Belgrade School of Electrochemistry is not made of institutions, buildings, or even a community. It is made of people and their knowledge, achievements and results. It has no date of establishment nor a defined start, and we hope it also won’t have an end. It was created as a result of several decades of scientists’ efforts to accumulate knowledge and pass it on to future generations, to contribute with their research and results, to conquer new knowledge and advance the society as a whole.
The name Belgrade School of Electrochemistry appeared in the global electrochemical community even before we ourselves became aware of it, as a term which, first of all, defines one of the most important centres of electrochemical science in the world, and most definitely, the largest and the most developed in this part of Europe.
Documented beginning of electrochemical education in Serbia happened in 1903, when Dr. Miloje Stojiljković, a Geneva student, founded one of the oldest Departments of Physical Chemistry in Europe, at the Belgrade Grand School.
|Prof. Panta Tutundžić|
After the Second World War, in 1948, the Technical Faculty is formed, and since 1966, the Faculty has been carrying its current name — Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy. Panta Tutundžić, the true initiator of what was to become the Belgrade School of Electrochemistry in the 1970s, was elected as the first Dean of the Faculty of Technology. He established, at the time, a unique curriculum for electrochemical education within the undergraduate studies, which even now makes the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy one of the rare institutions of high education in the world that has such a comprehensive and high-quality education in undergraduate studies.
Students, later co-workers and successors of Prof. Tutundžić will make Belgrade a significant centre of electrochemistry in the following years. During that time several research electrochemical centers were established. The intensive development of electrochemistry in Belgrade resulted in the establishment of an Electrochemical Division at the Serbian Chemical Society in 1968. which was the initiator of establishing the Yugoslav Symposium on Electrochemistry, succeeded by the Regional Symposium on Electrochemistry.
|Prof. Aleksandar Despić
ISE Vice-President 1977 - 1979
Out of the enormous number of students and associates, two of Panta Tutundžić’s pupils, later professors at the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, Aleksandar Despić and Dragutin Dražić, together with a handful of their colleagues, also Panta Tutundžić’s students, were the carriers and it can be said, the true founders of the Belgrade School of Electrochemistry since the early 1960s. Their research and knowledge, largely acquired during several short- and long-term visits to numerous universities in Europe and USA, as well as through cooperation with great electrochemists of their time, and their desire to pass on the acquired knowledge and experiences to the new generations of their students and young associates, enabled Belgrade to become an important place on the electrochemical map of the world.
Mechanism of deposition and dissolution of iron, which was established in 1961 in a joint research by Bockris, Despić and Dražić, today known after the initials of its authors as BDD mechanism, was the first great result that announced the creation of the Belgrade School of Electrochemistry.
|Prof. Dragutin Dražić
ISE Vice-President 1992 - 1994
Over the past 60 years, dozens of researchers have been working on the study of electrochemical deposition and dissolution of metals, the research of mechanisms of various forms of corrosion and development of corrosion protection. A large group of researchers from the Belgrade School of Electrochemistry has been working on problems of metal electrocrystallisation, i.e. morphology of metal deposits that stem from it, particularly the phenomenon of dendric growth.
As a result of the research on electrochemical qualities of cathode deposits, an excellent method for determination of phase composition of alloys has also been discovered, the method of anode linear sweep voltammetry (ALSV), whose answers are like fingerprints, characteristic for each alloy.
With the discovery of selectivity of the noble metal monocrystal catalytic activity in the function of crystallographic orientation, began an intensive research into the application of noble metals, various alloys and carbon based composites, as catalysts for low-temperature fuel cells, superconductors, lithium-ion batteries, as well as numerous other processes..
Perhaps one of the most original practical results of the Belgrade School of Electrochemistry is the so called Metal Candle. Under the management of professor Despić, for the first time in the world, high energy potential of a low-alloy electroactive aluminium was used in combination with oxygen from air as oxidant and a solution of table salt as a source of electric energy of high specific capacity.
Over time, the field of research has expanded to other applications of active coatings on titanium for various electrochemical processes (waste water treatment, chrome plating, production of sheet metal, copper refining, etc.), but also to other applications of oxides of noble and transition metals enabled by their properties: composite materials for energy conversion and storage, catalyst supports.In early 1970s, a groupof researchers began studying development of catalytic coatings based on noble metals, as electrodes in the production of chlorine and chlorates.
The result of these studies was the development of construction and reparation procedures for this type of anodes, which have been supplied to all facilities for chlorine-alkaline electrolysis in Yugoslavia for almost two decades. One of the results of this research was also the development of a highly automatized water disinfection systems. Hlorogen, by Sigma, Kula, is device for electrolytic production of chlorine in the form of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) solution. Since no gaseous chlorine is present, water chlorination is absolutely safe due to system design.
Although electrochemistry is one of the few scientific disciplines in which Serbia is globally known, the general public knows little about electrochemistry, its fields, the importance it has in everyday life today, and especially the one it will have in the future, and thus the achievements of the Belgrade School of Electrochemistry. That is why, on November 29, 2019, 13 Serbian scientific organizations and societies signed the Declaration on the Proclamation of 2020 as the Year of Electrochemistry in Serbia, the same year in which the world's largest gathering of electrochemists was to be held in Belgrade, with the aim of promoting this science, but also motivating young people to dedicate themselves to it.
The program of its celebration is rich, from the organization of several series of lectures intended for pupils and students, but also for the general public, through the realization of interactive workshops for high school students and elementary school students of appropriate faculties, to organizing scientific and professional gatherings throughout the year. The biggest and most important event was the organization of the exhibition Meet (electrochemistry through) Belgrade School of Electrochemistry. The first part of the exhibition reveals what electrochemistry is and presents its areas. The authors of the texts are members of the Belgrade School of Electrochemistry, who, by presenting the areas they deal with, also represent the most important areas for which Belgrade Electrochemistry is known in the world. The second part of the exhibition is dedicated to the Belgrade School of Electrochemistry itself.
October-December 2019: Meet Electrochemistry - a series of 8 lectures intended for pupils and students
Museum of Science and Technology Belgrade
Dr Vuk Radmilović: O sole mio, solar cells of the new generation
Prof. Dr. Jelena Balat: How to be beautiful and not perish - coatings
November 2019: Peek in to electrochemical cell
Workshops for students, Faculty og Technology and Metallurgy, Belgrade
November 29, 2019:
Signing of the Declaration on the Proclamation of 2020 as the Year of Electrochemistry in Serbia
March 2020: Meet Electrochemistry - four public lectures at the Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment
A series of lectures interrupted on March 15 due to Covid 19, will continue in September
Prof. Dr. Igor Pašti: What is Electrochemistry
Prof. Dr. Branimir Grgur: Electrochemical energy: present and future of mobility