News: Energihttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyMon, 05 Oct 2020 15:37:53 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/New-Action-Plan-puts-nature-at-the-heart-of-the-economy.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/New-Action-Plan-puts-nature-at-the-heart-of-the-economy.aspxNew Action Plan puts nature at the heart of economy<p><b>A new study with a ​​10-point Action Plan to Create a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing published by the European Forest Institute calls for collective action to put nature at the heart of the economy and set the world on a sustainable path.​​</b></p><span></span><div><span style="font-size:14px"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/goran_berndes_200.jpg" alt="Göran Berndes" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />“The transition away from fossil carbon is sometimes considered a matter of mobilising new resources to enable us to proceed in the business-as-usual direction. The 10 Point Action Plan brings forward an alternative paradigm. Contrary to the extractive and linear fossil-based economy, the circular bioeconomy relies on healthy, biodiverse and resilient ecosystems and aims to provide sustainable wellbeing for society at large”, said Göran Berndes, Professor, Biomass and Land Use at Chalmers University of Technology.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>Written by a multidisciplinary team</strong> of over 25 authors, led by EFI Director Marc Palahí, the 10-point Action Plan for a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing brings together the latest scientific insights and breakthrough technologies to offer a solution to current global challenges.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">The publication features a Foreword by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who says: “I have been deeply encouraged by the number of scientists and practitioners who have come together to develop a 10-point Circular Bioeconomy Action Plan inspired by my Sustainable Markets Initiative and its Circular Bioeconomy Alliance. It is time for leaders, across all disciplines, to step forward, be bold in their ambition and demonstrate what is possible so that others can follow.”</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>The Action Plan emphasises the importance</strong> of moving towards a circular bioeconomy to holistically transform and manage our land, food, health and industrial systems with the goal of achieving sustainable wellbeing in harmony with nature.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“It has been an honour to work with The Prince of Wales, who inspired and contributed to The Action Plan”, said Marc Palahí. “The Action Plan forms the framework for the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance established by His Royal Highness to accelerate the transition towards a Circular Bioeconomy. I am proud that EFI will coordinate such a transformative initiative.”</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>“Global challenges like climate change</strong>, and biodiversity loss, coupled with a growing and highly urbanised population call for new ways of producing and consuming within our planetary boundaries”, says co-author Mari Pantsar, who is Director of Carbon-neutral circular economy at The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. “We need a transition to a circular economy.”</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">At</span><span style="background-color:initial"> the same time, we need to achieve sustainability w</span><span style="background-color:initial">hile ensuring equitable prosperity. The health and wellbeing of our citizens is a strong incentive to rethink our land, food and health systems, transform our industries and reimagine our cities.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>The study sets out 10 Action Points</strong> which are needed to create a circular bioeconomy based on a synergistic relationship between economy and ecology:</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><ol><li><span style="font-size:14px">Focus on sustainable wellbeing</span></li> <li>I<span style="background-color:initial">nvest in nature and biodiversity</span></li> <li>Generate <span style="background-color:initial">an equitable distribution of prosperity</span></li> <li>Rethink land, food and health systems holistically</li> <li>Transform industrial sectors </li> <li>Reimagine cities through ecological lenses</li> <li>Create an enabling regulatory framework</li> <li>Deliver mission-oriented innovation to the investment and political agenda</li> <li>Enable access to finance and enhance risk-taking capacity</li> <li>Intensify and broaden research and education</li></ol></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">Palahí, M., Pantsar, M., Costanza, R., Kubiszewski, I., Potočnik, J., Stuchtey, M., Nasi, R., Lovins, H., Giovannini, E., Fioramonti, L., Dixson-Declève, S., McGlade, J., Pickett, K., Wilkinson, R., Holmgren, J., Trebeck, K., Wallis, S., Ramage, M., Berndes, G., Akinnifesi, F.K., Ragnarsdóttir, K.V., Muys, B., Safonov, G., Nobre, A.D., Nobre, C., Ibañez, D., Wijkman, A., Snape, J., Bas, L. 2020. Investing in Nature as the true engine of our economy: A 10-point Action Plan for a Circular Bioeconomy of Wellbeing. Knowledge to Action 02, European Forest Institute. </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="https://doi.org/10.36333/k2a02"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Download the study</a></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">The publication was developed within the framework of the Sustainable Markets Initiative of</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. It received support from Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="https://www.efi.int/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />About EFI</a></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Th</span><span style="background-color:initial">e European Forest Institute (EFI) is an independent international science organization which generates, connects and shares knowledge at the interface between science and policy. EFI has 29 member countries who have ratified the Convention, and c.120 member organizations in 38 countries, working in diverse research fields.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">​<br /></span></div>Wed, 30 Sep 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Areas-of-Advance-Award-for-wireless-centre-collaboration.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Areas-of-Advance-Award-for-wireless-centre-collaboration.aspxAreas of Advance Award for wireless centre collaboration<p><b>​Collaboration is the key to success. Jan Grahn and Erik Ström, who have merged two Chalmers competence centres, GigaHertz and ChaseOn, to form a consortium with 26 parties, know this for sure. Now they receive the Areas of Advance Award 2020 for their efforts.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">A competence centre is a platform for knowledge exchange and joint projects. Here, academia and external parties gather to create new knowledge and innovation. The projects are driven by need, and can be initiated from industry – who have a problem to solve – or from the research community, as new research results have generated solutions that may be applied in industry.</span><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Stronger as one unit</h2> <div>The competence centre GigaHertz focuses on electronics for high frequencies, while ChaseOn focuses on antenna systems and signal processing. They overlap in microwave technology research, which is relevant for communication and health care, as well as defense and space industry. And even if some areas differ between the two centres, numerous points of contact have been developed over the years. The two directors – Jan Grahn, Professor at Microtechnology and Nanoscience, and Erik Ström, Professor at Electrical Engineering – saw that close collaboration would result in obvious advantages. In 2017, the two centres therefore formed a joint consortium, bringing together a large number of national and international companies.</div> <div>“Formally, we are still two centres, but we have a joint agreement that makes it easy to work together”, says Erik Ström.</div> <div>“For Chalmers, it is a great strength that we are now able to see the whole picture, beyond departmental boundaries and research groups, and create a broad collaboration with the companies. This is an excellent example of how Chalmers can gather strength as one unit”, says Jan Grahn.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Multiplicity of applications</h2> <div>Technology for heat treatment of cancer, detection of foreign objects in baby food, antenna systems for increased traffic safety, components to improve Google’s quantum computer, 5G technology and amplifiers for the world’s largest radio telescope… The list of things that have sprung from the two competence centres is long. The technical development has, of course, been extreme; in 2007, as GigaHertz and ChaseOn were launched in their current forms, the Iphone hit the market for the very first time. Technology that today is seen as a natural part of everyday life – such as mobile broadband, now almost a necessity alongside electricity and water for most of us – was difficult to access or, at least, not to be taken for granted.</div> <div>The companies have also changed, which is noticeable in the flora of partners, not least for GigaHertz.</div> <div>“In the early 2000s, when our predecessor CHACH centre existed, the collaboration with Ericsson was dominant. Today, we collaborate with a much greater diversity of companies. We have seen an entrepreneurial revolution with many small companies, and even though the technology is basically the same, we are now dealing with a multiplicity of applications”, says Jan Grahn.</div> <div>As technology and applications developed and changed, the points of contact between the two centres grew, and this is also what initiated the merger:</div> <div>“When we started, in 2007, we were competing centres. The centres developed completely independently of each other, but have now grown into one. The technical convergence could not be ignored, we simply needed to start talking to each other across competence boundaries – which in the beginning was not so easy, even though today we view this as the obvious way forward”, says Erik Ström.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Research to benefit society</h2> <div>The knowledge centres are open organisations, where new partners join and collaborations may also come to an end. Several companies are sometimes involved together in one project. Trust and confidence are important components and take time to build. One ground-rule for activities is the focus on making research useful in society in the not too distant future.