News: Energi related to Chalmers University of TechnologyTue, 07 May 2019 15:42:38 +0200 of Advance Award for exploring the structure of proteins<p><b>​This year&#39;s Areas of Advance Award is given for the development of a unique method of analysing the structure and chemical composition of proteins. Increasing our knowledge of proteins could yield many advances, including the development of new and more effective drugs.</b></p>​The Areas of Advance Award this year goes to Martin Andersson, Pernilla Wittung Stafshede and Fredrik Höök, who combined materials analysis with biology using a clear multidisciplinary approach.<br /><br />“It is very encouraging to have our work highlighted in this way,” says Martin Andersson, who first initiated the research project.<br /><br />He contacted Pernilla Wittung Stafshede and Fredrik Höök to combine research expertise from the three departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Biology and Biological Engineering and Physics. The aim of the project is to develop a unique method for studying proteins, and thereby open up new knowledge and greater understanding of their functions.<br /><br /><strong>High resolution analysis</strong><br />An important group of proteins, especially when it comes to development of pharmaceuticals, are those found in the membrane of cells. About 60 percent of all pharmaceuticals target membrane-bound proteins, directly or indirectly, which shows their great importance. <br /><br />However, due to these proteins’ need for the cell membrane environment, it is difficult to analyse their structure with established methods, such as X-ray crystallography, magnetic resonance imaging or cryo-electron microscopy.<br /><br />The current project makes use of Atom Probe Tomography instead, with which both the structure and chemical composition of proteins can be observed. The technology offers enormous precision. At present the researchers have shown that it is possible to determine the structure of individual proteins with approximately 1 nanometre resolution. However, the challenge lies in designing a sample preparation method that makes the process faster, and allows to focus on individual proteins, which is the focus of the collaboration.<br /><br />“We still have a lot to learn about proteins, such as those that contribute to ‘misfolding’ diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The proteins involved here are very flexible and begin to clump together during illness, but we do not know why and how because they are difficult to study with other methods,” says Pernilla Wittung Stafshede.<br /><br /><strong>New use of an established method</strong><br />Atom Probe Tomography is a well-established technology, but it has mainly been used previously to characterise metals and other hard materials. Applying the method to biological materials, especially proteins, shows an innovative approach. The researchers have continued work to develop and adapt the sample preparation process.<br /><br />“Our project can be described as high-risk – we do not yet know if it will be successful. But if we do succeed, it could potentially be of huge benefit. Getting the Areas of Advance Award is a strong encouragement to continue,” says Fredrik Höök, Professor of Physics.<br /><br />The current project has been financed by the Materials Science Area of Advance.<br />“It is very valuable that Chalmers' Areas of Advance can offer support for early testing of our idea. We need to be able to show preliminary results in order to successfully seek funds from external donors,” says Martin Andersson.<br /><br />Now, the first scientific article has been accepted, and the three researchers hope to expand the project going forward. A first application was made a couple of years ago but was rejected.<br /><br />“But now we have shown that the method works! Sometimes one has to ignore some of the accepted expertise and go on intuition. And then you have to have the opportunity to experiment,” says Martin Andersson.<br /><br /><div><br /> </div> <div><em>Text: Malin Ulfvarson</em></div> <div><em>Photo: Johan Bodell</em></div> <div><br /> </div> <strong>The Areas of Advance Award</strong><br />With the Areas of Advance Award, Chalmers looks to reward those who have made outstanding contributions to cross-border collaborations and who, in the spirit of the Areas of Advance, integrate research, education and utilisation. The award will be given out during the Chalmers doctoral conferment ceremony on 18 May, 2019. <br /><br /><strong>Recipients</strong><br />The project is led by Martin Andersson, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, in collaboration with Professor Pernilla Wittung Stafshede, Biology and Biological Engineering and Professor Fredrik Höök, Physics.<br /><br /><strong>Note</strong><br />Chalmers were international pioneers in the development of Atom Probe Tomography for hard materials, a technology initiated by Professor Hans-Olof Andrén during the 70s. The application of Atom Probe Tomography to study proteins began a few years ago at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, by a project group consisting of Dr. Gustav Sundell, Dr. Mats Hulander and doctoral student Astrid Pihl, under the leadership of Professor Martin Andersson.<br /><br /><br /><br /><strong>Previously published news articles about the three prize winners:</strong><br /><br />Martin Andersson: <a href="/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Skeletal-imitation.aspx">Skeletal imitation reveals how bones grow atom-by-atom</a> (Nov 2018)<br /><br />Pernilla Wittung Stafshede: <a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Eating-fish-could-prevent-Parkinsons-disease.aspx">Eating fish could prevent Parkinson's disease</a> (May 2018)<br /><br />Fredrik Höök: <a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/75-MSEK-for-developing-target-seeking-biological-pharmaceuticals.aspx">75 MSEK for developing target seeking biological pharmaceuticals</a> (Feb 2017) <br />Tue, 30 Apr 2019 11:00:00 +0200 Wijkman: &quot;Too much silo mentality and too little caring for the whole”<p><b>​What is the role of forests in climate change mitigation and the ambitions to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement? Should we leave the forest unharvested to function as a carbon sink, or should we manage the forest for increased wood harvesting so that we can replace fossil-based products with bio-based products such as construction wood, biofuels and new packaging materials? Or may forests meet several objectives at the same time? A new report “Forests and the climate” aims at exploring questions like these and, in addition, try to explain why researchers with access to the very same information and data do arrive at different answers to such questions.​</b></p><strong>​<img src="" alt="Anders Wijkman" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /></strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>– Given the climate challeng</strong>e and the goals of the Paris Agreement, we focused on the role of forest and land use in relation to the climate, highlighting in particular issues where opinions differ widely within the research community. It was exciting. We wanted to explore if we could bridge the differences of opinion and, at the same time, identify knowledge gaps. I think we made progress, and my impression was that everyone was humbled by the experience, says Anders Wijkman. <br /><br /><strong>Together with Chalmers researchers </strong>Göran Berndes and Filip Johnsson, among others, he is the author of the report &quot;Forests and the climate - Manage for maximum wood production or leave the forest as a carbon sink?&quot;.</span><div><br /></div> <div>The report is based on the discussions among almost one hundred international experts during the conference &quot;Forests and the climate&quot; in Stockholm, March, 2018.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– We hope to present the contents of the report for members of both Parliament and the Government within shortly. Just like there are different views among researchers, we know that there are widely differing views in the political world concerning forests and forest management in relation to the climate challenge. We believe that this report can help decision makers make the right choices.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Anders Wijkman has been engaged in sustainability issues for decades</strong> – both as a legislator, as head of scientific institutions as well as civil society-based organizations. He has been a member both of the Swedish and European Parliaments and head of the Swedish Red Cross as well as the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. In the 1990´s he had a stint as assistant secretary general of the UN and policy director of UNDP in New York. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>He has participated in most of the international climate conferences, COP:s, since 1995. While in the European Parliament Anders Wijkman was one of the driving forces behind the development of a climate action plan within the EU and, as well, in the efforts to limit the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Africa.</div> <div>– Yes, I am very much concerned about both social and ecological sustainability. I worked for the Red Cross for 10 years and I am still engaged in humanitarian issues, even though it does not occupy my time to the same extent today, says Anders Wijkman. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Anders Wijkman has been recruited to several international top positions, as chair of the think-tank the Club of Rome, which is known worldwide for its seminal report in 1972: &quot;The limits to growth&quot;. He is also elected Chairman of the Board of Climate-KIC, the largest public-private partnership on innovation for low-carbon solutions within the EU, where Chalmers is a core partner.