Institute that freed Slovakia from leaded petrol marks 70th anniversary
The Research Institute for Oil and Hydrocarbon Gases in the past, called VÚRUP, a.s. today. The company, thanks to which Slovakia belonged among the first countries in the European Union to get rid of leaded petrol, celebrated its 70th anniversary in July this year.
"From the very beginning, VÚRUP profiled itself as an institute with great ambitions and high demands on the level of expertise of its employees. The emphasis on the quality of the people and the high level of results has been maintained even as it has expanded its competences in all the activities that it has gradually incorporated into its portfolio," says Zsolt Novotný, Director of the VÚRUP, a.s.
In the first decades of its existence, the Institute's research projects were oriented towards the processing of sulphur paraffinic crude oils, which were imported to Czechoslovakia from the former USSR. Among the first important works conducted was research on catalytic hydrotreating of oils for Slovnaft. The Bratislava refinery was one of the first in the world to use this advanced process. The VURUP’s system of corrosion protection of production equipment was also of great benefit to the refining practice.
After 1990, the VÚRUP focused primarily on the quality of motor fuels produced in the Bratislava refinery. Domestic research resulted in the development the Anabex additive in 1992. It enabled the transition of the older vehicle fleet in Slovakia to the use of unleaded petrol. In 1995, Slovakia was among the first five countries in Europe to use unleaded petrol exclusively. The transition to low-sulphur diesel fuels is also connected to the VÚRUP. After 2000, the VÚRUP also became more involved in European research projects.
In addition to research and development activities and testing in independent laboratories, the VÚRUP, a.s. currently also covers process safety and environmental services. The so-called specialty production, which provides dearomatization of n-alkanes, production of small-tonnage products and their sale, has also been maintained. Environmental geological surveys were also added a few years ago. This includes hydraulic groundwater protection, which protects the river island of Žitný ostrov and its groundwater, and is managed by hydrogeologists alongside experienced technicians.
The VÚRUP is a modern diversified company. Over seven decades the Institute has changed, but it still concentrates the intellectual power and creativity of people coming from chemical and natural science background and enables them to implement projects with specific outputs. This is evidenced by the immediate start of SLOVNAFT HYGI Fluid disinfectant production after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. "VÚRUP has always had concrete and measurable results. We have been connected with practice from the beginning, we are solving real tasks, cooperating with similar foreign institutions and expanding our scope. We are employing people who want to develop their expertise. I believe that a company with such a long tradition and excellent results has a successful future ahead of it," concludes Zsolt Novotný.
- SLOVNAFT, a.s.