</div> <div>Chalmers Information and Communication Technology Area of Advance can take some of the credit for the successful collaboration between GigaHertz and ChaseOn, according to the awardees.</div> <div>“Contacts between centres were initiated when I was Director of the Area of Advance”, says Jan Grahn.</div> <div>“The Areas of Advance show that we can collaborate across departmental boundaries, they point to opportunities that exist when you work together.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">They believe in a bright future</h2> <div>The competence centres are partly financed by Vinnova, who has been nothing but positive about the merger of the two. Coordination means more research for the money; partly through synergy effects and partly by saving on costs in management and administration.</div> <div>The financed period for both GigaHertz and ChaseOn expires next year. But the two professors are positive, and above all point to the strong support from industry.</div> <div>“Then, of course, we need a governmental financier, or else we must revise the way we work. I hope that Vinnova gives us the opportunity to continue”, says Erik Ström.</div> <div>“The industry definitely wants a continuation. But they cannot, and should not, pay for everything. If they were to do so, we would get a completely different type of collaboration. The strength lies in sharing risks in the research activities by everyone contributing funds and, first and foremost, competence”, says Jan Grahn.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">“Incredibly fun”</h2> <div>Through their way of working, Erik Ström and Jan Grahn have succeeded in renewing and developing collaborations both within and outside Chalmers, attracting new companies and strengthening the position of Gothenburg as an international node for microwave technology. And it is in recognition of their dynamic and holistic leadership, that they now receive the Areas of Advance Award.</div> <div>“This is incredibly fun, and a credit for the entire centre operation, not just for us”, says Erik Ström.</div> <div>“Being a centre director is not always a bed of roses. Getting this award is a fantastic recognition, and we feel great hope for the future”, concludes Jan Grahn.<br /><br /><div><em>Text: Mia Malmstedt</em></div> <div><em>Photo: Yen Strandqvist</em></div> <br /></div> <div><strong>The Areas of Advance Award</strong></div> <div>With the Areas of Advance Award, Chalmers looks to reward employees who have made outstanding contributions in cross-border collaborations, and who, in the spirit of the Areas of Advance, integrate research, education and utilisation. The collaborations aim to strengthen Chalmers’ ability to meet the major global challenges for a sustainable development.<br /><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/ghz/Pages/default.aspx">Read more about GigaHertz centre</a></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/chaseon/Pages/default.aspx">Read more about ChaseOn centre​</a></div> <div>​<br />Areas of Advance Award 2019: <a href="/en/news/Pages/Areas-of-Advance-Award-given-to-research-exploring-the-structure-of-proteins.aspx">Areas of Advance Award for exploring the structure of proteins​</a></div> Thu, 10 Sep 2020 08:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Watch-Blekhmans-Dokumentary-about-the-Hydrogen-House.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Watch-Blekhmans-Dokumentary-about-the-Hydrogen-House.aspxWatch the dokumentary about the Hydrogen house<p><b>​Professor David Blekhman is an expert in the field of hydrogen infrastructure and has been selected as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Alternative Energy Technology for the 2019-20 academic year.A part of David Blekhman´s project in Scandinavia was to visit all hydrogen stations. “But as I explored hydrogen in Gothenburg, everyone was praising the Nilsson Energy House”, says Blekhman.​</b></p><span lang="EN-US"><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px"></span></font><span></span><div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px">Of course, he had to visit and make a documentary about the off-grid house at the west coast of Sweden for his students back in Los Angeles. <a href="https://youtu.be/j2Qpv1qz-2s">You can watch it here</a>.</span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px">Below, Dr. Blekhman answers a few questions explaining his interest in this project.</span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px"><br /></span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px"><strong>Was there anything that surprised you in the meeting with Hans-Olof Nilsson?</strong></span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px">” When visiting the house, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much thought and effort went into creating the house of the future, which is completely energy independent. Of course, hospitality was also the top notch. Overall, I was so impressed with the Hans-Olof house that I wanted to make a good record for my students. Eventually, that inspiration transformed into this documentary where you will see many technical details. Nilsson Energy is growing rapidly by taking on building new energy independent communities”. </span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px"><br /></span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px">The house is powered by solar cells, batteries and hydrogen. The solar energy is stored in hydrogen during summer and used to make electricity and heating through fall and in winter. </span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px">“The waste heat from the fuel cell is used to keep it warm. Storing hydrogen seasonally is addressing a different need that we would typically have in Los Angeles. Batteries, and that is a relatively large storage, also play an important role in regulating short term one-to-few days needs of the house to store and use the solar energy”.</span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px"><br /></span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px"><strong>What opportunities do you see for hydrogen?</strong></span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px">“While ten years ago we were thinking of hydrogen as a fuel for passenger cars and that it was in a fierce competition with electric, cars, in recent years, hydrogen has won the battle by becoming the primary choice for massive storage of growing solar and wind energy. That is because it does not need the bulk of rare metals to be stored, just volume and pressure. The European Union is aggressively pursuing hydrogen as the next big energy revolution by offering economic growth opportunities to many countries and companies. Choices for lithium ion batteries are more limiting in this sense.”</span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px"><br /></span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px"><strong>What are the major challenges for hydrogen?</strong></span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px">“Hydrogen, however, is not without its own challenges. Both the electrolyzer and fuel cell technologies are still maturing. Hydrogen infrastructure need to grow while watching out for safe practices of handling pressurized hydrogen”.</span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px"><br /></span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px"><strong>Is there anything else you want to tell us?</strong></span></font></div> <div><font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span></span><span style="font-size:16px">&quot;I would like to express my gratitude to Chalmers University of Technology for hosting me while on the Fulbright program. I met many wonderful people here. Special thanks go to Dr. Maria Grahn and the AoA Energy for support in producing this video,” concludes David Blekhman. <br /><br />By: Ann-Christine Nordin<br /><br /></span></font><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2Qpv1qz-2s&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;ab_channel=SikandSITICenter" style="outline:0px;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;font-size:16px"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />The Documentary: The Hydrogen House</a> (15.47 min)<br /><a href="https://youtu.be/7DQDgdTZkww"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Trailer</a> (2.40 min)<font face="calibri, sans-serif"><span style="font-size:16px"><br /></span></font><div class="page-content"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGuQKQlliYc&amp;feature=youtu.be"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Fulbright inaugural lecture with Professor David Blekhman </a><div><br /></div> <div><strong>Interview with David Blekhman:</strong><br /><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Fulbright-inaugural-lecture---How-can-hydrogen-be-the-fuel-of-the-future.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />How can hydrogen be the fuel of the future?</a><br /><br /><a href="http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/ppa/publicat/cal-state-la-technology-professor-named-fulbright-distinguished-chair-alternative"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Cal State LA technology professor named a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy Technology</a></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><a href="http://engineering.buffalo.edu/mechanical-aerospace/news-and-events.host.html/content/shared/engineering/home/articles/news-articles/2019/ub-alum-david-blekhman-inspires-students-to-develop-a-passion-for-clean-energy.detail.html"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />UB alum David Blekhman inspires students to develop a passion for clean energy</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div></div></div> </span>Thu, 10 Sep 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Mapping-the-future-for-feasible-climate-action.