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ArticleName Peat mining uprising in Russia
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2020.02.15
ArticleAuthor Misnikov O. S., Kopenkina L. V.

Tver State Technical University, Tver, Russia:

O. S. Misnikov, Dean, Doctor of Engineering Sciences,
L. V. Kopenkina, Associate Professor, Candidate of Engineering Sciences


The current state of peat production in Russia is briefly reviewed with added statistics on annual peat cutting output. The causes of interest in peat production in Russia at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries are discussed. The major role of Peter I in this process is emphasized. Foundation of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences gave a powerful impetus to the system-based development of peat production. M. V. Lomonosov is a founder of the peat science. Application of the research findings on cutting and thermal treatment of peat by Johann Gottlob Lehman made it possible to validate economic efficiency of iron ore smelting with peat fuel. J. G. Lehman provided recommendations on special furnaces to implement the simplest methods for enhancing energy efficiency of peat fuel and justified feasibility of using abandoned peat bogs. Activities of Russian Academicians and other rank scientists in geology and exploration of peat bogs, as well as the technologies and methods of peat cutting and processing are discussed. The information on 1768–1774 expeditions aimed to discover peat reserves and explore peat properties in the European part of Russia, in the Urals and South Siberia is given. The role of Academician V. F. Zuev in the bog nature description and introduction of the definition of peat in the Russian science is highlighted. The Fee Economic Society (FES) established in Saint-Petersburg spurred propagation and popularization of the idea on the industrial and agricultural development of the Russian Empire. Publication of FES transactions and the appeal to the readers to inform on bogs suitable for peat digging in the demesne lands resulted in the creation of the information bases on peat moors. It is mentioned that peat also helped surmount the fuel crisis in Russia at the end of the 18th century. The recess was conditioned by expensive growth of the landowner agriculture and by devastation of forests nearby large populated localities. FES encouraged and supported the research into peat cutting and integrated use of peat and peat bogs. The scientific output of the Academy of Sciences and Free Economic Society in the 18th century is the foundation of the modern achievements in the field of peat cutting and processing in Russia.

keywords Peat production, Petersburg Academy of Sciences, academicians, Free Economic Society, peat bog exploration, peat cutting, peat processing

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