Minister of the Environment Awards for postdoctoral dissertation
On October 18th, 2010, in Warsaw prestigious Awards of the Minister of the Environment were granted to the laureates for special scientific and research achievements. Every year the awards are granted to scientists and research teams as the result of a competition in which innovative and novel research that is distinguished by scientific, economic and social effects and aimed at practical use are awarded. The aim of the competition is to disseminate information on outstanding scientific and research achievements in the field of protection, forming and rational use of the environment.
This year's award presenting ceremony was conducted by minister Andrzej Kraszewski. The president of the jury was undersecretary of state Henryk Jacek Jezierski.
One of this year's laureates was Asst. Prof. Jadwiga Zabielska-Matejuk, PhD (Eng)who was awarded for her post-doctoral dissertation titled „Wood protection with new generation quaternary ammonium salts".
The object the research were surface active organic compounds of ionic structure, i.e. dimeric ammonium salts (called "gemini salts") effective against the higher fungi which decay wood, and at the same time susceptible to decomposition in water and soil environment done by bacteria and imperfect fungi. Environmental biodegradation of developed fungicidal agents as well as their minimum volatility (very low vapour pressure) are the most important advantages of those fungicides assuring safety of use of wood impregnated with those compounds, as well as its subsequent utilisation.
The study is characterised by outstanding theoretical values, presents mechanisms of biocidal action of new generation fungicides and interrelations of chemical structures resulting from it: surface properties, biological properties, and adsorption. Novel research having no equivalents in Poland and abroad. The results of the study were disseminated in the form of publications in the most important European scientific journals concerning wood science and industry: Holzforschung and Wood Science and Technology, and presented at the forum of an international wood protection organisation: International Research Group on Wood Protection
The introduction of obtained results into practice, i.e. development of entirely new fungicides:
will fill the gap on the market in chemical agents for wood protection against decay,
will allow increase in wood durability, thanks to which raw material base for wood-based industries will grow without a negative effect on the environment,
will contribute to protection of soil surface and air quality and to counteracting contamination of bodies of water, mainly through reduction of accumulation of heavy metals, like chromium and copper, as well as non-biologically eliminated organic compounds (currently used in preservatives) in the environment.
Formulas of protection preparations based on new biodegradable biologically active compounds will be used by practitioners of the chemistry sector, forestry-wood sector, construction, conservators of museum pieces, and implemented in wood industry plants and forestry.