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Mapping-the-future-for-feasible-climate-action.aspxMapping the future for feasible climate action<p><b>Jessica Jewell, assistant professor in Energy Transitions at Chalmers University of Technology, has been awarded a 1.5€ million grant by the European Research Council for a project entitled MechANisms and actors of Feasible Energy Transitions (MANIFEST) which will run from 2021-2026. The project will advance our understanding of whether and under what conditions it is feasible to avoid dangerous climate change. – We know how to solve the climate change problem in mathematical models, but we need to understand how to solve it in the real world, says Jessica Jewell, at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Technologies needed to decarbonize the electricity system are already commercially available. And there are mathematical models of how these technologies can be deployed sufficiently fast and at a large enough scale to displace fossil fuels and meet climate targets. Yet there is no scientific method to evaluate whether these scenarios are feasible in the real world, given the socio-political and technological constraints in different countries and regions. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>The project MANIFEST will develop a new scientific understanding of the feasibility to decarbonize the electricity sector focusing on both launching low-carbon electricity in developing countries and sustaining the growth of renewable electricity already in place in front-runner countries.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Jessica_Jewell_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />We asked Jessica Jewell a few questions about the grant, the project MANIFEST and the greatest challenges to overcome for the electricity sector. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>How did it feel when you heard that you were to receive this grant? </strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– I was surprised and super excited. My research is really interdisciplinary which is typically pretty hard to get endorsed by scientific review panels. I also feel very grateful for everyone who helped me develop as a scientist: first at Central European University where I was a doctoral student, then at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the University of Bergen and now at Chalmers. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>You describe the project MANIFEST as a &quot;shift in the thinking about the feasibility of climate change mitigation&quot;. Can you describe that change, and why a change is needed? </strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– We know how to solve the climate change problem in mathematical models, but we need to understand how to solve it in the real world. The main scholarly approach to assess whether something is feasible in the real world is to look at whether anything similar happened in the past. But for climate change this runs into a problem because both the challenge and what we need to do are unprecedented so there are no direct historical analogues. Thus, analysing the feasibility of successful climate change mitigation may scientifically seem to be at a dead end. I overcome this stalemate by looking at the past and ongoing climate actions through a particular social science lens called ‘causal mechanisms’. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>– My hypothesis is that while a lot of things are changing (e.g. clean technologies are becoming cheaper, population and energy demand grow), the political, economic and social mechanisms that shape our capacity to act on climate are the same. By understanding these mechanisms through empirically observing the past I hope to be able to predict what is and is not possible to do in the future.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>One of the methods described in this project is called &quot;dynamic feasibility space&quot;. What does that entail, and how can you use that method in this project?</strong> </div> <div><br /></div> <div>– A dynamic feasibility space is a tool I have developed to map empirical observations of past climate actions or energy transitions in order to tease out the underlying mechanisms shaping them. I’ve used this tool to map and understand the feasibility of rapid coal phase-out and in MANIFEST I want to similarly map and compare historical expansion of renewables to the expansion that countries plan in the future and that we need to see to reach the climate targets. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What do you see as the greatest obstacles to overcome, in the shift to a fossil free electricity system? </strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– I see two main obstacles. First is how to sustain high growth rates in technology front-runners, countries which already have viable renewable electricity sectors providing up to 40% of their electricity supply, such as Denmark and Germany. For these nations it is important to sustain high growth rates to reach even higher levels of use of renewables. For example, recently, the growth of onshore wind power in Germany has significantly slowed down, primarily because of the lack of available sites. We need to understand whether this obstacle is simply a bureaucratic complication of handling planning permits, or whether it reflects the deeper mechanism of increasing social resistance and conflicts over land use which would be more difficult to overcome.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– The second and bigger challenge is to figure out how to launch low-carbon electricity in developing countries, on what is called ‘the technology periphery’. Today the US and Europe with only 10% of the world’s population have 50% of global wind and solar power, but if we are to achieve climate targets, we need to deploy massive amounts of low-carbon technologies where the bulk of energy use in the 21st century will occur, i.e. in the Global South. This is a very different challenge because most of these countries do not yet have viable low-carbon electricity sectors (manufacturers of equipment, project developers and operators, functioning regulation and electricity markets) as in front-runners. How fast can all this knowledge, institutions, policies and business models diffuse from the front-runners (or emerge domestically) is a critical question, because only then can we expect the beginning of sustained growth of renewables.</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More info on the ERC: ​</h3> <div>The European Research Council (ERC), supports excellence in research in EU member countries. The Council primarily does this by three major systems for research that fits within the EU's Seventh Framework Programme. ERC Starting Grants for outstanding scientists who are at the beginning of his career, ERC Consolidator Grant to support researchers at the stage at which they are consolidating their own independent research team or programme and ERC Advanced Grants that can be awarded to researchers who has established their own research groups.</div> <div><a href="/en/research/our-scientists/Pages/ERC-funded-scientists.aspx"><span style="background-color:initial">Read more about the ERC funded scientists</span><span style="background-color:initial"> at Chalmers</span>​</a><span style="background-color:initial">. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Text:</strong> Christian Löwhagen</span></div> </div>Thu, 03 Sep 2020 18:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/The-Energy-Podcast.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/The-Energy-Podcast.aspxThe Energy Podcast<p><b>​Is nuclear power one of the solutions to the climate change? Can the forest replace fossil fuels? Hydropower, how climate-smart is it? How do we convert to a sustainable energy system? Welcome to Chalmers Energy Area of Advance podcast. Here you get to meet researchers, entrepreneurs and others who are involved in some of the most important issues of our time.</b></p>​<span style="font-size:14px"><span style="background-color:initial">In our first podcast, we talk about carbon capture and storage, so-called CCS technology, and how Sweden can achieve negative emissions, ie remove carbon  that already is in the atmosphere, to meet the climate goals.</span></span><div><span style="font-size:14px">The Paris Agreement of 2015 called on the countries involved to develop long-term strategies to describe greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. In Sweden, this has resulted in the investigation &quot;Klimatpolitiska vägvalsutredningen&quot;. It presents strategies for how Sweden can achieve net negative emissions of greenhouse gases after 2045. Three Chalmers researchers participated in the investigation. We've talked to two of them:</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">Anders Lyngfelt, Professor of Energy technology and Christel Cederberg, Assistant Professor of Physical resource theory.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><a href="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/Sidor/Energipodden.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more (Swedish)​</a><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="https://play.chalmers.se/media/Energipodden+avsnitt+1/0_12u91kqr"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Listen (Swedish): &quot;Negative emissions necessary to achieve our climate goals&quot; (22 min)</a></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"></span><span></span><div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">Editors for the energy podcast are Julia Franzén and Ann-Christine Nordin.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">Original music: EleckTrick by Stefan Karlsson.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">Responsible publisher and project manager: Maria Grahn.</span></div></div>Wed, 05 Aug 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/An-ambitious-climate-policy-is-economically-beneficial.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/An-ambitious-climate-policy-is-economically-beneficial.aspxAn ambitious climate policy is economically beneficial<p><b>​An economically optimal climate policy is in line with the Paris Agreement’s 2-degree temperature target. This is according to a new study involving the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology and others. The study updates the cost/benefit analyses of climate measures made by Economics Laureate William Nordhaus.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The economist William Nordhaus was awarded the 2018 The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his research on climate-related questions. In particular, the prize recognized his development of the DICE model (Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy), which has gained widespread influence. When he calibrates his model, he found that an increase in the average temperature of 3.5 degrees until 2100 is economically most optimal. This new level was well above the Paris Agreement’s 2-degree target and would have resulted in extensive negative consequences for nature and society in large parts of the world.