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>In the Paris Agreement 2015, </strong>ambitious targets were set to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. To achieve this, rapid and large reductions in fossil fuel emissions are required, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Forests, no doubt, have an important role to meet the Paris goals.</div> <div>Anders Wijkman believes that there is a huge difference in reducing territorial emissions by 20-25 per cent (which we have done in the last 20 years through fuel shifts and efficiency improvements) compared to brining emissions down to net-zero.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>–  To reach close to zero, all major sectors in society need to undergo transformation. My task at the conference in March 2018 was to demonstrate the great change that is needed, and, in particular, to show that this is not only a matter of changing the energy system. We also need to change the way our land is used – both forestry and agriculture <span style="font-weight:700">–</span> and the production of basic materials such as steel, cement, plastics, textiles etc. all of which generate a lot of greenhouse gases in the production process. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Anders Wijkman believes there are basically two options:</strong> either we produce the existing materials in other ways than today, or we have to replace them with other materials. Biomass can be used for both purposes; - to replace existing materials with bio-based materials, such as using wood for construction instead of cement, and – to make the production of existing materials more climate-friendly, for example by using biomass instead of coal as process fuel.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>One of the key issues at the conference was “To what extent can one use raw materials from the forests as substitutes for fossil-based materials” and it was Anders Wijkman's task to paint that picture.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>– The toughest challenge</strong> is to get people to understand that there is a huge difference between cutting away a few percentages here and there – what I would call incremental improvements - and transformation. Actually, we haven't really started reducing emissions in earnest yet. We travel more than before, not least with aviation, we build houses and infrastructure in the same way as we have always done, we consume more food – and use flights to import it – and we use more and more plastics, electronics and clothing. In none of these areas has there been a truly radical approach to change things in order to drastically reduce emissions and the climate impact.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Anders Wijkman sees only one area where Sweden is in the process of making a radical change. </div> <div>– In the steel industry there is now a development towards using hydrogen instead of coal and coke in the steel production process. By doing so carbon emissions will be eliminated. But otherwise, few really transformative changes are in the pipeline – except for the energy system where wind and solar power now rapidly increase their share of the electricity supply.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The UN Climate Panel was formed in 1988. Four years after that, the Rio meeting was held where the Climate Convention was agreed upon. Nations agreed to work together to avoid dangerous climate change. But since then, global greenhouse gas emissions have increased by almost 60 percent. It is a scandal. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Have the researchers failed to explain this problem to people?</strong></div> <div>– One of the problems is that society is organized in silos. There are very few people tasked to look at and address the whole picture. Everyone is focusing on their own sectors.</div> <div>– Another problem is that we have not received much help from the economists who continue to define cost-effectiveness as they have always done, i.e., very narrowly. Moreover, the principle of discounting means that there is a tendency to delay action because costs are perceived as lower then. I have the feeling that economists are primarily interested in the relationship between consumers and producers and nature is regarded more or less as a kind of constant. This becomes very problematic, says Anders Wijkman.</div> <div>He believes that it is difficult to get an effective climate policy to be implemented under the current global leadership. The election of Trump is a huge problem.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– When the world's largest economy sends the signal that addressing climate change is no longer important - on the contrary ignores it - then responsibility falls heavily on everyone else. Not the least, it becomes difficult to motivate developing countries, which are at least fifty years behind in development, to do the right things. Especially as many of them have their own coal reserves.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The interaction between the forest and the climate is complex.</strong> The forest can both store carbon dioxide and emit greenhouse gases. What happens is depending on to what extent – and how – the forest is used for wood production. The report tries to explain why researchers come to widely different conclusions with regard to forest harvesting. It shows how conclusions that seem to be in conflict with each other in fact respond to different issues and different time scales - which for an outsider can be difficult to perceive.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– For example, one crucial issue is about what time perspective that is being applied. If the objective is to keep the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases as low as possible in the next fifteen-twenty years, then it may in some places be the most effective to let the forest remain untouched as a carbon store, says Anders Wijkman.</div> <div>But the perspective will be different if we look 50 years ahead and take into account the need to transform different sectors in society, i e  to organize society in new ways and to develop new technologies and systems that can replace the old fossil-based systems. From such a perspective, it would be preferable from a climate perspective to manage the forest for wood production so that we can replace fossil-based raw materials, cement, steel, and a range of other products. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>In the longer-term perspective,</strong> the option to store carbon in the forest has limits because forest growth – and hence the uptake of carbon– decreases as the forests grow older. Old forests are close to equilibrium, that is the carbon emissions are about the same as the uptake. So the carbon storage option – to let the trees stand – has its clear limits. This is an important difference compared to the option of managing the forest for wood harvesting - not more than the annual growth though. When new trees are planted after harvest the forest is continuously renewed and it will be possible to maintain or even increase the amount of carbon that is stored in the forest. At the same time forest products are used for substitution in society. When such substitution concerns long-lived products the forest sink is extended into society. Carbon is then kept out of the atmosphere for long periods of time compared to when the forest is used for short-lived products, like paper and biofuels.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>–The big challenge, says Anders Wijkman, is to strike the right balance between harvesting, planting new, and storing carbon in forests and forest products.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>– Substitution is important </strong>and how to calculate the climate benefits of different types of substitution. It is relatively easy to compare a house of steel and concrete with a wooden house. Here you can clearly see that the wooden house has great advantages from a climate point of view. By planting new trees, you repeat the cycle and can later build more wooden houses, that is store more carbon outside the atmosphere. The picture is more mixed when we look at biofuels and for example green chemistry. The current carbon accounting methods do not consider all factors that influence how the production and use of forest products affect the climate. Here we need more reaserch. This was one of several important conclusions during the conference.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In addition to the ambition to present the report to the government and parliament, Anders Wijkman has as goal that parts of the report will be subject to further study at the Swedish Research Council for sustainable development (Formas) where he is the chair of the advisory committee for climate research. The report has identified clear knowledge gaps and it would be natural for Formas, among other things, to consider how these can be addressed.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>How do you proceed after the report?</strong></div> <div>–  I would say that carbon accounting is very important, that is monitoring carbon stocks and flows. We do not have sufficient knowledge and capabilities here. This applies to both forestry and agriculture. With better knowledge about the carbon sinks and stores - in the forest and in society - it will be easier to decide on future strategies for the bio-economy and how to manage forests for enhanced climate benefits. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>By: Ann-Christine Nordin, photo: Ewa Rudling</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>FACTS:</strong></div> <div><div>The report &quot;Forest and the Climate - Manage for maximum wood production or leave the forest as a carbon sink?