Chemistry hidden by ancient volcanoes
The support of domestic ministries continues with the participation of SP CHEMISTRY in the RM@Schools 4.0 project. The Ministry of Education and Culture recommended that primary and secondary schools in the Republic of Srpska use the opportunities of this international project in chemistry lessons. In addition, the Ministry of Scientific and Technological Development, Higher Education and Information Society financially supported additional teacher education, gift packages of accessories for chemistry cabinets, as well as student educational trips.
The SP CHEMISTRY project team strives to include students from smaller towns in Republika Srpska in this program as much as possible, and this time the school “Veljko Čubrilović” from Lopare was a participant. The link was created thanks to our alumni Marijana Terzić, a graduate chemist, who worked as a chemistry teacher at this school.
The mountain Ozren was chosen as the theme of this educational trip. With the help of geologists from the Faculty of Mining-Geology-Civil engineering, University of Tuzla, prof. Dr. Elvir Babajić, assoc.prof.dr Alisa Babajić and Ljiljana Tankosić, Ph.D. from the Faculty of Mining, University of Banja Luka, the students were introduced to the processes that took place at the current location of the surface mine of peridotite (magmantic rocs) on this mountain.
They were able to learn how over hundreds of millions of years ago, the underwater volcanism has generated the rocs which were then tectonically moved to the surface. Exploitation of perodotite (magmatic rocs) is ongoing for the construction purposes (concrete and alsphalt), said Prof. Dr. Bojana Grujić, expert of the University of Banja Luka in the field of civil engineering. In recent years, the use of serpentinite for CO2 binding has been intensively studied, which is based on the recovery potential of this material, which releases a considerable amount of CO2 during processing.
In addition, there are additional opportunities for chemical research at Ozren, especially due to the presence of magnesite, a mineral that is applicable in the industry of food additives (such as Mg supplements), the industry of glass, ceramics, and also its application as a binder for technologies of refractory materials, even those in nuclear reactors.
The students showed interest in the presented topics, field work, especially at the site of the semi-precious opal stone, where a small competition was held in search of attractive specimens that they then took to their school.