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Daniel_Johansson_256x344px.jpg" alt="Daniel Johansson" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:10px;width:190px;height:255px" /><br /></span><div><br /></div> <div>In a new study published in Nature Climate Change, a team of researchers in Sweden, England and Germany has updated this DICE model.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We made a number of important changes. In part, it was about an improved calibration of how much carbon dioxide and heat is absorbed by the oceans, and in part updating calculations of how much climate damage will cost in economic terms,” says Daniel Johansson, associate professor in physics resource theory at Chalmers University of Technology, and one of the authors of the study.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>An important factor that determines what is economically optimal involves discounting or comparing future costs to current costs. Fundamentally, this is a value judgement, and in the study the research team used a large number of expert assessments of these ethical questions, which deal with how the current and future generations’ interests should be weighed against each other.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Thomas-Sterner_256x344px.jpg" alt="Thomas Sterner" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:10px;width:190px;height:255px" /><br /></div> <div>These changes to the model lead to the conclusion that a 1.5–2 degree increase in average temperature is economically optimal.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Nordhaus has shown the way forward in these questions, like the need for a significant price on carbon dioxide emissions throughout the world, but compared to his previous analyses, our results show that more ambitious targets can be supported with economic arguments,” says Thomas Sterner, professor of environmental economics at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>According to the researchers, in wider international climate policy discussions, the study can support climate targets in line with those adopted in the Paris Agreement and thereby increase acceptance for setting a tax on emissions that meets the adopted climate targets. The model points to a carbon dioxide tax of around USD 100 per tonne, which is in line with the current carbon dioxide tax in Sweden and four times higher than the price in EU’s emissions trading scheme, ETS.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/christian-azar_256x344px.jpg" alt="Christian Azar" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:10px;width:190px;height:255px" /><br /></div> <div>“Achieving ambitious climate targets requires politicians to introduce a significant tax on carbon dioxide, but it also requires investments in new technology like electric cars, solar cells, hydrogen and carbon capture, to name a few examples. If this is done, it is possible to achieve ambitious climate targets like the 2-degree target. But we also must be aware that there is significant political resistance in large parts of the world, presenting us with a major challenge. This is not a simple question,” says Christian Azar, professor of physical resource theory at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></div> <div><div><ul><li>Christian Azar, professor of physical resource theory at Chalmers University of Technology<br />e-mail: <a href="mailto:christian.azar@chalmers.se">christian.azar@chalmers.se</a>, telephone: +46-(0)31–772 31 32</li> <li>Daniel Johansson, associate professor of physical resource theory at Chalmers University of Technology<br />e-mail: <a href="mailto:daniel.johansson@chalmers.se">daniel.johansson@chalmers.se</a>, telephone: +46-(0)31–772 28 16</li> <li>Thomas Sterner, professor of environmental economics at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg<br />e-mail: <a href="mailto:thomas.sterner@economics.gu.se">thomas.sterner@economics.gu.se​</a>, telephone: +46-(0)70–816 3306</li></ul></div></div>Tue, 14 Jul 2020 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Digital-design-experiments-develops-next-generation-aircraft-engine.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Digital-design-experiments-develops-next-generation-aircraft-engine.aspxDigital design experiments develop next generation aircraft engine<p><b>​Open Rotor is a new type of aircraft engine delivering up to 20 percent reduced fuel burn than today&#39;s turbofan engines. Chalmers, together with the University of Cambridge and Fraunhofer FCC, is leading a project that studies aspects of manufacturing during the design phase.</b></p><p></p> <div>The next generation of aircraft engines is being developed in the large European Joint Undertaking <a href="https://www.cleansky.eu/">Clean Sky 2</a>. Open Rotor is one of the concepts that has shown promising results when it comes to reducing both CO<sub>2</sub> emissions and noise. Open rotor is a new engine type with two, counterrotating, propellers that radically improve propulsive efficiency. This type of technology radically changes how the engines are designed and integrated with the aircraft. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Produktutveckling/Open%20Rotor%203%20-®%20Eric%20Drouin%20Safran_400px.jpg" alt="Open Rotor 3 -® Eric Drouin Safran" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px 15px;width:170px;height:259px" />Within Clean Sky 2, Chalmers, together with Cambridge University and Fraunhofer FCC, is now leading a project called Development of Interdisciplinary Assessment for Manufacturing and Design (DIAS).<br /><br />DIAS is a targeted support project, where the goal is to develop support for integrating manufacturability aspects already in the design phase, where advanced decision support models are developed. For example, it is critical that robots get to weld the components properly. In the DIAS project, Chalmers latest research results are used in modeling alternative concepts enabling digital experimentation of alternative product architecture, with Fraunhofer's expertise in simulating robotic paths, and Cambridge's expertise in interactive decision-making and modeling-based risk analysis.<br /><br /></div> <div><br /><em>–    We have a unique opportunity to combine the latest achievements from Chalmers, Fraunhofer FCC and Cambridge, into a new and powerful way to support GKN Aerospace in their integration of next generation technologies already in the concept phase, says Ola Isaksson, researcher at Chalmers and leader of the consortium.</em><br /><br />GKN Aerospace Sweden AB in Trollhättan is responsible for critical engine components of Open Rotor engines. Ultimately, the goal is to enable the methods developed in the DIAS project to enable GKN Aerospace to offer the technologies demonstrated in Clean Sky in future business.<br /> <br /><em>–    We are very happy that this Chalmers led consortium won this Call for Partners. The competition was indeed very tough and this shows that Chalmers is a leading University in this important area in Europe, says Robert Lundberg (Director EU Programmes) at GKN Aerospace Sweden.</em><br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More information about DIAS and Clean Sky</h2> <div><a href="https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/887174" title="Link to the DIAS project">https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/887174<br /></a></div> <div><span>This project has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 887174. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Clean Sky 2 JU members other than the Union. The information on this web page reflects only the author's view and that the JU is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Produktutveckling/EU_logo.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px 20px;width:258px;height:179px" /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Produktutveckling/JU_logo.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px 25px;width:330px;height:186px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><br /></h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Contact</h2> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/iola.aspx">Ola Isaksson</a>, professor Department of Industrial and Materials Science at Chalmers University of Technology<br /></div> <div>ola.isaksson@chalmers.se</div> <div><span style="float:none;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;letter-spacing:normal;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;display:inline !important">+46 31 7728202</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Lundberg<em>, </em><span>Director EU Programmes GKN Aerospace</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:calibri, sans-serif"></span>+46 700 872371 </div> <div><a href="https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/887174"></a></div></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p></p> <br /><p></p>Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Chalmers-has-a-new-wind-turbine-for-research.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Chalmers-has-a-new-wind-turbine-for-research.aspxChalmers has a new wind turbine for research<p><b>​At the island of Björkö outside Gothenburg, there is a new wind turbine - a prototype to be used for research and testing of energy efficient and sustainable wind turbine technology. The tower is made of wood, which is unique, and sensors will provide researchers with information about the loads that the wind turbine is exposed to under different operating and wind conditions.</b></p><p></p> The construction of the new wind turbine has been made possible by support from Region Västra Götaland and the Swedish Energy Agency. It has attracted the interest of both domestic and European research colleagues.<p></p> <p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Chalmers%20har%20ett%20nytt%20vindkraftverk%20för%20forskning/Sara_Fogelstrom-2_150x210px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />“For a university, it is unique to have access to a test wind turbine that is made to scale and equipped with that many different sensors. The ability to control and adjust the various parameters of the wind turbine enables new research opportunities”, says Sara Fogelström, coordinator of the Swedish Wind Power Technology Centre, SWPTC.</p> <p>Within a couple of decades, wind power is expected to be the largest, or second largest, energy source for electricity generation in Sweden. It puts high demands on cost-effective and sustainable wind power turbines with high electricity generation. Wind power must also contribute to the development of system support services for the electricity grid. Integrating wind turbines into the grid requires many different competences working together. Chalmers hosts the Swedish Wind Power Technology Centre, which brings together players in both the wind power industry and academia.