The Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry (IGIC) of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) was established by a Decree of the Council of Ministers of 11.11.1959.
By protocol No. 5, item 1, dated 18.03.1960, the Presidium of BAS has made a decision to divide the former Chemical Institute of BAS into Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry and Institute of Organic Chemistry. The existing Chemical Institute of BAS then served as the nucleus of IGIC, but scientists from other institutes and universities were also attracted. The first director of IGIC for the period 1961-1990 is Academician Prof. DSc Georgie Bliznakov, a prominent Bulgarian scientist with contributions to the theory of the crystal growth and heterogeneous catalysis. Prof. DSc Bliznakov is a researcher who has gained wide international recognition for his fundamental achievements on the role of the adsorption in the crystal growth, which have served as an initial impetus for fruitful research at IGIC in the field of chemistry and physics of surfaces, adsorption and catalysis on solids. IGIC begins its independent existence with a modest staff of 38 people, of which two senior researchers and seven research assistants. The research was carried out in five sections: Adsorption and inorganic catalysis, Analytical chemistry, Water-salt systems, Reduction of metal oxides and Chemistry of solid fuels (later on, part of the Institute of Organic Chemistry). At that time, IGIC also became the cradle of the engineering chemistry academic research, organized by Prof. DSc Dimitar Elenkov, Corresponding Member of BAS (1919-2009). The development of this branch of academic chemistry has continued under his supervision at the Institute of Engineering Chemistry, established in 1973. The analytical chemistry research was initiated and supervised for long by Prof. Dr. Nikolay Yordanov. The well-established balance between the inorganic and analytical chemistry investigations at IGIC has yielded valuable and fruitful contributions in the complex research on various inorganic materials. From the very beginning the studies were focused on the synthesis and complex characterization of inorganic materials with specific properties, including synthetic and natural adsorbents, catalysts, high hardness materials, and more. In the period 1980-1985, 13 laboratories were established.
With the Decree No. 1021 of 25.03.1985 of the National Council of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, IGIC was awarded the Order of “Cyril and Methodius" – 1st degree, for achievements in the scientific and applied research and in connection with its 25th anniversary.
Between 1991 and the beginning of 2004, Director of IGIC is the world-renowned scientist, Prof. DSc Pavel Peshev who managed to maintain the high criteria for scientific research and growth at the Institute.
From 2004 to 2012, IGIC is governed by Prof. DSc Konstantin Hadjiivanov, a distinguished Scientist in Chemical Sciences – Corresponding Member of BAS, Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Caen, France (2007) and Member of the European Academy (2012).
In 2005, three major areas of expertise are formed at IGIC – Chemistry of Inorganic Materials, Chemical Analysis and Solid Surface Chemistry. In 2010, the scientific fields were transformed into Material Science, Solid State Phenomena and Methods of Analysis.
From 2012 to 2019, Director of IGIC is Prof. Dr. Plamen Stefanov.
Since 2020, IGIC is headed by Prof. Dr. Radostina Stoyanova.
Three academicians are associated with the name of IGIC: Georgie Bliznakov, Panayot Bonchev and Dimitar Klissursky. To the research thematic development of IGIC contributed well-known scientists such as Prof. DSc Pavel Peshev (Inorganic materials science), Prof. DSc Dimitar Mehandzhiev (Environmental chemistry), Prof. DSc Hristo Balarev (Inorganic salts and crystal hydrates). Prof. DSc Ognyan Peshev (Adsorption processes), Prof. DSc Georgie Nikolov (Theoretical chemistry), Prof. DSc Elisaveta Ivanova (Analytical chemistry), Prof. DSc Lyubomir Sarnev (Solid surface analysis), Prof. DSc Tsvetana Marinova (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy), Prof. DSc Kostadin Petrov (X-ray structural analysis and Crystal Chemistry), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Simeon Angelov (Solid State Chemistry), Prof. DSc Nonka Daskalova (Emission Spectral Analysis), Prof. DSc Donka Stoilova (IR Spectroscopy of Inorganic Salts), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ivan Havezov (Analytical chemistry, Atomic absorption spectrometry), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hristo Sheytanov (Electrochemical analysis).
The scientific traditions which have been set up at IGIC in its 60-years history and subsequently developed in Bulgaria are related to inorganic materials science (materials for accumulation of hydrogen, single crystals growth, ultra-solid composite materials); surface chemistry and in particular gas-solid interaction; research on current environmental issues (full catalytic combustion, environmental monitoring, etc.); inorganic salts and utilization of natural resources (Black Sea mad, etc.).