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Open Door Days

Open Door Days are traditionally held at our Institute in autumn. We will be glad to introduce our research and show our workplaces to you!

General Information:

When:

  • Thursday, 8 November 2018, 10:00 – 18:00
  • Friday, 9 November 2018, 9:00 – 13:30

Where: Czech Academy of Sciences Campus in Prague-Lysolaje, Rozvojová 135, 165 02 Prague 6

How to reach us: Find the map here. If you decide to use public transport take the bus No. 107 or 147 to the Kamýcká bus stop. Then you have to walk about 300 m. Both the bus lines run from the Dejvická metro station. It takes about 12 minutes by bus.

Contact: Ing. Magdalena Bendová, Ph.D., Tel. No.: +420 220 390 290, Mobile No.: +420 773 400 809, e-mail bendova@icpf.cas.cz

The visit is suitable for people aged 3 to 103 years and will be interesting for both the general public and experts. You may also visit other institutes of the Academy of Sciences in the Lysolaje Campus: Institute of Experimental BotanyInstitute of Geology and Laboratory of Optical Fibres of the Institute of Photonics and Electronics. The Open Door Day is organized within the Science and Technology Week that is held annually by the Czech Academy of Sciences. 

We ask larger groups (schools, etc.) to inform us about their visit in advance and agree on the exact date of the visit. It is also necessary to register for the lecture. The registration will be possible on the above-mentioned phone number or via e-mail from September 2018.

 

We look forward to showing you some of the following topics:


Carbon Dioxide in a Positive Role

or the Isolation of Health-beneficial Substances from Plants
 
Under normal conditions carbon dioxide is a gas, but after compression above 73 atmospheres and at a temperature above 31 ºC it becomes an active solvent of nonpolar substances. This is increasingly used in technical fields because, in comparison with common solvents, it is non-toxic, nonflammable, inexpensive and also harmless to the environment in the quantities considered. On an industrial scale, carbon dioxide is currently used as a solvent in the production of decaffeinated coffee and tea, hop extracts for breweries, spice extracts characterized by concentrated taste and high durability, plant extracts used in quality cosmetic products, etc.

In the Supercritical Extraction Laboratory, you can see the apparatus for obtaining required substances from dried plants, as well as extract samples by means of carbon dioxide. 


Nature in the Laboratory and Laboratory in the Nature

Do you think that nature and chemistry are incompatible?

Come to our laboratory and convince yourself that it is not the case. We have prepared a whole range of interesting experiments with natural substances that you can find at home. For instance, you can enjoy a home lava lamp, fluorescent food, production of domestic soap and cosmetics. You will learn how to peel a raw egg, blow out a candle or how to divide colours with a chalk.


Catalysis by Organometallic Complexes

or What New (Ligand) Dress can do

Modern synthetic chemistry cannot do without using catalysts nowadays. The properties of homogeneous catalysts, i.e. of the ones that are dissolved in the reaction mixture, can be influenced by appropriate (“tailor-made”) selection from inexhaustible supply of ligands. Apart from influencing the reaction speed (activity of catalysts) or prior production of only some products (selectivity of catalysts), it is also possible, by selecting suitable ligands, to efficiently recycle the catalysts – transition metal complexes – and thus to increase efficiency of processes and reduce environmental burden.

You will see how the complexes of transition metals with suitable ligands are being prepared in an inert atmosphere of argon or nitrogen in the laboratory, how these complexes are characterized and how their structure is determined.


Combination of Liquid Chromatography with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

High-performance liquid chromatography belongs among the most efficient and widely used separation techniques. Nuclear magnetic resonance provides valuable information about the chemical structure of the substance being examined. By combining them, we gain an invaluable tool for exploring various mixtures of both natural and artificial origins.

You can see an analysis of blackcurrant oil or, for instance, ordinary kitchen sugar.


Don’t Be Afraid of Rheology or What Can Flow

  Name of the field RHEOLOGY, which is concerned with deformation and flow of materials, is derived from the Greek word RHEOS (flow, current). Each material is subject to deformation in terms of force application. If the deformation increases with the time of force application, the material can flow. The material property called viscosity indicates the ratio between applied force (creep strain) and deformation speed (shear rates). Its rate explains to us how much the fluid resists to the flow. We talk about the internal friction of the fluid. Therefore, for instance, the water flows easily – it has low viscosity, honey moves a bit slower – its viscosity is higher. Not only that materials flow but they can also spring or resist to a certain force (flow limit) and then start flowing, they can slide along the wall of the pipeline, etc. In order to distinguish these phenomena and be able to describe the rheological behaviour of the material, which is essential for prediction of behaviour both in ordinary life and technological process, it is necessary to make measurements in precisely geometrically defined sensors with a precise determination of the applied forces and induced deformation. 