</p> <p>“Operators, windfarm owners and project developers within the centre will work together with researchers from academia in various projects on the new wind turbine. We hope that even more researchers and companies will get in touch and want to test their research”, Sara adds.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Test platform for the industry</h2> <p>In addition to being an important research facility, the wind turbine also serves as a prototype turbine for the wind power industry. For example, a new type of tower is being tested for the first time. It is the company Modvion, which is part of Chalmers Ventures’ company portfolio, which has developed a wooden tower manufactured in modules. The tower is climate neutral from the start and costs significantly less to manufacture than conventional steel towers. As where steel emits a lot of carbon dioxide in the manufacturing process, wood can act as a carbon sink as the material can store carbon dioxide. The conditions for large-scale manufacturing in Sweden are good. Wood is an indigenous raw material for which there is good access and Sweden has a traditionally strong laminated timber industry.</p> <div>Press releases from Chalmers Ventures:</div> <div><a href="http://www.modvion.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/200429-The-first-wooden-wind-power-tower-has-been-erected-in-Sweden_ENG.pdf" target="_blank" title="Read the press release"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />The first wooden wind power tower has been erected in Sweden</a></div> <div><a href="http://www.modvion.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/200615_Modvion-Awarded-Multimillion-Euro-EU-Grant-for-Wooden-Wind-Turbine-Towers_EN.pdf" target="_blank" title="Read the press release"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Modvion awarded multimillion-Euro EU grant for wooden wind turbine towers</a></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Contributes to efficient and sustainable electricity generation</h2> <p>Chalmers’ test wind turbine is equipped with eight different sensors in each rotor blade that provide data of incoming wind. The tower is equipped with sensors in both the wooden structure and in the steel joints. The foundation also has sensors that collect data on how the concrete is affected over time. The sensors measure the loads that the different parts of the wind turbine are exposed to under various operating and wind conditions.</p> <p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Chalmers%20har%20ett%20nytt%20vindkraftverk%20för%20forskning/Ola_Carlson-2_150x210px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />“If you know which loads the wind turbine is exposed to, you can control it in a smarter way. You save material in the design and become more cost-effective in electricity generation”, says Ola Carlson, Professor in sustainable electric power production and director of the Swedish Wind Power Technology Centre.</p> <p>The first research project to be carried out on the test wind turbine is a project that deals with frequency control. As the proportion of wind power increases in the electricity grid, wind turbines must also be involved in contributing to better grid stability. It requires that the frequency is kept constant at 50 Hz. The research project, led by Ola Carlson, will test different models for frequency control and look at how to further develop the control services that exist today.</p> <p></p> <p><strong>Contact</strong><br />Sara Fogelström, coordinator of the Swedish Wind Power Technology Centre<br /><a href="mailto:sara.fogelstrom@chalmers.se">sara.fogelstrom@chalmers.se </a><br /> </p> <p></p> Ola Carlson, professor and director of the Swedish Wind Power Technology Centre<br /><a href="mailto:ola.carlson@chalmers.se">ola.carlson@chalmers.se</a> <br /> <p></p> <a href="/sv/centrum/SWPTC/Sidor/default.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the Swedish Wind Power Technology Centre, SWPTC</a><br /> <p></p> More news articles on wind power technology:<br /><div><a href="/sv/institutioner/e2/nyheter/Sidor/Tre-utmaningar-for-att-na-okad-andel-vindkraft.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Tre utmaningar för att nå ökad andel vindkraft </a></div> <div><a href="/sv/institutioner/e2/nyheter/Sidor/Vindkraftsforskning-rustar-branschen-för-snabbare-energiomstallning.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Vindkraftsforskning rustar branschen för omställning<br /></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Anna Wallin<br />Portrait photos: Oscar Mattsson<br /></div> <p></p>Wed, 17 Jun 2020 12:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Launch-of-Sweden’s-largest-carbon-capture-and-storage-plant.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Launch-of-Sweden%E2%80%99s-largest-carbon-capture-and-storage-plant.aspxSweden’s largest CO2 capture and storage plant launched<p><b>​Sweden’s largest test facility for carbon dioxide capture has begun operation at Preem&#39;s refinery in Lysekil. Within the pilot project the entire value chain will be analyzed – from the capture of carbon dioxide to its storage. The outcome of the project will enable more companies to use the technology and reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial;font-size:14px">“This is an important project to test CCS technology on a larger scale. Chalmers participation is about studying how the technology being tested could be scaled up. Together with research in other projects, we believe that this gives an important piece to the puzzle how Swedish industry can meet our climate goals for net zero emissions by 2045”, says Filip Johnsson, professor in sustainable energy systems at Chalmers.</span><div><span style="font-size:14px">The results of the pilot project will  be made public – in order for more companies to be able to use the technology and reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br />In</span><span style="background-color:initial"> 2020, the test facility will capture carbon dioxide from the flue gases from Preem’s hydrogen gas plant at the Lysekil refinery.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">The technology for capturing and storing carbon dioxide is an important component for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and for achieving Sweden’s climate goals. For Preem, this is an important piece of the puzzle to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to become climate neutral by the year 2045. The goal is for the tests to form the basis for a full-scale CCS plant that can be operational by 2025.<br /><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“We see carbon capture and storage as a vital measure to reduce global carbon emissions. For Preem, a full-scale CCS plant could initially reduce emissions from our Lysekil refinery by 500,000 tonnes, which is close to a quarter of the refinery’s total carbon emissions,” says Petter Holland, CEO of Preem.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">The carbon dioxide is planned to be stored in Norway, which is leading in this area and has better geological conditions for storage than Sweden. </span><br /><br /><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>Read more about the project:</strong></span><br /><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="https://www.preem.com/in-english/press/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Launch of Sweden’s largest carbon capture and storage plant</a></span><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Wed, 27 May 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-spreadable-way-to-stabilise-solid-state-batteries.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-spreadable-way-to-stabilise-solid-state-batteries.aspxA spreadable way to stabilise solid state batteries<p><b>Solid state batteries are of great interest to the electric vehicle industry. Scientists at Chalmers and Xi&#39;an Jiaotong University, China now present a new way of taking this promising concept closer to large-scale application. An interlayer, made of a spreadable, ‘butter-like’ material helps improve the current density tenfold, while also increasing performance and safety.​​​​​​​​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Shizhao_Xiong_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Porträtt av forskaren Shizhao Xiong " style="margin:5px;width:170px;height:150px" /><div>“This interlayer makes the battery cell significantly more stable, and therefore able to withstand much higher current density. What is also important is that it is very easy to apply the soft mass onto the lithium metal anode in the battery – like spreading butter on a sandwich,” says researcher Shizhao Xiong at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Alongside Chalmers Professor Aleksandar Matic and Professor Song's research group in Xi'an, Shizhao Xiong has been working for a long time on crafting a suitable interlayer to stabilise the interface for solid state battery. The new results were recently presented in the prestigious scientific journal Advanced Functional Materials.</div> <div><br /></div></span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/solidstatebatterilabb750x.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Bild från batterilabbet på Fysik på Chalmers." style="margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:5px;margin-left:10px;height:263px;width:350px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><div>Solid state batteries could revolutionise electric transport. Unlike today's lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries have a solid electrolyte and therefore contain no environmentally harmful or flammable liquids.</div> <div>Simply put, a solid-state battery can be likened to a dry sandwich. A layer of the metal lithium acts as a slice of bread, and a ceramic substance is laid on top like a filling. This hard substance is the solid electrolyte of the battery, which transports lithium ions between the electrodes of the battery. But the ‘sandwich’ is so dry, it is difficult to keep it together – and there are also problems caused by the compatibility between the ‘bread’ and the ‘topping’. Many researchers around the world are working to develop suitable resolutions to address this problem.