The Vernadsky Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of the Ukrainian National
Academy of Sciences is the oldest academic chemical institution in Ukraine and one
of the largest centers of chemical science. The Institute is known not only in
homeland, but also abroad for a number of topical basic and applied problems
in modern high temperature physico- inorganic chemistry and electrochemistry
being developed here.
The history of its establishment began in 1918, when the first President of
the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (UAS) Academician V.I. Vernadsky set up in
Kyiv the Chemical Laboratory as an independent scientific institution within
the Physico-mathematical Division of the UAS and managed its work (1918-1919).
During his long-term official trips, the management of the laboratory was
entrusted to the Member of the UAS V.A. Kystyakivsky. In 1920 Member of the
UAS V.O. Plotnikov took over the leadership of the Chemical Laboratory and
amalgamated it in 1922 with research department of chemistry of the People's
Commissariat of Education (PCE) at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. In 1929,
these two divisions were established Research Institute of Chemistry of the
PCE, which formed part of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences in 1931 as
Institute of Chemistry of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences. In 1945, it
was named as Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of the Ukrainian
SSR Academy of Sciences and in 1993 received the name of its founder
Member of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences V.O. Plotnikov headed
the Institute till 1941. In wartime, during the evacuation to Ufa, the
united Institute of Chemistry was temporarily headed by the Members of the
Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences V.P. Yavorsky (1941-1942) and A.I. Kiprianov
In postwar years, the Institute was headed by the Members of the
Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences A.V. Dumansky (1946-1960), Yu.K. Delimarsky
(1960-1973), O.V. Gorodysky (1973-1992).
Since 1992, Member of the Ukrainian NAS S.V. Volkov has been invariably
elected the director of the Institute.
In the years of its existence, the Institute has developed into
an outstanding research center of the country, became the founder
of many new scientific schools and five chemical institutions.
For instance, the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the USSR
Academy of Sciences (director V.P. Yavorsky, Member of the USSR
Academy of Sciences) was established in 1939 on the basis of the
sector of organic chemistry of the institute. In 1968, the Institute
of Colloid and Water Chemistry of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of
Sciences was set up from the sectors of water chemistry
(Member of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences L.A. Kulsky)
and colloid chemistry (Member of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of
Sciences F.D. Ovcharenko). In 1977, the Physicochemical
Institute of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences,
headed by the Member of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of
Sciences A.V. Bohatsky, was set up in Odessa on the
basis of the Institute's laboratories and pilot plant,
and in 1991, the Institute of Sorption and Endoecology Problems of the
Ukrainian NAS was set up on the basis of the Division of Sorption
Processes. In 1994, the Division of the Chemistry of Ionic Melts
was reorganized into the Interdepartmental Division of Electrochemical
Power Engineering of the Ukrainian NAS.
The scientific achievements of the Institute are based on establishing
fundamental laws of chemical and electrochemical transformations of
matter and are aimed at solving chemical engineering problems that
are topical for the vital activity of the state.
Among the global scientific problems at the solution of which
V.I. Vernadsky worked at the Chemical Laboratory was establishing
of fundamentals for the genesis of minerals and elucidating the
role of living organisms in the circulation of the chemical
elements of the Earth crust. These works created the fundamentals
of biogeochemistry and concepts of biosphere and noosphere.
This trend received at the Institute qualitatively new development
in bioinorganic and biocoordination chemistry (works of the scientific
schools of K.B. Yatsymirsky, F.D. Ovcharenko, A.V. Bohatsky, N.A,
Kostromina, etc). Such scientific schools as the theory of silicon and
alumina compounds, crystallography, chemistry of rare elements were
also founded by Academician V.I. Vernadsky.
One of the most important lines of research at the Institute,
which was initiated since 1920, is the physical chemistry and
electrochemistry of aqueous, non-aqueous and molten electrolytes.
The theories of electrochemical processes in non-aqueous solutions
and concepts of conduction mechanisms in non-electrolyte mixtures
have become classical, and the assumption of the existence of “microneutron”,
which was made in 1931, outpaced by three years the Fermi neutrino hypothesis.
The works of the school of V.O. Plotnikov (Ya.A. Fialkov, V.O. Izbekov,
Yu.K. Delimarsky, O.K. Kudra) on the problem of isolating zirconium,
beryllium, aluminium and other metals from non-aqueous and molten
electrolytes laid the foundation of powder metallurgy, which became
one of the key industries of Ukraine in postwar years.
The discovery, recorded in 1975, of the phenomenon of metal transfer
from cathode to anode in ionic melt electrolysis, whose authors are
Yu.K. Delimarsky and O.G. Zarubitsky, formed the basis for a new
industry pyroelectrometallurgy of heavy metals. New concepts of
activation and mixed electrode polarization and methods for the
calculation of diffusion processes in electrochemistry were proposed.
