In March 2022 Dr. Youjun Deng will join the MBA group! He has received a scholarship from NAWA within Ulam Programme and was chosen as one of 51 foreign scientists who will visit Poland to carry our research. Dr. Deng is an associate professor of soil mineralogy at Texas A&M University (USA).

His research is focused on the occurrence of soil and clay minerals in nature and under man-made conditions and the relationships between mineral structures and their functions e.g. 1) reactions of minerals with natural and synthetic organic, inorganic, and biological compounds of environmental and industrial importance, 2) mineral transformations and 3) civil engineering challenges.

He has been awarded nearly 5 million $ of research funds, published 66 reviewed articles, 5 book chapters and 1 book. His publications were cited over 1500 times and he has an h-index of 23. He has given 162 presentations (38 invited). Dr. Deng is an active and leading member in 5 societies including the Clay Minerals Society and Soil Science Society of America.

His research at AGH is aimed to select and to modify natural clay minerals and synthetic layered double hydroxides to detoxify zearalenone, one common toxic metabolite produced by fungi in crops, food and feed. Clay minerals such as montmorillonite and synthetic LDHs have been successfully used to remove aflatoxins and fumonisins. However, such an efficient binder for zearalenone is not known.


On 13-17.09.2021, Karolina participated in the 9th International Workshop on Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Clays and Clay Minerals organized in Höhr-Grenzhausen (Germany) by German-Austrian-Swiss Clay Group DTTG (Deutsche Ton- und Tonmineralgruppe). The most experienced scientists shared their knowledge!

The workshop covered the topics of clays, clay minerals and mixed layer minerals. The variety of methods used for the characterization of clays creates many opportunities in projects on mineral-based materials. The gained knowledge will definitely improve our research. It was great to meet all amazing clay scientists, share experience and do the networking.


Check out our scientific paper on the removal of styrene solvent by modified smectite clay minerals. Styrene is one of the most important industrial solvents. It is used in the production of e.g. polystyrene and polyester resins. Its emission needs to be controlled and this is possible through the use of adsorbents.


Time to sum up the summertime at MBA!

We have found the time for both work and rest. Our PhD Students, Karolina and Maciej participated in conferences and workshops, and ended up with awards for the best presentations. MSc students continued their research in the labs and presented their progress during meetings. We have also found the time for integration and altogether had a trip to Bolechowicka Valley.

Now, after the holidays, it’s time to prepare for a new academic year and further research. We’re ready for action!


After many online group meetings and with holidays approaching, almost the whole group gathered in one place. We had a great trip to Bolechowicka Valley, near Cracow. With one peek summited (excellent views, no supplementary oxygen!) and a nice walk, we well-deserved the pizza. No science was talked that day, but we enjoyed the trip as much as the youngest participants.


Today we share a little sneak peek of our research. Here, Klaudia is observing her materials under Scanning Electron Microscope. Under Jakub’s supervision, she performs experiments aimed at obtaining hydrotalcite-zeolite mineral composites with dual adsorption properties. The combination of zeolites and LDH results in a composite developed for effective, simultaneous removal of anions and cations from wastewaters. Within a year ahead of their graduation, all our MSc students are doing great job!


May was full of meetings perfect for discussing the results of our research!

We had a group meeting where Agnieszka and Kinga shared the progress of research in their master’s theses. We had a long and rich in interesting results meeting with a group from A&M Texas University. At the end of the month, Jakub gave a talk on minerals in technology for the WGGiOŚ AGH University of Science and Technology, and Karolina led a panel discussion at the Job Fair for PhD students WSForum organised by KRD. At the beginning of June, Mateusz gave a talk at the conference ‘Topical Issues of Rational Use of Natural Resources’ receiving a distinction.

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Howdy Aggieland! -> A&M Traditions

Another informal international meeting is behind us. This time we have met clay scientists from Department of Soil and Crop Sciences (Texas A&M University, USA).

Is it efficient to remove radionuclides by zeolites? Why some kaolinites are not reactive? How to modify smectites for use in polymer composites and for styrene removal? These were the main topics of the discussion.

Those who survived the over two-hour meeting are in the photo.

See you next time.


During our group meetings, students have a chance to get feedback from others on their research. On our last group meeting (11.05.2021) Agnieszka and Kinga shared with us the progress and newest results of their experiments for the MSc diploma under supervision of Jakub.

Agnieszka Giera -> Different approaches and efficiency of mineral adsorbents regeneration for zinc removal from aqueous solutions

Kinga Lis -> Synthesis of mineral adsorbents doped with transition metals for the removal of selected organic compounds from aqueous solutions

Agnieszka and Kinga, we keep our fingers crossed!

We have also welcomed our new members, Maciej and Eugeniusz!


We have just launched a new channel! Researchers, students, industrial representatives and our friends can now follow us on LinkedIn. We will be sharing our research and innovations and you will get the chance to know us better. Spread the news and let’s network together.


Say cheese!

Most exiting conferences have been canceled or postponed in 2021. So what? We decided to arrange our own mini-conferences. The first one gathered 19 participants from MBA group and our colleagues from Oulu University (Finland). We shared great ideas and insightful thoughts about the common areas of research.

Looking forward to meet Texas A&M group next month.


Remember Harshita? She worked in our labs in 2018. Recently we have published a paper on organic modification of sawdust and its application for vanadium removal. The paper appeared in open access.


Monika’s research within Miniatura project has been published in Spectrochimica Acta A. Follow the link to read more on the effect of organo-montmorillonite on cross-linking of polysiloxanes.


Paulina defended her PhD thesis successfully on 26th October via Covid-free online meeting. Congratulations and all the best for your scientific career!


Another paper published in 2021! This time Tomasz in collaboration with Drewniak & Dziewit group in Journal of Hazardous Materials (IF – 9.038).


Karolina’s paper on mineral-based synthesis of LDH has been published in Applied Surface Science Journal (IF – 6.182). It is our first publication in 2021!


The new pilot installation for adsorbents testing has arrived. We are moving forward with the first large-scale experiments in Tango 2 project!


Short pop-science article was published online regarding our work in the OPUS project which deals with LDH materials. It’s in Polish so beware.


Not only minerals…Monika has just published a paper on catalytic activity of polysiloxane networks. Check out in Journal of Applied Polymer Science.


Holding MBA meetings without breaking social distancing measures…a different kind of experience in the age of Covid-19.


How effective and stable are our adsorbents in dynamic systems? Is it possible to regenerate them? Is the use of our materials cost-effective? This is something we want to find out in Tango 2 project.


The past year has been one to remember. There were many successes, publications, new grants, new equipment and changes.

Most importantly:

+ 22 reviewed articles were published
+ 23 abstracts were published after 4 conferences with a total of 9 oral presentations
+ 3 new grants were obtained (Team-Net, Fulbright Senior Award, Miniatura)
+ 7 grants in total are ongoing
+ 3 special issues are handeled by Tomasz and Jakub
+ Ania received a PhD degree
+ Monika joined us as a new member
+ …

Feel free to explore the website to find out more.

We look forward to what we can accomplish together in the new decade!