&quot; was written by Göran Berndes, Mattias Goldmann, Filip Johnsson, Anders Lindroth, Anders Wijkman, Bob Abt, Johan Bergh, Annette Cowie, Tuomo Kalliokoski , Werner Kurz, Sebastiaan Luyssaert, and Gert-Jan Nabuurs.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icpdf.png" alt="" /> Download the report&gt;&gt;</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The report is based on the discussions between the international experts that participated in the conference &quot;Forest and the Climate - Manage for maximum wood production or leave the forest as a carbon sink?&quot;, Which was held on 12-13 March, 2018, in Stockholm. Organizers were The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA) he Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, (KVA).</div> <div><br /></div> </div> <div><br /></div> ​Mon, 25 Feb 2019 13:00:00 +0100“If you care about gender equality at Chalmers, come!”<p><b>​Liisa Husu, expert in studies of gender equality in academia, gives a guest lecture on 27 February. “She will doubtless bring new insights”, says Pernilla Wittung Stafshede.</b></p><strong>​<img src="" alt="Liisa Husu, Photo: Ulla-Carin Ekblom" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /></strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Liisa Husu is one of the pioneers </strong>in the study of gender equality in academia. She has focused particularly on gender dynamics and inequality in scientific careers and organizations, and in science policy. Liisa Husu is Professor of Gender Studies at Örebro University.</span><div><br /></div> <div><strong>On 27 February, she visits Chalmers</strong> for a guest lecture on gender challenges in academic careers and organizations. The seminar is intended for all Chalmers employees, particularly for graduate students, postdocs and faculty. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“She will doubtless bring new insights. I hope the audience will get a better understanding of gender challenges in academia and learn more scientific facts about it. Maybe the seminar will be an eye-opener for some. I personally hope we will get suggestions for how to approach this issue at Chalmers,” says Pernilla Wittung Stafshede, leader of Genie, Chalmers gender initiative for excellence.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>“Liisa Husu’s expertise in gender equality</strong> in higher education and her international experience and contacts led us to ask her to join Genie’s advisory board. Now, we want to make her knowledge available to the whole of Chalmers in a lecture that is open to all,” says Pernilla Wittung Stafshede.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Liisa Husu does research on topics such as gender paradoxes in changing academic and scientific organization. Her perspective is that of a highly experienced researcher in gender equality in science. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Liisa Husu has done extensive work</strong> as adviser to universities, funding agencies and governments. She was the national coordinator of women’s studies and senior adviser in the Finnish gender equality machinery, Council for Equality between Women and Men and Equality Ombudsman’s Office, at the Prime Minister’s office in her native Finland. She was also a member of the Swedish Ministry of Education advisory group on gender in European research policy in 2017, and is the moderator of the European Network on Gender Equality in Higher Education. </div> <div> </div> <div>“If you care about gender equality at Chalmers, come! I hope every head of department will attend the seminar and bring their faculty and students with them”, concludes Pernilla Wittung Stafshede. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The seminar takes place in Palmstedtsalen,</strong> Campus Johanneberg on 27 February at 13:15. It is hosted by Genie together with Chalmers Energy and Transport Areas of Advance. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/calendar/Pages/Gender-challenges-in-academic-careers-and-organisations.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the seminar and register &gt;&gt;</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>By:  <span style="background-color:initial">E</span><span style="background-color:initial">milia Lundgren</span><span style="background-color:initial"> and Ann-Christine Nordin<br />Photo Liisa Husu: Ulla-Karin Ekblom</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Thu, 31 Jan 2019 09:00:00 +0100 movements reduce power peaks<p><b>​By programming industrial robots to operate more smoothly, and thus avoiding heavy accelerations and decelerations, energy consumption as well as power peaks can be significantly reduced. Based on these results, researchers are now taking a step further to investigate how other production equipment containing moving devices can be optimized.</b></p>​D<span style="background-color:initial">esigning optimal processes, while considering energy and environmental aspects, is becoming an increasingly important concern for the manufacturing industry. In the long run, it provides a competitive edge in terms of reduced production costs and a stronger sustainability profile.</span><div><br /></div> <div>Since several years, the research group Automation at Chalmers University of Technology has collaborated with the automotive industry to reduce energy consumption in robotic systems used in manufacturing processes. The industrial robots are energy-intensive. For example, in automotive bodywork factories the robots' consumption amounts to about half of the total energy used in production.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Mjukare%20rörelser%20kapar%20effekttoppar/Bengt-Lennartsson_250px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div><div><strong>Lower energy demand and no production loss</strong></div> <div>”Our results show that the energy consumption can be reduced by 20-25 percent when industrial robots operate with smoother movements and avoid unnecessary starts and stops”, says Bengt Lennartson, Professor of Automation at the Department of Electrical Engineering. “And this without reducing the pace of production.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The reduction is even greater when it comes to the robots´ power demands – the power peaks can be decreased by as much as 60 percent. As the powerconsuming accelerations are greatly reduced, in favour of a more balanced mode of driving, not as large momentary power demands occur. This also has a positive impact on the life-span of the components.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The power demand being reduced to such high extent is a positive side effect of the energy saving we initially intended to achieve. So far, the power balance in the Swedish energy system has been good, but in the future, if the country is facing a situation where power shortage may occur, it will be expensive for industries whose electricity consumption is characterized by high power peaks.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Bringing the method forward</strong></div> <div>“Our method for optimizing the robots has proved to be both simple and efficient,” says Bengt Lennartson. “The optimization never changes the robot’s operation path, only the speed and sequence. We collect data from the real robot and process it in an optimization program. The result is improved control instructions that are directly fed back to the robot.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research group has now started to apply their method in other fields of engineering as well, where there are moving and energy-intensive systems. This could include automated guided vehicles, conveyor systems and numerically controlled machining tools.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The production system of the future</strong></div> <div>The research on energy efficiency conducted by the Automation research group is a good example of computer-driven optimization methods. This type of optimization, combined with artificial intelligence, AI, is about to make its entry into industrial production to form what is known as Intelligent Manufacturing. It is about smart machines and connected manufacturing systems that interact and communicate with each other.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Not least in China, there is a great interest in intelligent and sustainable production systems,” says Bengt Lennartson, who recently has participated as invited speaker in several research conferences on this topic. “Sweden is often mentioned as a good example of how sustainable and energy efficient manufacturing systems can be designed, and I agree that it really is our strength.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Yvonne Jonsson</div> <div>Photo: Malin Ulfvarson and Oscar Mattsson</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>More about the research</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Smooth-robot-movements-reduce-energy.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Smooth robot movements reduce energy consumption by up to 40 percent</a></div> <div><a href="/en/projects/Pages/Automation-and-Robotics-for-EUropean-Sustainabile-manufacturing.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Automation and Robotics for EUropean Sustainabile manufacturing (AREUS</a>)</div> <div><a href="/en/projects/Pages/Sustainable-motions---SmoothIT.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Sustainable motions, SmoothIT</a></div> <div><a href="/en/projects/Pages/ITEA3Q-Smart-Prognos-av-EnergianvQndning-med-resursfQrdelningQ.