The scientific-research orientation of Department was changing during its development depending on its personnel and way of control of scientific research. Much attention was paid to problems of stirring, pressure drop during flow of fluids, absorption, intensification of heat exchange, mixing of liquids, and flow of non-Newtonian liquids. At present, the Department's scientific focus involves two main areas:
Research on membrane separation processes
Study of flow of non-Newtonian liquids through layers of particles
The Department's team has been dealing with studies of membrane processes since 1983. The first phase of research was directed to testing of membranes for micro- and ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis and diffusion dialysis, and description of mechanisms of pressure membrane processes and diffusion dialysis. In cooperation with Slovak Technical University Bratislava and universities at Torun and Wroclaw (Poland), the Department's workplace obtained a grant from European Community for three years beginning from academic year 1992/1993 designed for development of membrane processes in countries of Middle and Eastern Europe. Another six universities from EC countries also participate in this project. By obtaining a grant from the TEMPUS program and other four grants from the Czech Grant Agency, and by involvement of the Department in research project "New promising chemical materials and technological processes" of Faculty of Chemical Technology, the University of Pardubice, the team of Department has made good use of their more than ten-year activities: at present, this team is the most coherent one among those dealing with problems of membrane processes in the Czech Republic.
At the beginning of 2003 an agreement was entered into by MEGA PLS, Stráž pod Ralskem, and the University of Pardubice: it concerned establishing of Joint Laboratory of Membrane Processes of MEGA PLS and the University of Pardubice. Its aim is to ensure better availability and exploitation of unique instruments and apparatuses and improve contacts between Academe and Industry. It can be presumed that this step has created better conditions for further development of membrane processes in this country.
The present program of experimental studies of flow of non-Newtonian liquids through layers of particles forms a continuation to the activities in this field (almost traditional for the Department) realised earlier. The aim of these studies, at present realised within a project sponsored by the Czech Grant Agency and a Barrande project, is to determine effects of properties of system (above all the rheological properties of the liquid) upon the basic engineering characteristics of flow of liquids through layers of particles. The results are exploited for verification of theoretical models of flow and for formulation of predictive equations of the flow characteristics, such as pressure drop, threshold velocity of fluidisation, expansion of fluidised bed, fall velocity of particle, and rate of sedimentation of sets of particles. The fact that the Department has at its disposal the rotational rheometer enables also useful cooperation with the institute SYNPO Pardubice in the field of rheometry of coating compositions, and with Paramo Pardubice in the field of rheometry of asphalts.
In connection with the scientific-research activities of the Department it should be mentioned that there exists cooperation with a number of research institutions and factories, such as: BIOTECH PLC Prague, EiIDOS Ltd. Zlín, EKOL Ltd. Ledeč nad Sázavou, GREEN-TECH PLC Valašské Meziříčí, MEGA PLC Stráž pod Ralskem, MIKROPUR PLC Hradec Králové, OSTAKOLOR PLC Pardubice, PARAMO PLC Pardubice, SYNPO PLC Pardubice, VÚOS PLC Pardubice-Rybitví, W.P.E. PLC Prague, SYNTHESIA PLC Pardubice. This cooperation makes it possible not only to better learn the needs and problems of Industry but also to obtain necessary financial means.