The following should be pointed out among the scientific achievements
of this series of works: establishment of electrochemical rows for
metals in various melts, which formed a basis of the polarography
of molten salts (Yu.K. Delimarsky), introduction of the concept of
limiting overpotential (O.V. Gorodysky), establishment of the ion-radical
mechanism of conduction in a number of molecular melts (S.V. Volkov),
proof of the acid-alkali mechanism of the formation of electroactive
species in melts and the limiting role of this mechanism in stationary
and non-stationary electrode processes (V.I. Shapoval), discovery of
Yesin-Markov effect and creation of the theory of electrical conduction
in molten salt systems (B.F. Markov).
Important achievements in the field of applied electrochemistry are
the development of technologies for the production of high-purity metals
and metalloids by reaction electrolysis with addition of depressants,
multistage electrolysis with liquid bipolar electrodes (L.Kh. Kozin),
electrochemical synthesis of refractory metal carbides, borides and
silicides in molten salts (V.I. Shapoval), use of fluidized electrodes
for the extraction of traces of nonferrous and noble metals in
hydroelectrometallurgy and electroplating technology (M.O. Shvab,
K.O. Kazdobin), development of electrochemical energy converters,
lithium accumulators with organic electrolytes (O.V. Gorodysky,
G.Ya. Kolbasov, O.T. Vas'ko).
The studies of the structure of liquid conducting and nonelectrolyte
systems, which were initiated by A.K. Babko's works, had developed
into the individual scientific school physical chemistry of coordination
compounds. These works were very topical for many industries of our
country, which favored working out of a general theory of homogeneous
equilibriums (K.B. Yatsymirsky, I.A. Sheka) and development of the
high-temperature chemistry of ionic, molecular melts and gaseous
systems (S.V. Volkov, B.F. Markov, V.D. Prysyazhny).
Scientists of the Institute have carried out a number of developments
and designed a number of original processes, which have world priority
and are widely used in practice. For instance, in 1931 the Institute
proposed oxygen blast for the first time in the USSR to raise the rate
of iron and steel melting processes (M.I. Mozgovy, M.S. Fortunatov),
which received afterwards international recognition. In 1940, an appropriate
technology had been developed at the Institute, and the first kilogram
of indium in the USSR had been obtained (Ya.A. Fialkov, A.T. Nyzhnyk,
V.A. Tsimmerhakl). In 1937-1967, developments for the chemical
purification of industrial and waste water and drinking water preservation
had been carried out for the first time (L.A. Kulsky).
In 1940, systematic studies in the field of analytical chemistry were
started under the state order, the fundamentals of the physicochemical
analysis of solutions had been worked out, new catalytic, chemiluminescent
and colorimetric methods of analysis had been developed which received
worldwide recognition (A.K. Babko). Later on, new highly sensitive methods
for the investigation of coordination compounds had been developed in
works of K.B. Yatsymirsky school, and the relation between the spectral
characteristics and structure of complexes had been established.
The main kinetic regularities of high-rate reactions of rare-earth
elements with polydentate ligands and oscillatory red-ox reactions,
which are catalyzed by transition metal compounds, had been found.
In 1947-1967, extensive studies on the lyophilty and electrochemical
properties of disperse systems had been carried out at the Institute,
which formed the basis of a well-known scientific school of colloid chemistry
(A.V. Dumansky, F.D. Ovcharenko, O.D. Kurilenko).
Beginning in the 1960s, the Institute has extended the works in the
field of inorganic chemistry, which are connected with the synthesis and
investigation of new functional inorganic materials
(V.P. Chaly, Ya.G. Goroshchenko, V.N. Belyakov), development of advanced
technologies for the processing of aluminium-containing raw materials
(V.S. Sazhin), design of sorbents and sorption technologies (V.M. Belyakov et al.).
Before 1990, the Scientific Council of the USSR Academy of Sciences headed
by Yu.K. Delimarsky worked on the basis of the Institute; it coordinated
all studies in the Soviet Union on the problems of the physical chemistry
of ionic melts and solid electrolytes, what reflected the fundamental
contribution of the Institute's scientists: O.V. Gorodysky, S.V. Volkov,
O.G. Zarubitsky, V.I. Shapoval, B.F. Markov, V.D. Prysyazhny, E.V. Panov,
etc to the development of this trend.
Today the V. Vernadsky IGIC NAS Ukraine carries out basic and applied
research in the fields of physico- inorganic chemistry and electrochemistry.
Studies on the problems of physico- inorganic and physical chemistry
are carried out in the following main directions: chemistry of coordination
compounds; high-temperature chemistry of ionic, molecular, gaseous and plasma
media; synthesis of novel inorganic materials with pre-assigned properties;
working out of the fundamentals of resource-saving technologies for the
processing of mineral raw materials in the departments of physico-inorganic
chemistry (S.V. Volkov, Member of the NAS Ukraine), complex compounds
(V.I. Pekhnyo, Corresponding Member of NAS Ukraine), solid state chemistry
(A.G. Bilous, Member of the NAS Ukraine), sorption & membrane materials and
processes (V.M. Belyakov, Corresponding Member of NAS Ukraine), of the gas-phase
synthesis of inorganic compounds (Ye.A. Mazurenko), chemical and information
analysis (K.O. Kazdobin).