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Smart prognos av energianvändning med resursfördelning, SPEAR​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></div> <div>Bengt Lennartson, Professor of Automation, Head of Division System and Control, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden</div> <div>+46 31-772 37 22,<a href=""></a></div></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Mjukare%20rörelser%20kapar%20effekttoppar/Energy-robot_power_consumption_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Power consumption industrial robot" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Reducing power peaks through minimizing accelerations in the robot movements.</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></div>Thu, 24 Jan 2019 07:00:00 +0100 creates ripple effect for energy research<p><b>​For researchers to have access to a real arena where they can put their theories to test is invaluable. David Steen at Chalmers University of Technology finds that being involved in the project FED - Fossil-free Energy Districts, where the university campus is used as the testbed for a local energy market for heating, cooling and electricity, has opened new doors.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">“FED has become a springboard for our research group to look more into integrated energy systems and the demonstration arena we are building will also be used in future research projects. We have already gotten two other projects granted, where the campus of Chalmers will also act as a testbed,” says David Steen, researcher at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.</span><div><br /></div> <div>In addition to funding substantial investments, such as solar panels and various types of energy storages, the FED-project has connected the energy management systems of the buildings to a cloud-based marketplace. This allows the separate buildings, acting as energy consumers, producers and storages, to trade heating, cooling and electricity with each other based on what is most effective from both an economical and environmental perspective.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“One of the challenges with renewable energy is that it is not always produced when you need it the most. The local energy market we are developing in FED is one way to provide customers and users with incentives to shift their consumption in time, in order to use locally produced energy more efficiently.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>David Steen and his colleagues have contributed to the project by creating a simulation model of the campus area in order to measure the energy flows of heating, cooling and electricity. What makes FED unique is that three different energy carriers are connected into one common system.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We are trying to take advantage of the flexibility of, for example, the heating system to help the electrical system, and vice versa. As far as I know, no one else has done this by using a local energy market before.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The FED project ends in 2019, but the campus testbed will remain open to researchers and companies to test the new energy solutions needed in the transition towards a sustainable society. In two EU-funded projects, the researchers at Chalmers will examine advanced solutions for the future distribution system (<a href="" target="_blank">United Grid</a>) and how different micro-grids can interact in order to facilitate the use of renewable energy production (<a href="" target="_blank">From Micro to Mega - GRID</a>). Two additional FED partners, Göteborg Energi and RISE, are also included in these projects.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It is very unique to have access to this kind of testbed and to be able to test solutions in close cooperation with industry,&quot; says David Steen. “It has helped us a lot and I do not think we would have received these two projects if we had not had the FED-project and the test arena here.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>Contact</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/david-steen.aspx">David Steen</a>, researcher at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><a href=""> </a></div> <div>Claes Sommansson, Project Coordinator FED, Johanneberg Science Park</div> <div><a href=""></a> </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text, film and photo: Johanneberg Science Park​<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>About the project </strong></div> <div>The Fossil-free Energy Districts project, FED, is an innovative effort by the City of Gothenburg to decrease the use of energy and the dependence on fossil fuel in​ a built environment. A unique local marketplace for electricity, district heating and cooling is being developed together with eight strong partners. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The City of Gothenburg, Johanneberg Sciene Park, Göteborg Energi, Business Region Göteborg, Ericsson, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Akademiska Hus, Chalmersfastigheter and Chalmers University of Technology are all contributing with their expertise and knowledge to make FED attractive for other European cities as well.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>During 2017−2019 the FED testbed will be situated on Chalmers Campus Johanneberg. FED is co-financed by the European Regional and Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative, an initiative of the European Commission for cities to test new solutions for urban challenges. </div> <div><div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Unique-energy-system-is-being-tested-at-Chalmers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">Unique energy system is being tested at Chalmers</span>​</a><br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Follow FED on Twitter: <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br /></div> <div><br /></div></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about FED and UIA, Urban Innovative Actions​</a></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about FED on​</a></div> <div><br /></div>Tue, 08 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0100 Swedish forest can contribute to limit climate change<p><b>​​“There is quite a hot scientific debate on the climate effect of using forest bioenergy. Methodological and parameter value choices seem to influence the results significantly. We wanted to contribute to this debate with the Swedish experience”, says Olivia Cintas Sanchez. On October 30 she defended her doctoral thesis: &quot;Land use and climate effect of bioenergy&quot;, at Chalmers University of Technology.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">From Olula del Río in southern Spain to Gothenburg. After her years as a PhD Student at the division of Energy Technology, Olivia is now leaving Chalmers but not Gothenburg. Her next work place will be RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Since bioenergy and land use is a topic in focus all over the world, Energy´s newsletter wanted to ask Olivia Cintas Sanchez some questions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><b><img src="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/PublishingImages/olivia_cintas.jpg" alt="Olivia Cintas Sanchez" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />In your opinion, what role will bioenergy play in the future?</b></div> <div>“When evaluating alternative energy options it is important to recognize that these can both compete with, and be complementary to, each other. In an energy system with large amounts of variable renewable power such as wind and solar cells panels PV, dispatchable biomass power can be a valuable complement to balance power. In addition, electrification of transport systems is considered an important step toward more climate friendly transport. But it takes time to transform the current transport systems, and biofuels can make an important contribution to achieving rapid and deep reduction in fossil fuel use in the transport sector. In the longer-term, biofuels may primarily be used in applications where substitution away from carbon-based fuels is difficult, such as aviation”, says Oliva Cintas Sanchez. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is the main result of your research? </strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">This thesis shows that bioenergy and bio-based products can contribute positively to</span><br /></div> <div>climate change mitigation by providing CO2 savings.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Oliva Cintas Sanchez also hope that her work will clarify how different methodological choices can influences conclusions about the carbon effect associated with forest bioenergy. <br /><br /></div> <div>“Moreover, the thesis shows the relevance of considering supply-side responses to increasing demand for bioenergy and other wood products, e.g., changed silviculture operations and crop choices in agriculture. Different types of management affect ecosystem services differently”.</div> <div>“The work shows the relevance of land management. The findings suggest that shifting attention from an assessment of flows of individual products to an assessment of maintaining carbon stock in the landscape to deliver ecosystem services—including forest and agricultural products—could capture potential impacts associated with bioenergy while also being simpler to perform”, says Olivia Cintas Sanchez.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is your dream scenario for the Swedish bioenergy system?</strong></div> <div>“It´s a scenario with higher prices for fossil fuels that could facilitate investments on both, more productive forest managements and bioenergy technology development”.