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The material which the researchers in Gothenburg and Xi'an are now working with is a soft, spreadable, ‘butter-like’ substance, made of nanoparticles of the ceramic electrolyte, LAGP, mixed with an ionic liquid. The liquid encapsulates the LAGP particles and makes the interlayer soft and protective. The material, which has a similar texture to butter from the fridge, fills several functions and can be spread easily.</div> <div>Although the potential of solid-state batteries is very well known, there is as yet no established way of making them sufficiently stable, especially at high current densities, when a lot of energy is extracted from a battery cell very quickly, that is at fast charge or discharge. The Chalmers researchers see great potential in the development of this new interlayer.</div></span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/AleksandarMatic_200314_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Porträtt av professor Aleksandar Matic" style="margin:5px;height:150px;width:170px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><div><br /></div> <div>&quot;This is an important step on the road to being able to manufacture large-scale, cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly batteries that deliver high capacity and can be charged and discharged at a high rate,&quot; says Aleksandar Matic, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers, who predicts that solid state batteries will be on the market within five years.</div> <div><br /></div></span></div> <div><a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202001444"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the scientific paper in </a><span style="font-size:10pt;background-color:initial"><a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202001444">Advanced Functional Materials.</a></span></div> <div><a href="http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/chalmers/pressreleases/a-spreadable-interlayer-could-make-solid-state-batteries-more-stable-2999857"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and dowload high resolution images. ​</a></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><strong>Text and photo​: </strong>Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se">mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Caption: </span><span style="background-color:initial">A large part of the experimental work on developing a multifunctional spreadable interlayer for the solid-state batteries of the future has been done in the battery lab at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the scientific paper </h2> <div>The paper <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202001444">”Design of a Multifunctional Interlayer for NASCION‐Based Solid‐State Li Metal Batteries”</a>  has been published in Advanced Functional Materials. It is written by <span style="background-color:initial">Shizhao Xiong, Yangyang Liu, Piotr Jankowski, Qiao Liu, Florian Nitze, Kai Xie, Jiangxuan Song and Aleksandar Matic. </span></div> <div>The researchers are active at Chalmers University of Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, China, the Technical University of Denmark and the National University of Defense Technology, Changsha, Hunan, China.</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information, contact: </h2> <div><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Shizhao-Xiong.aspx">Shizhao Xiong</a></strong>, Post doc, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 62 84, <a href="mailto:shizhao.xiong@chalmers.se">shizhao.xiong@chalmers.se </a></div> <div><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Aleksandar-Matic.aspx">Aleksandar Matic​</a></strong>, Professor, <span style="background-color:initial">Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology,</span><span style="background-color:initial"> +46 </span><span style="background-color:initial">31 772 51 76, </span><a href="mailto:%20matic@chalmers.se">matic@chalmers.se ​</a></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Further battery research at Chalmers​</h2> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Testbed-for-electromobility-gets-575-million-SEK.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Testbed for electromobility gets 575 million SEK​​</a><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-new-concept-could-make-more-environmentally-friendly-batteries-possible-.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />A new concept for more sustainable batteries</a></div> <div><span></span><a href="/sv/institutioner/fysik/nyheter/Sidor/Grafensvamp-kan-gora-framtidens-batterier-mer-effektiva.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#5b97bf"><b><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Graphene_sponge_paves_the_way_for_future_batteries.aspx">Graphene sponge paves the way for future batteries​</a></b></font></span></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/carbon-fibre-can-store-energy.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#5b97bf"><b><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/carbon-fibre-can-store-energy.aspx">Carbon fibre can store energy in the body of a vehicle</a></b></font></span></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Liquid-storage-of-solar-energy-–-more-effective-than-ever-before.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Liquid storage of solar energy – more effective than ever before</a></div>Tue, 19 May 2020 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Emissions-from-road-construction-could-be-halved-using-today's-technology.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Emissions-from-road-construction-could-be-halved-using-today's-technology.aspxEmissions from road construction could be halved<p><b>​The construction sector accounts for a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions, in Sweden and globally. Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg studied the construction of an eight km stretch of road in detail and calculated how much emissions can be reduced now and until 2045, looking at everything from materials choice, production technology, supply chains and transport.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">“We identified several low hanging fruits, and if we address those first, it will become easier and cheaper to make bigger emission reductions in the future,” says Ida Karlsson, PhD student at Chalmers, and participant in the Mistra Carbon Exit project.</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The researchers evaluated opportunities for reducing emissions in an eight kilometre stretch of the Swedish highway 44 between Lidköping and Källby, which was finished in 2019. It was one of the Swedish Transport Agency’s first projects in which a complete climate calculation was made. All the materials and activities involved in its construction were calculated for their total climate impact – energy and materials used in the construction and what emissions these contribute to.<br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“We used the contractor Skanska's climate calculation as an input for breaking down emissions by materials and activities and then analysed how much they could be reduced. What materials are used? How are they produced? What alternatives are available, and how might those alternatives develop until 2045?” explains Ida Karlsson.  </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The climate calculation showed that the contractor would be able to reduce emissions by 20 percent compared to the Swedish Transport Agency's reference values. But the researchers also demonstrated that emissions could be halved with technology already available today – and completely eliminated by the year 2045.<br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Ida Karlsson's research is part of the project Mistra Carbon Exit, which focuses on what are termed transformative solutions. These require both time and large investments and include, for example, production of steel, cement, concrete and asphalt without carbon dioxide emissions, as well as fossil-free or electric vehicles. Solutions are being developed and implemented, but climate-saving technologies and choices exist already today. Ida Karlsson wants to highlight four of these:</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>• Transport optimisation</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>• Recycling and reuse of excavation masses, asphalt and steel</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>• Material efficiency and design optimisation</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>• Replacement of cement clinker as a binder in concrete</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“If you were to optimise the transportation of materials, excavation masses and waste, for example, large gains could be made. We could be better at transport logistics in Sweden. In addition to transporting materials and waste to and from a road construction site, many movements also take place within projects,” she explains. </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The study ‘Reaching net-zero carbon emissions in construction supply chains - Analysis of a Swedish road construction project’ was published earlier this year in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, and was written by Ida Karlsson together with colleague Filip Johnsson of Chalmers and Johan Rootzén, at the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Biomass an important issue</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Biomass plays an important role in both the short and long term. Many industries need biomass to reduce their emissions. It can be used for example as a fuel in the production of asphalt, cement and steel, for electricity production or as a vehicle fuel. Already today Sweden imports 95 per cent of the raw materials needed for transport biofuel because it is cheaper than using domestic material. It is hardly a sustainable solution when more and more countries import biomass. Ida believes that we need a coherent national strategy for biomass production and use.<br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“Where there are fossil-free alternatives, such as electrification, these should be used. But then the politics must clearly steer towards such a development. Otherwise, the biomass will simply go to the one who pays the most and not to where it would have the best use.”</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Further areas for improvement</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Another area for improvement could be the recycling of asphalt, explains Ida Karlsson.