We will show you apparatuses with sensors for precise rheological measurements. You will find out that ordinary materials have various flow behaviour.


What is Happening in Microreactors?

Microreactors are increasingly used in the production of cosmetics or pharmaceuticals. Gas bubbles emerge in some reactions and then flow in the reaction space. These bubbles affect the course of the chemical reaction and may reduce the efficiency of the microreactor. That is the reason why we are filming bubbles with high-speed camera and then we study their origin, movement and properties to understand their behaviour. 

Come and see the bubbles flowing through the channel as thin as the hair.


Aerosols both in the Nature and Laboratory

Aerosols are suspensions of solid and liquid particles in the air. The smallest particles are only slightly larger than ordinary molecules. The diameter of the largest ones exceeds the thickness of the human hair. On the basis of weight, there are only few in the air, usually less than 0.000001 %, but their influence on a number of natural processes is substantial. For example, let’s mention the three of them here:

  • Aerosol particles are necessary for the existence of a water cycle in the nature;
  • Aerosols in the atmosphere significantly affect the Earth’s thermal balance and therefore have an impact on global climate change; 
  • Increased concentrations of aerosol particles have irreversible effect on human health

The Aerosol Laboratory addresses a comprehensive study of chemical and physical properties of aerosol particles. Come and see the demonstration of an immediate analysis of aerosol particles that emerge, for example, when we start burning ordinary materials in the household (candle, scented stick, etc.). We will show you how fog appears in the nature and what role the aerosol particles play in this process.


Analysis of Compounds by Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-HRMS)

High-resolution mass spectrometry is a modern analytical method that provides information about the qualitative and quantitative composition of both synthetic and biological samples. By combining with liquid chromatography, we are able to verify the purity of products, monitor the composition of plant extracts, monitor the antibiotic content of waste water, but also test the effectiveness of chiral separations.

In our laboratory you will find out how the ions are formed out of the molecules in the spectrometer, where they fly afterwards and how they are detected. You will also find out what some ordinary drinks contain. 


Bubbles as Our Assistants

  Surfactants affect many processes in the nature and industry. In chemical reactors, where gas bubbles react with liquid, these substances affect the shape and rising velocity of bubbles, the course of their decay and coalescence, as well as dissolution of gases in liquid. They affect the resulting efficiency of the reactor through these processes.

In case of foam when there are lots of gas bubbles and very little liquid (in thin layers between them), the surfactants influence the stability of the foam (time extinction). By means of high—speed cameras and other experimental methods we study how individual physicochemical processes act in the systems so that we would be able to streamline and improve them.

Come and see the proper beer head that lasts for a long time. You will find out and see why dirty bubbles are slower than the pure ones. We will also show you what interesting shapes the bubbles can take.


Searching Elements in Argon Plasma

Elementary analysis focuses on determining the type and number of elements that are present in the sample.  Here we will present a classic titration method next to the latest emission spectrometry (ICP-OES/MPAES). The titration method is based on the measurement and addition of small volumes (titrations) of the appropriate agent to the sample, while the ICP-OE method measures the intensity of the characteristic electromagnetic waves radiated by the sample in “cold plasma”.  If applicable, we will also demonstrate it on your samples of drinking water from wells and water pipelines, which you can bring with you in clean PET bottles of unflavoured bottled water. We will determine its hardness that is useful to know for laundering and ironing at home!

To learn more, please come and visit us!


Energy, Entropy and Laws that Cannot be Repealed

Classical thermodynamics is the theory about heat and motion, and how the heat affects physical and chemical processes. It is based on four postulates, thermodynamic phrases. They are natural laws that cannot be questioned. Steam engines, internal combustion engines, chilled and frozen food, residential heating systems, spirit distillation and other processes have a thermodynamic basis. Whether we realize it or not, the thermodynamics and thermal processes are an integral part of everyday life and phenomena that we normally observe. For instance, we will show you melting and crystallization of common substances or how you can convert heat to motion in our laboratory.

Come and penetrate into the mysteries of heat, energy and entropy!