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Which tools did you use when you did your thesis? </strong></div> <div>“I used forest carbon balance analyses to estimate the climate effect of using Swedish forest bioenergy. Moreover, I also used geographical information system, GIS, analyses to assess and analyze the availability and cost of forest and agricultural residues in relation to localized biomass demand in the European Union. GIS analyses allow to account for land use and site specific environmental and social constraints”, says Olivia Cintas Sanchez.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What did you find most interesting?</strong></div> <div>“Contributing to this scientific debate with conceptual studies but also to get into more real studies to understand how the Sweden forest can contribute to achieve national climate targets. From a methodological perspective, I really enjoyed working with GIS analysis”.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Who is the target group for your work?</strong></div> <div>“It´s mainly other academic colleagues working with similar questions so they can understand the implications associated with methodological choices. The thesis also contributed with data production that could be used as input to the scientific debate about the climate impact of forest-based bioenergy”, says Olivia Cintas Sanchez.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Everything that is fossil-based today can be made from wood in the future”, claimed Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, some years ago. Now Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries are investing in bio-based economies. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Do you agree with Mikael Damberg or are there any downsides with bioenergy?</strong></div> <div>“Yes, in principle almost everything can be made of wood in the future. But wood is a limited resource and it is associated with land use and land use change issues, so it needs to be used in a smart way and may necessitate prioritizing its use for specific applications”, she concludes.<br /><br /></div> <div>By: Ann-Christine Nordin</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>FACTS<br /></strong><span style="background-color:initial">Oliva Cintas Sanchez is from the village</span><span style="background-color:initial"> Olula del Río, in Almeria, Spain</span><span style="background-color:initial">.</span></div> <div><ul><li>Bachelor of Science at the University of Malaga, Spain, 2008. </li> <li>Master of Science at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia ,Spain, 2011.<br /></li> <li>Doctor of Philosophy, PhD, at the division of Division of Energy Technology<br /></li> <li>Chalmers University of Technology, 2018.<br /></li> <li><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Olivia´s PhD thesis: &quot;Lan<span style="background-color:initial">d use and climate effect of bioenergy&quot;:</span>​</a><br /></li></ul></div> <div>Carbon balances of Swedish forest bioenergy systems – and – Geospatial biomass supply-and-demand matching for Europe.</div> <div>In order to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, greenhouse gas emissions have to be drastically reduced. Bioenergy can play a role in climate change mitigation by substituting for energy from fossil fuels; however, biomass is a limited resource associated with emissions from land use and land-use change. Climate benefits of using biomass for energy have been called into question, with studies reaching conflicting conclusions. These conflicts can in part be explained by differences in methodological approaches and critical parameters, as well as by differences among the assessed bioenergy systems, e.g., the geographic location and associated land use.</div> <div>This thesis combines five papers to provide a better understanding of the interactions between biomass supply and demand and the implications for land use and for climate change and other environmental impacts at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> ​Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100 came to Sweden and got a book in Japanese...<p><b>​In connection with his talk at Chalmers on 28 November, the Nobel Prize Laureate Takaaki Kajita was given a book in his own language. He got one of the first copies of the Japanese edition of the book “The Discovery of Nuclear Fission – Women Scientists in Highlight”. ​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">The book is about Ida Noddack, Irène Joliot-Curie and Lise Meitner's contributions to science and is written by Professor Imre Pázsit, Chalmers, and Nhu-Tarnawska Hoa Kim-Ngan. </span></div> <div>It was originally written in English, then expanded and translated to Swedish, from which the new translation was prepared by Noriko Johansson Akinaga. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>The Japanese edition was inspired by the fact that this year Sweden and Japan celebrate 150 years of diplomatic relations. It was financially supported by the Area of Advance Energy and has been printed at Chalmers. </div> <div>​The book release event will take place at the Swedish Embassy in Roppongi, Tokyo on 9 May 2019.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="">​</a></div> <div><br /> </div> <div><a href="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/Sidor/Ser-till-kvaliten-i-forskningen-trots-Fukushima.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the book (In Swedish). </a></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Nobel_Prize_Laureate_will_visit_Chalmers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Takaaki Kajita and his research. </a></div>Wed, 05 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100,-but-no-one-dares-take-the-first-step.aspx,-but-no-one-dares-take-the-first-step.aspxCarbon dioxide capture: technology exists, but no one dares take the first step<p><b>​It is possible to stop at 1.5 degrees warming of the planet, the IPCC claims in a new report, but few believe it will happen. In order to succeed, carbon dioxide capture has to scale up. Chalmers has the technology, but who dares take the first step to commercialize?</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">In the UN climate panel, the IPCC report describes how we not only need to reduce the rate of emissions but, in the long run, also reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. This means that we need to capture carbon dioxide. Chalmers conducts research in the field and has reached far. One of the researchers in the field is Henrik Leion, Associate Professor at Chalmers Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.</span><div><br /></div> <div>&quot;We must start catching all carbon dioxide, regardless of fuel. Right now we are working with biofuels. The fossil fuels already work well to capture. The technology for this is available. What prevents us is primarily economy and legislations.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Koldioxidinfångning/Henrik%20Leionweb.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Photo of Henrik Leion" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div>The technique Henrik Leion researches and develops is based on oxygen-bearing solids that replace combustion of oxygen as a gas. His research is part of several projects around a technology called CLC, which stands for chemical looping combustion. In most cases, the heat is generated in power plants through combustion in air. This forms carbon dioxide mixed with another type of gas, depending on technology, and gases are difficult to separate from each other. In order to get as clean a stream of carbon dioxide as possible, CLC uses a solid material where oxygen is included as an oxide, for example ordinary rust. Instead, water and carbon dioxide are created, which are easier to distinguish from each other. When the oxygen on the oxygen carrier is consumed, it is exposed to air and the material is then reoxidized and reusable.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Research at Chalmers within CLC is conducted jointly by several research groups across institutional boundaries. Henrik Leion looks at how oxygen carrier and fuel can be optimized.</div> <div>As the situation is now, it is not enough to capture only carbon dioxide from fossil sources. Also carbon dioxide from bio combustion must be collected in order to achieve negative net emissions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;We will need to capture carbon dioxide to a very large extent. Emissions must begin to sink within just a few years, and if we do not do that now, it means that around 2050, we will have to catch more carbon dioxide than we release to compensate for what we did not do 30 years earlier, he says. <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Koldioxidinfångning/Järnoxidweb.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Iron oxide being poured into a bowl" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">CLC is primarily a technology that can work at stationary facilities. Capture involves heavy loads. Not only does the oxygen carrier consist of some kind of metal. The carbon dioxide collected weighs about three times more than the fuel, which in itself would mean increased emissions for a vehicle due to the weight.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Economy and legislation impede</strong></div> <div>Thus, CLC could be of great use if it was used at commercial level. But yet nobody dares to take the financial risk to invest in the technology. So far, it has been tested in the Chalmers test facility of 12 megawatts with successful results. But a major effort is required for technology to come through, believes Henrik Leion.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Someone must dare to test the technology in a 50 megawatt facility. This will probably mean losing money initially, but the technology needs this to be further developed, he believes.