Sustainable materials example: the forest

Sustainable Materials

Sustainable-related materials research at Chalmers is characterised by interdisciplinary work within academy and between academy, institutes, industries and public authorities on both the national and international arena. The research covers a wide range including basic chemistry and physics and extends to more engineering aspects like long-term properties and processability of the materials, and the approaches span from theory to experiments.

Much of the research within this area is performed within large competence centres like Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC), Competence Centre of Catalysis (KCK), High Temperature Corrosion Centre, (HTC), and Competence Centre Recycling (CCR), but other separate prestigious projects are also performed at Chalmers. The centres have received very positive evaluation reports and their good long-term financial support comes from both industries (Stena, Södra Cell, SCA, Tetrapak, etc) and funding agencies (Wallenberg Foundation, VR, STEM, Mistra, VINNOVA, and EU). The research is of high standard, as indicated by publications in high impact journals, approved patents, and regular invitations to present keynote lectures at international conferences. In addition, the area also offers courses at Master/PhD levels, and PhD students are frequently examined.

Active fields

These are the active fields within this profile area:

• Materials from renewable raw materials
• Recycling and long term behavior of materials
• Reduction of environmental impact through material research

Examples of Excellence

From a global perspective, there are several factors that threaten to reduce the strong international position of the Swedish forest industry. To meet this challenge utilization of new ways and new materials from trees are needed and therefore the Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC) was launched 2009 with exactly this vision. This is a joint research centre between the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Chalmers, and financed by a donation from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation of SEK 40 million per year. The activities in the area are broad and besides WWSC some 70 Chalmers employees are engaged in pulp and paper related research.

Another strong centre within Sustainable Materials at Chalmers is the Competence Centre for Catalysis, KCK. This centre was established in 1995 and has since then worked with emission control. KCK has focused their work within three different areas: Reduction of nitrogen oxides in excess oxygen, Oxidation of hydrocarbons and particulates, and Catalytic techniques for sustainable energy systems. One reason for their large scientific impact is the combination of experimental and theoretical activities, and the collaboration between different disciplines at Chalmers and their industrial partners. Today more than 10 senior researchers and 25 postdocs and PhD students are connected to KCK. The financial support to KCK comes from Chalmers, the Swedish Energy Agency and member companies like: AB Volvo, ECAPS AB, Haldor Topsøe A/S, Scania CV AB and Volvo Car Corporation AB.

Published: Tue 08 May 2012. Modified: Tue 07 Nov 2017