD Lidija Čuček  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2018  448 
3.  34070  PhD Saim Mustafa Emin  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2018  97 
4.  34949  PhD Mattia Fanetti  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2018  147 
5.  39229  PhD Katja Ferfolja  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2018  21 
6.  37524  PhD Andraž Mavrič  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2018  49 
7.  32345  PhD Danijel Stojković Kukulin  Materials science and technology  Beginner researcher  2018 
8.  11991  PhD Matjaž Valant  Materials science and technology  Head  2018  611 
9.  31544  Mojca Vrčon Mihelj    Technical associate  2018 
10.  37525  PhD Blaž Winkler  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2018 
11.  32053  PhD Urška Žvab  Materials science and technology  Beginner researcher  2018  17 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0794  University of Maribor, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering  Maribor  5089638012  13,183 
2.  1540  University of Nova Gorica  Nova Gorica  5920884000  14,356 
Because of environmental and energetic problems that we are facing on a daily basis, use of »clean« technologies that would have no or only minor impact on our environment is crucially important for a further sustainable development. The new sustainable technologies should not deplete fossil fuel resources, pollute air and water or contribute to global warming. For a successful realization of this types of sustainable technologies that many of them are currently still on drawing boards of engineers, new advanced materials must be developed. Apart from intrinsic properties of bulk and nanostructured materials, the properties of surfaces and interfaces are getting critically important for a number of new technologies. In this research program we will focus on studies of heterogeneous physical and chemical processes that are specific to different kind of interfaces and surfaces such as semiconducting, metallic, polymeric or topological insulator surfaces. The basic research on crystallographic, chemical, mechanical, electronic, electromagnetic and thermodynamic states of the surfaces will be taken further to an applied segment of the research program, which will involve experimental analyses of functional properties that will used for development of new applications with better efficiency. Examples of such applications are different (photo)catalysts, sensors, thermoelectric materials etc. The research will also be conducted towards optimization of hydrogen and methane production, searching for suitable solutions for purification of polluted waters and air and reduction of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus footprints. The main purpose of this part of the programme will be reducing burdening on environment from the view of increased emissions of CO2, nitrogen and phosphorus. The focus will be on increased production of renewable energy sources from large industrial point sources, capture and utilisation of CO2 and treatment of polluted waters from viewpoint of recycling phosphorus and nitrogen. The following question will be researched: which economy would be more suitable in the future, hydrogen economy, methane economy or combination of both?
Significance for science
The research program is opening new horizons in the S&T field of surface science. As we intend to launch quite a few novel scientific ideas and innovative technological approaches we expect that the scientific community will want to explore them, take them up and incorporate into their own ideas and research plans. This would certainly open new possibilities in material science and technology. Few expected impacts on material science and envisaged directions that the research program might open are listed below: This research program will acquire a significant amount of fundamental knowledge related to the physical understanding of studied materials. Already during the current studies the theories were developed, which opened new insights in the relevant heterogeneous processes. During the course of the research program the theories will be further elaborated and verified. Its applied value will be exposed to the scientific community. - We will demonstrate how a smart material architecture can improve intrinsic material properties and open new horizons for its technological exploitation. We expect that this research program will raise the awareness and trigger intensive consideration of modern processing technologies for the development of advanced functional systems. - In the engineering segment the important break-through concepts, coming from the proposed research program, will amplify affords and resurrect the R&D pace in the field of heterogeneous (photo)catalysts to come to optimized solutions and designs. As the University of Nova Gorica and its Material Research Laboratory are heavily involved in the environmental studies the research activities on such program boost its scientific and technological relevance and importance. As we are taking care for a wide public dissemination of the obtained research results and other relevant information, generated within the research program, an increased interest of other researchers and students for joining our teams is expected. This will additionally contribute to a long-lasting positive impact on the research environment. Proposed research that will be carried out at University of Maribor will be oriented towards solving three key environmental problems related to carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus footprints. Research will be oriented on analyses of sustainable development on the areas of renewable energy sources, carbon capture and utilisation and waste water treatment. New important scientific results are expected on the areas: ? Possibilities of water and air purification with the analysis of technological solutions for reducing carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus footprints ? Research on suitable technologies for treatment of polluted waters by successful recycling of phosphorus and nitrogen ? Research on optimization of hydrogen and methane production from hydrogen and CO2 ? Simultaneous multi-objective multi-period optimisation of different technologies for hydrogen and methane production from the supply network perspective  The research program is ambitious and demanding and will attract a significant number of researchers and host’s capacities. It certainly will pave future orientation of many involved and associated researchers, especially younger researchers. As the research goes into fields of current problems of energy savings, environmental protection and sustainable growth it is a great opportunity to enhance these directions with new enthusiastic young researchers.
Significance for the country
Research will be conducted in accordance with the priority area »Green living environment«, defined in the draft of the Slovenia's Development Strategy 2014-2020. The programme will integrate defined main priorities in Europe 2020 strategy such as the provision of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth with the transition to a low carbon economy and to create jobs Because of environmental and energetic problems that we are facing on a daily basis on this planet, we have to enable use of renewable energy sources that are environmental friendly and allow sustainable development. So, they will not pollute air, water or contribute to the global warming. Due to this fact and very volatile oil price, which is associated with high energetic dependence on only few biggest oil producers, a number of other countries has already turned towards intensive research, development and production of energy from the renewable energy sources. For Slovenia the successful development within this field of research means that we could posses technologies for production of our own energy sources and thus become less energy dependent or even completely independent. At the same time this would have a significant positive effects on protection of environment. A strategic orientation towards these goals can in the future provide remarkable socio-economic development and based on it also development on other social fields like welfare, education, culture... By performing this globally relevant and timely research we create a critical volume of knowledge, technology and products that will keep the environment in line with the directive of sustainable development. In the framework of this research program, we will merge research, development and production capacities that will aim towards knowledge transfer into industry. This way will be able to increase innovation skills of Slovenian industry, induce an even regional development, make education of skilled staff possible in research and industry and increase energetic independence on fossil fuels. The research program will offer to the researchers and engineers possibility of cooperation between research laboratories and industry and open a door to industrial partners for obtaining state-of-the-art knowledge, technologies and research infrastructure.
Most important scientific results Final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Final report
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