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In addition, it must be cheaper to use the technology. The price must be able to compete with carbon credits. Today, a carbon credit, ie the right to release a ton of carbon dioxide, costs about 20 euros. CLC is slightly more expensive, but could, with a bigger initiative, become cheaper. If it is cheaper to collect carbon dioxide than to release it into the atmosphere, chances are that the industry will invest in the technology. In addition, CLC requires that large parts of the combustion system is rebuilt. Another problem is the storage.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;There is no logistics and legislation to deposit carbon dioxide. It takes about 10,000 years for the gas to be converted into limestone. Carbon dioxide is not very dangerous, it is not comparable to nuclear waste, but we talk about huge amounts here, says Henrik Leion.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A legislative problem is the question of liability. Who will be responsible for the storage for 10,000 years? It has also proved difficult to find places where governments and populations accept storage. Another way to store the greenhouse gas is to pump it into drained oil sources at sea. It is expensive and lacks logistics, but it may be necessary.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Must be put into use</strong></div> <div>Any type of capture technique must be taken into use. Without capture techniques, climate targets will not be reached. What is needed, Henrik says, is that a major energy company dares to test the technology at the commercial level. That company must be ready to lose money. Somewhere, money will probably be lost, but it may be something we have to accept to avoid a significantly higher temperature rise. Without capture, we do not have a chance to stop the temperature rise at 2 degrees, Henrik says who soon will be off for parental leave.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;To be honest, it is frankly not morally easy for me to take a break from the research in this situation. My way of handling my climate depression is to work”, he says. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Mats Tiborn</div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 19 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0200 energy system saves heat from the summer sun for winter<p><b>​A research group from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has made great, rapid strides towards the development of a specially designed molecule which can store solar energy for later use. These advances have been presented in four scientific articles this year, with the most recent being published in the highly ranked journal Energy &amp; Environmental Science.</b></p>Around a year ago, the research team presented a molecule that was capable of storing solar energy. The molecule, made from carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, has the unique property that when it is hit by sunlight, it is transformed into an energy-rich isomer – a molecule which consists of the same atoms, but bound together in a different way.<br /><br />This isomer can then be stored for use when that energy is later needed – for example, at night or in winter. It is in a liquid form and is adapted for use in a solar energy system, which the researchers have named MOST (Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage). In just the last year, the research team have made great advances in the development of MOST. <br /><br />“The energy in this isomer can now be stored for up to 18 years. And when we come to extract the energy and use it, we get a warmth increase which is greater than we dared hope for,” says the leader of the research team, Kasper Moth-Poulsen, in Nano Materials Chemistry at Chalmers.<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Utsläppsfritt%20energisystem/KasperMoth-Poulsen_180913_07_3000px.jpg" alt="Professor Kasper Moth-Poulsen holding a tube containing the catalyst, in front of the ultra-high vacuum setup that was used to m" width="4114" height="2742" style="height:181px;width:272px;margin:5px" /><br /><br />The research group have developed a catalyst for controlling the release of the stored energy. The catalyst acts as a filter, through which the liquid flows, creating a reaction which warms the liquid by 63 centigrades.  If the liquid has a temperature of 20°Celsius when it pumps through the filter, it comes out the other side at 83°Celsius. At the same time, it returns the molecule to its original form, so that it can be then reused in the warming system.<br /><br />During the same period, the researchers also learned to improve the design of the molecule to increase its storage abilities so that the isomer can store energy for up to 18 years. This was a crucial improvement, as the focus of the project is primarily chemical energy storage. <div><div><br />Furthermore, the system was previously reliant on the liquid being partly composed of the flammable chemical toluene. But now the researchers have found a way to remove the potentially dangerous toluene and instead use just the energy storing molecule. <br /><br />Taken together, the advances mean that the energy system MOST now works in a circular manner. First, the liquid captures energy from sunlight, in a solar thermal collector on the roof of a building. Then it is stored at room temperature, leading to minimal energy losses. When the energy is needed, it can be drawn through the catalyst so that the liquid heats up. It is envisioned that this warmth can then be utilised in, for example, domestic heating systems, after which the liquid can be sent back up to the roof to collect more energy – all completely free of emissions, and without damaging the molecule. <br /><br />“We have made many crucial advances recently, and today we have an emissions-free energy system which works all year around,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen. <br /><br />The solar thermal collector is a concave reflector with a pipe in the centre. It tracks the sun’s path across the sky and works in the same way as a satellite dish, focusing the sun’s rays to a point where the liquid leads through the pipe. It is even possible to add on an additional pipe with normal water to combine the system with conventional water heating. <br /><br />The next steps for the researchers are to combine everything together into a coherent system. </div> <div>“There is a lot left to do. We have just got the system to work. Now we need to ensure everything is optimally designed,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen.<br /><br />The group is satisfied with the storage capabilities, but more energy could be extracted, Kasper believes. He hopes that the research group will shortly achieve a temperature increase of at least 110<span style="background-color:initial">°</span><span style="background-color:initial">Celsius and thinks the technology could be in commercial use within 10 years. </span></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><span><strong><br />More on: the advances behind the four scientific publications </strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>The research group has published four scientific articles on their breakthroughs around the energy system during 2018.</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>1.</strong></span><span style="white-space:pre"><span><strong> </strong></span></span><span><strong>Removing the need for toluene to be mixed with the molecule. Liquid Norbornadiene Photoswitches for Solar Energy Storage in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>2.</strong></span><span style="white-space:pre"><span><strong> </strong></span></span><span><strong>Increasing energy density and storage times. Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage in photoswitch oligomers increases energy densities and storage times in the journal Nature Communications.</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>3.</strong></span><span style="white-space:pre"><span><strong> </strong></span></span><span><strong>Achieving energy storage of up to 18 years. Norbornadiene-based photoswitches with exceptional combination of solar spectrum match and long-term energy storage in Chemistry: A European Journal.</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>4.</strong></span><span style="white-space:pre"><span><strong> </strong></span></span><span><strong>New record in how efficiently heating can be done. The liquid can increase 63C in temperature. Macroscopic Heat Release in a Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage System in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.</strong></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:10px"></span><br /></div></div>Wed, 03 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0200 study reveals real size of crude oil’s carbon footprint<p><b>​Emissions from crude oil extraction are a significant part of the total emissions of fossil fuels. A new comprehensive study recently published in Science also shows that emissions are far higher than the industry&#39;s own estimates.&quot;Knowledge of greenhouse gases emissions associated with the extraction of crude oil makes us more aware of the full lifecycle climate impacts of using oil and it will also be helpful when it comes to evaluating which measures would be most cost effective to reduce emissions,&quot; says Sonia Yeh, Professor of energy and transport systems at Chalmers.