Problems of electrochemistry are under consideration in the departments of
electrorefining of metals and metalloids (L.Kh. Kozin), high-temperature
electrochemical synthesis, Yu.K. Delimarsky department
of molten salt electrochemistry (E.V. Panov), department of the electrochemistry
and technology of inorganic materials (A.O. Omelchuk, Corresponding Member of NAS Ukraine), O.V. Gorodysky department
of photoelectrochemistry and electrochemical power sources (G.Ya. Kolbasov),
electrochemistry of aqueous solutions (V.S. Kublanovsky).
During the activities of the Institute, its scientists have been awarded for
their research many State and nominal prizes, medals and other decorations,
such as a USSR State Prize (1979), a Prize of the Council of Ministers of the
USSR (1989), Ukrainian SSR State Prizes in the field of science and technology
(1969, 1986, 1988), Ukrainian State Prizes in the field of science and technology
(1992, 1995), L.V. Pysarzhevsky Prizes of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences
(1972, 1983), a L.A. Chugaev Prize of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1976), an
O.I. Brodsky Prize of the Ukrainian NAS (2001), a Spacu Prize of the Romanian
Academy of Sciences (1975), Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise Fifth Class (2004),
Orders of Princess Olga Third Class (2003, 2004), Labor Valor Medal (2004),
Order of Honor, the Georgian government award (2006), Order of Friendship, the
Government award of Russian Federation (2006), titles of Honored Scientists and
Technologists of Ukraine, Honored Chemist of Ukraine, etc.
In 1970, the Institute was awarded Certificates of honor of the Presidium of
the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the
All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, and in 1981 it was decorated with
an Order of the Red Banner of Labor.
Scientists of the Institute have published 126 monographs, which were issued
in Ukraine and abroad, over 6200 articles; over 1450 inventor's certificates
and patents for inventions have been acquired, some of the developments having
been patented in CIS countries, Bulgaria, USA, Germany, Canada, France, Great
Britain, Sweden, Finland, Brazil, South African Republic. Beginning in 1964,
25 collections of articles on the main topics with which the Institute is
concerned have been published. Within the framework of problem councils of the
Ukrainian NAS, over 70 scientific all-union and national conferences, seminars
and congresses, including 15 international ones, with participation of well-known
foreign scientists have been held. Scientific conferences of young scientists of
the Institute are held each year.
Since 1925, “Ukrayinskyi Khimichnyi Zhurnal” (Ukrainian Chemistry Journal)
has been published, which was created by uniting “Ukrayinskyi Khimichnyi Zhurnal”
(Ukrainian Chemical Journal) and the scientific journal “Zapysky Institutu Khimiyi”
(Proceedings of the Institute of Chemistry) of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences,
the editorial board of which is at the Institute. The editors-in-chief of the journal
were Member of the UAS K.A. Krasutskyi, Professor I.A. Valyashko, Member
of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences V.O. Plotnikov, A.V. Dumansky,
Ye.A. Shilov, A.K. Babko, Yu.K. Delimarsky, O.V. Gorodysky; at the present
time, Member of the Ukrainian NAS S.V. Volkov is Editor-in-chief of the journal.
Since 1967 to 1994, the journal was republished in full in the English language
by the Alerton Press publishers (New York, USA). Now 253 employees are
working at the Institute, among whom are 89 scientists, including 2 Members of the
Ukrainian NAS, four Corresponding Members of the Ukrainian NAS,
18 Doctors of Science, 66 Candidates of Science; 26 post-graduate students
are studying at the Institute.
The Institute cooperates fruitfully with many Ukrainian and foreign universities,
academic institutions and other research centers and industrial associations.
The priority directions of cooperation, in particular within the framework of
international scientific cooperation, include: creation and investigation of
novel coordination compounds and functional nanocomposites; development of
resource-saving technologies for the effective processing of metal-containing
mineral raw materials and industrial waste; refining of methods for controlling
the electrophysical and photoelectrochemical parameters of inorganic and
organoelement composite systems, etc.
The main practical purpose of scientific work of the Institute is the
invetigation in fields of physico-inorganic chemistry and electrochemistry,
studies of properties of obtained novel compounds and materials aimed on
the development of highly efficient, environmentally safe, energy- and
resource-saving “rational” technologies with incorporation of secondary
raw materials in the production process and reduction of man's environmental
impact, as was envisaged by the “godfather» of the Institute, the thinker of
genius Volodymyr Ivanovych Vernadsky.