Production of ozone converters from outside air to oxygen for SJ-100 aircraft has been set up in Tomsk

Photo by © Tomsk State University Press Service

As part of the work on import substitution of foreign equipment for domestic equipment in Russian passenger aircraft, employees of the Engineering Chemical Technology Centre (IHTC) and Tomsk State University (TSU) have created converters to purify intake air during flight and convert ozone into oxygen. The catalyst, which effectively converts O₃ dangerous for humans into safe O₂, was developed by a scientific group led by Sergey Galanov on the basis of the catalytic research laboratory of the Chemical Faculty of TSU. The production of converters with this catalytic material has been established at the site of IHTC – an innovative company established with the participation of TSU, according to the press service of the Tomsk university.

Ozone converters are a mandatory part of the safety system of a modern passenger aircraft. At cruising altitude, which is 10-11 thousand metres, the airliner enters the area where the ozone concentration is so high that the penetration of the intake air into the aircraft cabin without purification is inadmissible. In accordance with the requirements of aviation regulations, ozone converters are installed in the cabins of all aircraft. In small aircraft – two of each, in large airliners – from four to six. Earlier such converters had to be purchased abroad, now Russia has its own production in Tomsk.

The first delivered domestic converters were installed on the SJ-100 prototype (flight 97021), which made its maiden flight on 29 August. At present, converters for Russian aircraft are undergoing part of the tests in Tambov at the Roskhimzaschita base, while the main tests are being conducted at the Kristall Design Bureau in Moscow. IHTC will manufacture and supply similar equipment for 22 new aircraft by March 2024.

“We live in new conditions, when we are set real tasks and asked for real results. IHTC specialists are an engineering team, which is now in the leading position in Russia in defending the country’s import-independence in the chemical industry,” Alexey Knyazev, IHTC Director and Acting Dean of the TSU Chemical Engineering Department, commented to the Aviation of Russia website. – We produce up to twenty chemical products annually in co-operation with scientific and industrial partners. Ozone converters are something that was once a scientific development, which we created together with TSU by order of JSC “Roskhimzaschita”, developed our own Russian catalyst, our own Russian design. And now we are proud to see our product in the design documentation for a Russian aircraft.”

In 2021, IHTC received a state licence for the development, production, testing and repair of aircraft conditioning, life support and air-conditioning equipment – oxygen generators.