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The extraction, transport and refining of crude oil account for between 15 and 40 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions from transport fuels such as gasoline and diesel. Different crude oils can have very different physical properties that require more energy to extract and refine than others. But the major difference in the climate impacts of different oil extract is actually how much methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, being released or burned in large quantities at extraction, activities known as flaring, venting, and fugitive emissions. </span><div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Sonia_Yeh_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />– Although fossil free sources for energy are on the rise for the electricity sector, our demands for crude oil still continue to rise and it is unlikely to peak anytime soon. So reducing transport emissions or at least preventing oil extraction to become more and more carbon intensive is crucial, says Sonia Yeh, at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the recently published study <a href="">“Global carbon intensity of crude oil production&quot; (<em>Masnadi et al, Science</em>)</a> the total petroleum well-to-refinery emissions is estimated to be 1,7 Gt CO2 eq, which is 42 per cent higher than the estimations made by the industry and constitute 5 percent of global total emissions. In comparison, total global emissions from aviation is roughly 2.7 percent.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The study, which sums up 10 years of research from a global research network, also highlights several ways to reduce these emissions. On the one hand, it suggests leaving the densest and most energy-consuming oil in the ground and focusing on other less carbon intensive sources. On the other hand, it is about reducing the flaring, venting and fugitive emissions of methane.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The study shows that if the amount of methane released into the atmosphere is reduced to the same levels that have been achieved in Norway, there is a potential to reduce 40% of total emissions from oil production. But both changes require political leadership and economic and policy instruments, according to Sonia.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/flaring-200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />– Don’t forget that methane is a product that can be captured and used, but in many countries it is considered not worthwhile or uneconomical to capture and put methane into pipelines. But if it would cost significantly more to let it out in the atmosphere the industry might reconsider. Unfortunately, the Trump administration is instead considering making it even easier to release methane into the air, which would be a step in the wrong direction”. (Read more in the New York Times article: <a href="">Trump Administration Wants to Make It Easier to Release Methane Into Air​</a>​). </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Sonia thinks that research can be even better at measuring and characterizing sources of emissions, and if society want to address these emissions, then politicians must create new rules and guidelines, and monitor how they are managed. Oil companies can also be much better at following up on these things themselves to show their environmental commitments and leaderships.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– This important analysis gives both our politicians and the oil companies greater access to information to fully measure and compare the effects of oil emissions. if you don’t measure it you can’t control it.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Christian Löwhagen. </em></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Read more: </h5> <div>The full article in Science Magazine: <a href="">“Global carbon intensity of crude oil production&quot; (<em>Masnadi et al, Science</em>)</a> <em><br /></em></div> <div><a href="">Press release from Stanford University: Measuring Crude Oils Carbon Footprint​</a>. <br /></div>Wed, 26 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200 freight transport grows despite extreme competition<p><b>​The topics ranged from electric aircraft to city planning at Chalmers Initiative Seminar on electromobility, 13 September. We had a few words with speakers Laetitia Dablanc and Tom Nørbech about the development of electric freight transport in France and Norway.</b></p><div>​Norway is well known for its large share of electric passenger cars. Over the last few years, the country has also taken the lead in electric ferries. In 2022 the country will have between 70 and 80 hybrid or battery electric ferries, according to Tom Nørbech, senior advisor at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.</div> <div> </div> <div>However, the development for freight vehicles does not look as positive. The market share for this type of vehicles is only two percent, while the corresponding figure for electric passenger cars is 25 percent. How can this be?</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Slow but steady increase</h4> <div>“One reason is that until now only the smallest freight vehicles have come into mass production, so the comparison is not totally fair”, explains Tom Nørbech. </div> <div>The high sale of electric vehicles in Norway can to a large part be explained by tax exemptions that apply to conventional private vehicles. Such a tax exemption would have little effect on commercial vehicles where taxes are already low, according to Tom Nørbech. Still, the number of freight vehicles is growing in Norway, but at a slower pace than passenger cars.</div> <div> </div> <div>“The smallest freight vehicles have increased from 4.5 percent of sales in their vehicle segment in 2013 to 10.5 percent in 2017”, he says.</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">An extremely competitive market</h4> <div>“Freight operators have been reluctant to switch to electric”, comments Laetitia Dablanc. She is professor at University Paris-East, French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks, and visiting professor at the University of Gothenburg.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Freight businesses are afraid of the changes involved if they switch to electric, training staff and implementing charging stations for example”, she says, and points out that the urban freight industry is extremely competitive, with low margins, and mostly short-term concerns. </div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Better batteries push the development forward</h4> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Transport/_bilder-utan-fast-format/LaetitiaDablanc_300x205.jpg" alt="Audio description: Laetitia Dablanc" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />At the seminar, Laetitia Dablanc presented the results of a recent study of the challenges for electromobility in urban freight, using France as a case study. The study was made by PhD candidate P. Camilleri and will be published later this year.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Our scenarios show that, when taking the main current operating constraints faced by urban freight companies in France into account, the realistic market share for electromobility for this market is about 13 percent by 2032”, she says. “It is both very little, compared to politicians’ declared objectives in many cities, and not so bad, when thinking about the complexity of the freight delivery business today.” </div> <div> </div> <div>According to Laetitia Dablanc, we can expect a slow but steady uptake of electric freight vehicles in Europe in general. A continuous progress in battery range in combination with an increased variety of e-vans and government incentives such as subsidies, tax or traffic advantages is pushing the development forward in most European countries. Large companies such as UPS or DHL also increasingly require from their urban contractors to enhance the share of environmentally-friendly operations.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text and photo: Emilia Lundgren and Ann-Christine Nordin</em><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>FURTHER READING</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Electric-vehicles-a-game-changer-for-cities-and-transport.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Electric vehicles a game changer for cities and transport</a></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/calendar/Initiative-seminar-2018/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Presentations from the Initiative Seminar <span>“<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>Electromobility - Back to the future<span>“<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The study results from P. Camilleri will be made public after 26 October 2018, and will then be available from <a href=""></a> </div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><em>Previous publication:</em> Camilleri, P., Dablanc, L. (2017) An assessment of present and future competitiveness of electric commercial vans, Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering. Vol 7(1), p. 337-364.</div>Tue, 18 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200 vehicles a game changer for cities and transport<p><b>​The rapid development of electric vehicles affects all types of traffic, but also brings new challenges. How do we design our cities with even more types of vehicles in motion? Electric aircraft, when will it become reality? At the initiative seminar “Electromobility – Back to the Future”, on 13 September, these questions will be raised.</b></p><div>​Electric vehicles are nothing new. They have been around for more than a hundred years. Back then however, the battery technology was immature, with short range and big batteries.</div> <div> </div> <div>“At first, electric vehicles were overtaken by cheaper vehicles with combustion engines. Today, we see that very efficient batteries are emerging. The climate question also accelerates the development. There is a will among politicians, industry and the public, which probably will lead to the replacement of conventional combustion engine vehicles in the long term”, says Sinisa Krajnovic, leader of Transport Area of Advance at Chalmers.