Enrique Dominguez-Alvarez has spent six weeks at the Institute of Chemistry.
SAU EcoOil is one of the biggest collaborations at KFU right now. In its first year the SAU has worked on 20 international projects and has signed 9 agreements. About 40 overseas colleagues have arrived to participate in the work. Among them is Mr. Dominguez-Alvarez who was kind enough to talk about his experience at the University.
– What was your goal when you decided to arrive to our university?
– My scientific goal was to synthesize novel nanoparticle catalysts that can improve the quality of oil through the reduction of the size of the molecules and through the removal of impurities that can generate contaminant compounds during petroleum combustion. The specific aims are to isolate different metallic catalysts, to optimize the synthetic pathways, and to study the effect of combining different metals in the same nanoparticles. As a second step, we will work on optimizing the synthetic pathways to get nanoparticles with the desired size and activity.
My personal goal was to learn about a new and important field for me – the search of more eco-friendly energy sources. So far I have worked mainly in medical research, but Dr. Varfolomeev’s project was very attractive, as the environmental protection is very important for me. And this new line of work was suitable for me, as I have worked on the synthesis of metallic and organometallic compounds before. Therefore I decide to come to learn more in both metal chemistry and petroleum chemistry.
– Have you ever been at the University or in Russia before?
– This joint project is my first time in Russia. Before coming to Russia, I have worked in different universities of Spain (University of Navarra in Pamplona), Poland (Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow), and Germany (Saarland University in Saarbrücken). Fron now on I will occupy a permanent academic position at the Institute of General Organic Chemistry of the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid. I have really been enjoying discovering such an amazing country, and surprisingly (in spite of staying here in December) I could withstand the winter weather very well. Kazan is a very nice city whose tourist potential is unknown in my country, but I have heard about Kazan thanks to BC UNICS, as I like basketball. Staying Kazan has been a very nice experience.
– What can you say about our university and scientists?
– I have noticed that the university is very open, collaborative and international. I have worked in a very multicultural, multidisciplinary and dynamic team, where I have learnt a lot. One thing that was very good for me is the collaboration among professors and departments. This collaboration enables people to use materials instruments of other groups in their experiments without a lot of paperwork. In other countries sometimes these issues are very difficult or require a lot of red tape!
– Have you heard about our Strategical Academic Unit EcoOil? What can you say about this idea?
– I discovered the possibility of working for SAU EcoOil, then made some research and found out that the Unit seeks to improve the quality of oil, to make greener petrol. Madrid, where I live, has had recurrent problems with pollution due to the contaminants produced by diesel engines (specifically, reactive nitrogen oxides). For me personally, helping in the search of less contaminant petrol it is very attractive and satisfactory, as I can be a part of the solution to one of the troubling issues in my country. This fact was what motivated me first to apply for the position, and later to come to Russia after being selected.