‘No progress has been made after the patent’

Kazan scientists have come up with a mobile snow melting plant, but there is no money for the project

‘No progress has been made after the patent’
Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov

As Realnoe Vremya found out, KNRTU-KAI (Kazan National Research Technical University) scientists developed a mobile snow melting plant. The invention has even been patented, but the inventors cannot get money for the implementation of the project, so it does not go beyond drawings and layouts. Read the details in the material of the publication.

The invention should help utilities to better remove snow

The creators of the snow melting plant are lecturers from the KNRTU-KAI Idgay Mingazetdinov, Yulia Tunakova, Rimma Shipilova, and Sergey Yakunin. The development was patented in 2021. However, the equipment may lose its patent status this year.

In the project documentation, which is at the disposal of Realnoe Vremya, it is indicated that the invention refers to equipment for cleaning streets, roads, and indoor areas from snow, it can be used in municipal services of cities and settlements, transport and industrial enterprises. The scientists' invention consists of a snow melting chamber with a thermal panel and thermal insulation on the outer body, a two-stage oxidiser hydrocyclone and an electric hydraulic pump. The installation also includes a power supply, a running gear, a removable grid, a control unit with a liquid level sensor, sludge discharge tube, foam and clean water discharge pipes.

A screenshot by realnoevremya.ru of project documentation

The use of the invention makes it possible to improve the quality of cleaning of collected snow masses, to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the process of cleaning streets from snow. The melting equipment works as follows: dirty snow is loaded into it, there it goes through several stages of purification, and comes out in the form of water, which can also be checked.

Money is needed, which is not there

Realnoe Vremya talked with one of the creators of the project — Candidate of Technical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Ecology of the KNRTU-KAI, Idgay Mingazetdinov. He said that their development can not only melt snow, but also makes it possible to analyse the degree of atmospheric pollution. With the help of the invention, it is possible to diagnose the level of pollution of entire districts of the city.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov

“The station is quite small, it is 1,5 metres long and 1,2 metres high. There is a handle and wheels to make it convenient to transport. It does not make sense to make it large, because it should be mobile and give the opportunity to work in cramped urban conditions. It is not suitable for working on large highways. We have been working on the development of the installation for a long time, first we created one element, then another," explained Mingazetdinov.

The scientist stressed that before starting to create a project, it is necessary to first study the question of the need for it. Next, analogs of the invention are selected, at least similar, and a prototype is already being considered from them. After studying it, inventors find weaknesses in the prototype and simply improve them or bring some of their own updates. It was this principle that guided Mingazetdinov and his colleagues when creating their snow melting equipment. The author of the project added that its cost does not exceed the price of a modern refrigerator or washing machine.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov

“I already have more than a hundred inventions, and their patent owner is KAI. Firstly, when an application is submitted for patent processing and paperwork, one has to pay 3,5 thousand rubles... But no progress has been made after the patent. But it's me who should be asking questions about why the equipment is not being implemented anywhere. It's one thing when a rector or vice-rector comes to an enterprise with a proposal for cooperation, it's another thing when just a lecturer comes there. It's the university management's problem, not mine. It's the opposite so far," the interlocutor of Realnoe Vremya admits.

In conclusion, Idgay Mingazetdinov said that the invention is only on paper, in order for it to be realised, they first need to make an experimental version of it, and this requires money, which is not there. As the scientist says, he regularly talks about this project at conferences, makes various reports, but it does not go beyond that.

“Once, the chairman of the Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, came to Kazan, she cited statistics according to which it turned out that there were about 17% of patent implementations in Germany. While in Russia, the introduction of patents falls short of 3%. Enterprises there are hunting for inventions, but not here," the professor complained.

Complaints about snow removal in Kazan are received regularly

As Realnoe Vremya wrote, according to the results of this winter, the Kazan authorities assessed the cleaning of the streets of the city only on a satisfactory assessment. In February of this year, Igor Kulyazhev, the deputy head of the city's executive committee for landscaping, reported that 938 thousand tonnes of snow were removed from the city to 7 stationary snow melting points during the winter period.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov

Changeable weather prevented more active work on snow removal. First of all, there were problems with cleaning the sidewalks: the snow that was not picked up on time plus winter rains turned them into a skating rink. Besides, Kulyazhev once again complained about the lack of workers. According to him, this winter, there were 10 streets per cleaner. The need for city cleaners was 700 people.

Artur Kazantsev

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