</div> <div> </div> <div>By looking into the rear view mirror at electric vehicles’ century long history, the Transport and Energy Areas of Advance want to highlight the fact that understanding and knowledge now has caught up with technology – along with environmental problems such as greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact from for e.g. battery production.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">From electric aircraft to urban planning</h4> <div> “The seminar is a great opportunity for knowledge sharing, mingling and networking for all participants. For my part, I look forward to the many different presentations”, says Maria Grahn, leader of Energy Area of Advance.</div> <div> </div> <div>The day offers several interesting sessions, including visions for the future such as electric aircraft, technology development and security aspects, strategic decision making and urban planning for electromobility. We will also learn more about what to expect from the national test lab for electromobility (SEEL) and why Norway has the highest number of electric cars per capita.</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Prospects good for the 2030 goals</h4> <div>In media, the debate on climate issues has been high since the heat wave this summer, linking to aircraft and other highly energy consuming types of transportation. What, then, is required for Sweden to reach the target and have a fossil-independent fleet by 2030. </div> <div> </div> <div>“The combination of the two policy instruments introduced this year, Reduction Obligation and Bonus Malus, provides very good conditions for success”, says Maria Grahn.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Reduction obligation means that fuel sold in Sweden must contain a certain amount of fuel from renewable sources to reduce fossil carbon dioxide emissions. Bonus Malus gives incentives for car buyers to choose a more energy-efficient car.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Most researchers agree that electrification of vehicles is not enough”, says Sinisa Krajnovic. “You have to combine several different propulsion technologies. But above all, we need to change our behaviour.”</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">An overall picture of electromobility</h4> <div>“Electromobility – Back to the Future” is aimed primarily at research and development professionals in academia and industry, as well as authorities, municipalities, regions, business organizations and special interest groups. </div> <div> </div> <div>“We welcome everyone, but the programme is planned for those who want to grasp the overall picture of electromobility,” says Maria Grahn.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><em>Text: Ann-Christine Nordin, Emilia Lundgren</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>Photo: Emilia Lundgren</em></div> <div> </div> <div>The initiative seminar “Electromobility – Back to the Future” will be held 13 September in RunAn, Chalmersplatsen 1, Gothenburg. Sign up at the latest 3 September.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/calendar/Initiative-seminar-2018/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Programme and registration</a><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>FURTHER READING</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/news/Pages/Sweden-invests-1-billion-SEK-in-testbed-for-electromobility.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Sweden invests 1 billion SEK in testbed for electromobility<br /></a></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Electric-freight-transport-grows-despite-extreme-competition.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Electric freight transport grows despite extreme competition</a><br /></div>Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0200's-first-research-conference-on-battery-recycling.aspx's-first-research-conference-on-battery-recycling.aspxThe world&#39;s first battery recycling research conference<p><b>​Our vehicles are moving towards an increasingly electrified future, but without functioning battery recycling technology, development will stop and electric cars&#39; batteries are still very difficult to recycle industrially. Now researchers and industry gather at Chalmers to attend the world&#39;s first research conference with the main focus on battery recycling.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Research on recycling of lithium batteries from, among other things, electric cars and portable electronics has grown as we approach a fossil-free and electrified society. Metals and minerals that are necessary for the batteries will sooner or later end. Cobalt, for example, which is one of the most common substances in the batteries, is now expected to reach its production peak around 2025. Cobalt is also considered by many to be a so-called conflict mineral where human rights are often violated in connection with mining in the form of child labour and slavery.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>&quot;This is a very critical issue where it is crucial that we find a solution soon. Sustainable cobalt supply and recovery is crucial to the electric car's existence, &quot;says Assistant Professor <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/marpetr.aspx">Martina Petranikova</a>, organiser of the conference.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>However, there are more areas in the battery life cycle that hold them back in terms of durability. Among other things, electric cars, when consumed, still have so much energy that recycling can be dangerous. In addition, electric vehicle batteries may vary so much between manufacturers that it is difficult for the recycler to know what the battery contains. At the same time, it is a competitive advantage for the companies to develop new assemblies on the batteries and thus the producers have to talk to the recyclers in order to find a right design</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;The industry is very interested in finding the right recycling technology. Among other things, they are obliged to take care of the waste from their products, such as used batteries. With different combinations of batteries, they are very difficult to recycle industrially. Today we can recover most of a battery, but it takes time and is costly. With the conference, we want to meet and solve these problems, &quot;said Martina Petranikova.</div> <div>In order to find a sustainable solution, the entire battery life cycle must be coordinated from production and development to collection and recycling, as well as legislation. Therefore, Chalmers researchers in industrial recycling gather researchers, experts, manufacturers, users and recyclers under the same roof to share their knowledge, their expectations, technical and financial realities, and also their dreams to take the initiative for a circular economy of batteries .</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Circular Economy of Batteries Production and Recycling, CEB, will be held at Lindholmen Conference Center 24-26 September 2018.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read more at the conference page.</a></div> </div>Tue, 28 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0200 article about challenges in bio-based production of hydrocarbons in Nature<p><b>​​Congratulations to our colleagues Eduard Kerkhoven, Yongjin Zhou and Jens Nielsens, at the Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology.Together, they have written an article discussing and summarizing the barriers that needs to be overcome to make hydrocarbons produced from biomass a real alternative to fossil fuels.</b></p><div>The main challenges are to lower development costs of microbial cell factories and to make the conversion of the biomass feedstock more efficient. In their article they also discuss how to develop new tools for cell factory development.</div> <div>The article, “Barriers and opportunities in bio-based production of hydrocarbons, is published in Nature Energy, July 30.<br /><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the Abstract in Nature Energy</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>By: Ann-Christine Nordin</div>Fri, 03 Aug 2018 08:00:00 +0200 Innovation Champions programme<p><b>​Does your research add something important on the road toward clean energies? Does it help to accelerate the clean energy revolution? If so, you can apply to enter the Mission Innovation Champions programme, in which the choosen projects will be recognized internationally.</b></p><p>​​This is how the Mission Innovations describes the Champions programme: </p> <p><br />&quot;Mission Innovation Champions is a new recognition programme to celebrate and support innovative individuals who are accelerating the clean energy revolution. This programme will recognize exceptional researchers and innovators who are developing novel ways of making energy cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable and using it more efficiently. The programme will call worldwide attention to the most promising ideas from across the globe. The programme will seek to facilitate engagement among the awardees and Mission Innovation governments, research institutes, affiliated organizations, and private sector investors.&quot;<br /><br />Who can register? Individual persons, (teams are not eligible to apply) nskilda forskare).<br />Last day to register: <strong>10 September 2018</strong><br /><br /><em>NB! You can also nominate someone else, it does not have to concern your own work.  </em><br /><br />Read more about the Mission Innovation here:<br /><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br />and about the Champions programme and how to register yourself (or someone else) here:<a href="" target="_blank"></a></p>Wed, 01 Aug 2018 13:50:00 +0200