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Shungite Rock Processing


A Development of a Comprehensive Technology of Shungite Rock Processing Including a Separation of Shungite and Mineral Parts and Their Utilization in Different Industrial Processes

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-IND/Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Process Engineering/Chemistry

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Kazakh National University / Center of Physical and Chemical Methods of Analysis, Kazakstan, Almaty

Supporting institutes

  • National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakstan / Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kazakstan, Almaty


  • Texas Christian University, USA, TX, Fort Worth\nUniversity of Massachusetts Lowell/Center for Advanced Materials, USA, MA, Lowell

Project summary

Natural resources conservation, creation of wasteless technologies is important task for an economical development of the world. Kazakhstan possesses specific, almost unclaimed carbon-mineral resources – shungite rocks, which name is due to carbon mineral shungite contained in the rocks. Shungites form rock masses and dumps after complex ore mining and concentration; the dump resources are sufficient for industrial-scale use. Shungite content in the rock masses varies from a few per cent to 25-30% and sometimes it exceeds 50%. Mineral part mainly consists of quartzite and different alumosilicates.

Several reasons allow considering shungite rocks as promising carbon, carbon-mineral and mineral resources for wide practical (industrial) application. The reasons are a presence of carbon in shungite rocks in an active amorphous form, in an intimate contact of its developed surface with silica; results of preliminary studies and significant resources of shungite rocks.

Project objectives. To determine a possibility of a use of carbon part of shungite rocks as:

– an active filler of rubber mixtures including a production of conducting rubbers;

– sorbent of different metal cations and organic pollutants for a purification of industrial and drinking water, as well as radioactively polluted water.

To determine a possibility of a use of mineral part of shungite rocks as:

– filler of rubber mixtures;

– sorbent for air purification from gaseous admixtures, for water and liquid waste purification;
– catalyst support.

The objectives will be achieved during three years by means of the following activities:

– a determination of optimal methods of separation of carbon and mineral parts;

– an investigation of shungite itself by different physicochemical techniques, a determination of physicomechanical characteristics;
– an investigation of mineral part by different physicochemical techniques, a determination of physicomechanical characteristics;
– a preparation of carbon and mineral fillers of rubber mixtures; studies of rubber mixtures and vulcanizates;
– a preparation, investigation and testing of carbon, mineral and carbon-mineral sorbents;
– a preparation, investigation and testing of catalysts on the base of mineral part of shungite rocks.

Category of technology development in the project is applied research.

As a result of the project implementation samples of carbon (active) and mineral fillers of elastomers, samples of conducting rubbers, carbon, mineral and carbon-mineral sorbents, catalysts on shungite base will be obtained, physicochemical and physicomechanical characteristics of the materials obtained will be studied and methods of preparation and modification will be proposed.

Project implementation totally meets ISTC scopes and objectives and allows:

– to expand scientific knowledge about origin and nature of shungites;

– to expand scientific knowledge about molecular mechanism of an effect of fine fillers on rubber vulcanizate strength;
– to create possibilities for a development of technologies for a production of stuff satisfying commercial requirements and responding national priorities of the country;
– to provide to weapon scientists and engineers the opportunity for peaceful scientific and research activity;
– to solve partially the problem of resource conservation – non-traditional resource of carbon and silicate raw materials is proposed for production of fillers of elastomers, sorbents, catalysts and catalyst supports;
– to improve environment by solving a problem of shungite dump utilization.

The project will be carried out by staff of Kazakh National University named after al-Faraby and Institute of Nuclear Physics of NNC of Kazakhstan.

Project participants, doctors and candidates of chemical and technical sciences, are experts in the fields of technology of inorganic substances, chemical physics, chemistry of polymers, analytical chemistry, and catalysis. They carry out researches in a framework of the programs “Development and pilot-plant tests of technologies of production of short in supply chemicals from wastes and midlines of chemical and metallurgical plants”, “Theoretical bases of a development of wasteless technologies and new materials”; study shungite rock in a comparison with known carbon materials, work to develop non-traditional methods of production of fillers, composites, sorbents, catalysts and catalyst supports.

Role of Foreign Collaborators in the project activities is:

– exchange of information during project implementation;

– comments on technical reports (quarterly, annual, final) presented to ISTC;
– cross check-ups of the results obtained;
– tests and estimation of materials prepared in the project;
– joint use of equipment and joint researches;
– joint seminars;
– joint participation in conferences.

For an accomplishment of the project classic and modern physicochemical techniques will be used for analysis of carbon materials, silicate rocks, carbon and mineral fillers and materials obtained with them, sorbents, catalysts as well as special methods of their study according to the scientific and technical documentation currently in force in Kazakhstan and in the world.

The project will be carried out by project participants in the laboratories of Center of Physical and Chemical Techniques of Analysis in KazNU named after al-Faraby and Institute of Nuclear Physics of NNC of Kazakhstan. Main and support technological and research equipment is partially available.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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