<br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“The legislation for this has recently changed but new, more efficient ways of working are not yet fully implemented. There are also different technologies to choose from depending on the quality of the tarmac, how heavy the vehicles which travel the route are and so on. Recycling requires energy but can still reduce emissions considerably, since asphalt is largely made up of bitumen, a variant of crude oil.” <br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Concrete is another major source of emissions. In Sweden, cement clinker is used as a binder in infrastructural concrete, but in other countries, materials such as slag from steel production or fly ash from coal-fired power plants is used as partial replacement of cement clinker, reducing emissions considerably.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“Here we must dare to recognise the long positive experiences from its use in other countries, like Norway, and adopt these techniques and measures even if they have not been used before in Sweden.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Time to take a clear path forward</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Ida Karlsson calls for clear plans, first until 2030, then onwards to 2045 as well.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“If you already know what you want in 2030, you can make demands today. And then companies can also know that ‘OK, if we have to be able to meet these requirements by 2030, then we have the opportunity to invest in technology to achieve that’. Because large investments will be needed to change production and haulage operations. Then you have to make sure that there are requirements, needs, incentives and not least that there is climate neutral electricity available.”<br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“The transformative solutions - electrification, carbon capture, carbon-free steel and concrete - require time and significant investment. But if we have already picked the low hanging fruits, the cost increase for the transformative solutions need not be so great. That is why the low-hanging fruits are so important to get started with, because they make it easier cut emissions further in the future, at a lower cost.”</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><div><strong>For more information, contact:</strong></div> <div>Ida Karlsson</div> <div>PhD student, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><a title="mail" href="mailto:ida.karlsson@chalmers.se"><span>ida.karlsson@chalmers.se​​</span>​</a><br /></div> <div>+46317726517</div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /> </div> <div><strong>Text: </strong>Christian Löwhagen </div>Mon, 18 May 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Testbed-for-electromobility-gets-575-million-SEK.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Testbed-for-electromobility-gets-575-million-SEK.aspxTestbed for electromobility gets 575 million SEK<p><b>​One of Europe’s leading testbeds for electric and charging vehicles is now one step closer to realisation. The Swedish Energy Agency grants SEEL, Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory, 575 million SEK in support.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The important development of electrified vehicles, vessels and aircraft is in full progress. But there are knowledge gaps in the area of electric and charging vehicles, at both industrial and societal levels. New experience is needed, and innovative concepts are tested and evaluated.<br /></span><div>Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory, SEEL, is a comprehensive investment in a testbed for electric and charging vehicles. The corporation Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory AB is founded by Chalmers University of Technology and RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), and a wide range of players will operate within the SEEL testbed.</div> <div><div> “It is very positive news to now have another piece of this puzzle in place. In order to deliver world-leading expertise within electrified transportation, we now also need to secure the conditions for academic research and education of the highest international standard. This requires new public research resources within SEEL’s field of activity”, says Stefan Bengtsson, President and CEO of Chalmers.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">&quot;A big step towards a more sustainable society&quot;</h2></div> <div>Robert Andrén, Director General at the Swedish Energy Agency, is counting on the project to help fight climate change as it focuses on batteries and electromobility.</div> <div>“Also, it is a big step towards a more sustainable society and more green jobs. In these Corona times, it is especially important that we support this type of forward-looking efforts that contribute to a climate-smart restart of society”, he says.</div> <div>Advanced knowledge development is required in the field of electromobility, and in the conditions for translating new insights into innovative solutions. In order to achieve this, close cooperation between academia, research institutes and industry is required.</div> <div> “SEEL has the right conditions to become a world-leading test facility for electromobility and thus very important for the vehicle industry’s conversion. SEEL will strengthen the competitiveness of the Swedish automotive industry, and help Sweden to remain at the forefront of innovations in the transport sector”, says RISE CEO Pia Sandvik.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">FACTS: SEEL</h2> <div>Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory, SEEL, is an electromobility testbed for electric and charging vehicles. The purpose of the initiative is to strengthen the conditions for cooperation within electromobility. Actors in small and medium-sized companies in the automotive industry, the aviation industry and the maritime sector, as well as other companies that develop technology in relevant areas, will have a common platform at SEEL. Researchers at universities and research institutes will also have access to an advanced research infrastructure. SEEL is expected to be operational by 2023.</div> <div>In the summer of 2018, the Swedish Energy Agency was commissioned by the Swedish Government to provide funding of 575 million SEK for the construction of a test center for electromobility. In December 2019, the European Commission approved state support for SEEL within the framework of an IPCEI, i.e. an important project of common European interest, to build a European battery value chain.<br /><br /></div> <div><a href="http://www.energimyndigheten.se/nyhetsarkiv/2020/575-miljoner-kronor-till-testcenter-for-el--och-laddfordon/">Read the full text in Swedish at the Swedish Energy Agency.​</a></div> Wed, 29 Apr 2020 16:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Graphene-can-become-a-tool-for-biofuel-extraction.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Graphene-can-become-a-tool-for-biofuel-extraction.aspxGraphene can become a tool for biofuel extraction<p><b>At Chalmers 2D-Tech center researchers utilize graphene to extract the biofuels from cell factories and try to optimize a method for extraction of biofuels in larger scale. What could we in the energy field learn from this new technique? We had an email chat with Dr Santosh Pandit, at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering. He is an expert in energy transitions. His research focuses on graphene antibacterial coatings for biomedical as well as industrial applications.​​</b></p><span></span><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What is your research about</strong>?<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Currently many biotechnologists are trying to produce Biofuel and many pharmaceutical compounds from genetically engineered cell factories such as bacteria and yeasts. These cell factories can produce such biofuel, chemical compounds for example by using sugar but could not excrete to external environment by themselves. Hence, we need to extract them from cells. Current extraction method needs toxic chemicals to damage such cells to extract the intracellular compound produced by these cell factories. Here we are planning to use nanoparticles containing vertical graphene spikes which could partly tear the cell membrane to leak-out such intracellular compounds without totally damaging the cells in cell factories. This approach will be doubly beneficial, which gives the re-utilization of graphene coated nanomaterials several times and microbial cells after interaction with graphene will leak out the biofuels and possibly reach back to normal metabolic stage and start producing biofuels again. This will make this process more sustainable and reduce the use of toxic chemical in biotech industries”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px">Your research on graphen and biofuels a part of the new center for research on two-dimensional materials, 2D-Tech. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong><img src="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/PublishingImages/Santosh_Pandit1.jpg" alt="Santosh Pandit PhD" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />Can you tell us something about this?</strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">In the 2D-Tech consortium we are jointly working with Bio-Petrolia, which is startup company, having various cell factories with potential to produce biofuels and pharmaceuticals in large scale. We will utilize graphene to extract the biofuels from these cell factories and try to optimize our method for online extraction of biofuels in larger scale which could be useful for larger biotech as well as Pharma industries”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What has your research found? </strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Now we are at the primary stage. However, our preliminary results are exiting and driving us forward to utilize this nanotechnological method for the biofuels extraction from microbial cell factories”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px">With your results, you highlight new opportunities for biofuel production. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>Who could benefit from your research?</strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Since our approach will be sustainable and ecofriendly, primary beneficiaries will be biotech and pharmaceutical industries who are using cell factories to produce such chemicals. We believe that our approach will be cost effective by decreasing the extraction time and cost that needs in current methods. That will probably reduce the overall price of such biofuels and chemical compounds for end users, which are general public”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>How can these materials be used in the production of biofuels? </strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Gr</span><span style="background-color:initial">aphene is lipophilic material and are known to interact with the microbial cell membrane. We have already seen the evidence of the interaction between graphene nanoflakes and microbial cell membrane and protrude intracellular materials. These excellent behaviors of graphene will help us to extract the intracellular biofuels or chemicals from microbial cell factories”. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What are you and your colleagues hoping for? </strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">I</span><span style="background-color:initial">n long term we are hoping to develop facile and strategic methods which can be used to extract intracellular biofuels from cell factories in larger industrial scale replacing the currently used toxic chemicals to completely damage microbial cells to extract the intracellular chemicals”. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>Do you have any insights that might be interesting to tell us in the energy field?</strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“Currently biofuels are getting much more attention due to the raising concern in environmental sustainability. Here microbial cell factories are providing the excellent platform to produce such energy associated chemicals. With the advancement in the science and technology, there is lots of improvement in the large-scale production of biofuels by using microbial cells, that is quite exciting and give us hope to replace the non-sustainable energy sources with bio-based energy in near future”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>What is the next step?</strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Next step is the optimization of graphene coatings which could efficiently extract the intracellular biofuels while being minimally harmful to cells and design online biofuel extraction system which can be useful for biotech industries”, Santosh Pandit concludes. <br /><br /><strong>Read More:</strong><br /><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/The-major-investment-that-will-take-the-2D-materials-into-society.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />​Major investment to take the 2D materials into the society</a><br /></span><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/pandit.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Santosh Pandit</a></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt">By: Ann-Christien Nordin</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><br /></p> <div><br /></div>Mon, 27 Apr 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Lone-drivers-use-the-most-energy.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Lone-drivers-use-the-most-energy.aspxLone drivers use the most energy<p><b>​​The number of people in each vehicle is the single most important factor explaining the energy and greenhouse gas intensity of travel. This is shown in a new study by researchers from Chalmers and University College London, who also warn that self-driving vehicles could increase both energy consumption and emissions from passenger transport.– On average, about 1.5 people travel in each car in industrialized countries. But that number could actually decrease to less than one person per car, when automated vehicles enter the market. This could lead to a tripling in light-duty vehicle energy intensity, says Sonia Yeh, at the department of Space, Earth and Environment.</b></p><div>Occupancy is a central concept when it comes to calculating and assessing energy consumption and emissions for passenger transport. If you drive a car alone, the occupancy is 1 person kilometer per vehicle kilometer, or 1pkm/vkm. With two people in the car, the occupancy rate increases to 2 pkm/vkm. But there are also trips that have fewer than one person in the car. Sonia Yeh, professor in the division of Physical Resource Theory explains:</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Sonia_Yeh_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />– In taxi travel, we don’t count the driver. For example, if a taxi driver drives 15 km to pick up a passenger,  and drive the customer 20 km to the destination, and drive another 5 km to finish the shift and go home. Since half the trips is empty, the trip average occupancy is 0.5, or 0.5 passenger kilometers for every vehicle kilometer. So the problem with taxi, some shared mobility, and automated vehicles, is that there are a lot of “empty miles” to pick up or drop off passengers or moving vehicles around. This could lead to even a tripling in light-duty vehicle energy intensity, an increase that would be difficult to compensate by fuel-saving technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>An increased occupancy rate in the cars would reduce both emissions and energy consumption per passenger kilometer, but the occupancy has instead decreased for the last several decades due to the increase of two car household for example. Today, there are really no examples where that trend has been broken.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– Price based incentives, such as making single driver rides more expensive or shared rides cheaper, can be implemented. But previous studies show that people are generally not very sensitive to price, especially if they have to wait longer or if the trip takes longer. says Sonia.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– Public transportation in Sweden has very low GHG emissions in general. To reduce transport GHG emissions further, the most effective strategies are to reduce trip distance, decarbonize fuels and increase occupancy. The current situation with the corona pandemic makes the situation trickier, as people are avoiding public transportation or shared mobility to reduce transmissions. There remains the hope for electric vehicles powered by fossil-free electricity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger transport.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Sonia Yeh and her colleague at University College London, Andreas W Schaefer's, article “<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-020-0514-9">A holistic analysis of passenger travel energy and greenhouse gas intensities</a>” was recently published in Nature Sustainability.</div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 24 Apr 2020 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Comparisons-between-organic-and-conventional-agriculture-need-to-be-better.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Comparisons-between-organic-and-conventional-agriculture-need-to-be-better.aspxComparisons between organic and conventional agriculture need to be better<p><b>​The environmental effects of agriculture and food are hotly debated. But the most widely used method of analysis often tends to overlook vital factors, such as biodiversity, soil quality, pesticide impacts and societal shifts, and these oversights can lead to wrong conclusions on the merits of intensive and organic agriculture. This is according to a trio of researchers writing in the journal Nature Sustainability.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The most common method for assessing the environmental impacts of agriculture and food is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Studies using this method sometimes claim that organic agriculture is actually worse for the climate, because it has lower yields, and therefore uses more land to make up for this. For example, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12622-7">a recent study in Nature Communications</a> that made this claim was widely reported by many publications, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-50129353">including the BBC</a> and others. </span><div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">But according to three researchers from France, Denmark and Sweden, presenting an analysis of many LCA studies in the journal Nature Sustainability, this implementation of LCA is too simplistic, and misses the benefits of organic farming. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>“We are worried that LCA gives too narrow a picture, and we risk making bad decisions politically and socially. When comparing organic and intensive farming, there are wider effects that the current approach does not adequately consider,” says Hayo van der Werf of the French National Institute of Agricultural Research.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Biodiversity, for example, is of vital importance to the health and resilience of ecosystems. But globally, it is declining, Intensive agriculture has been shown to be one of the main drivers of negative trends such as insect and bird decline. Agriculture occupies more than one-third of global land area, so any links between biodiversity losses and agriculture are hugely important.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“But our analysis shows that current LCA studies rarely factor in biodiversity, and consequently, they usually miss that wider benefit of organic agriculture,” says Marie Trydeman Knudsen from Aarhus University, Denmark. “Earlier studies have already shown that organic fields support biodiversity levels approximately 30% higher than conventional fields.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Usage of pesticides is another factor to consider. Between 1990 and 2015, pesticide use worldwide has increased 73%. Pesticide residues in the ground and in water and food can be harmful to human health, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and cause biodiversity losses. Organic farming, meanwhile, precludes the use of synthetic pesticides. But few LCA studies account for these effects. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Land degradation and lower soil quality resulting from unsustainable land management is also an issue – again, something rarely measured in LCA studies. The benefits of organic farming practices such as varied crop rotation and the use of organic fertilisers are often overlooked in LCA studies.</span></div> <div>Crucially, LCA generally assesses environmental impacts per kilogram of product. This favours intensive systems that may have lower impacts per kilogram, while having higher impacts per hectare of land. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/ChristelCederberg_230.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />“LCA simply looks at the overall yields. Of course, from that perspective, it’s true that intensive farming methods are indeed more effective. But this is not the whole story of the larger agroecosystem. A diverse landscape with smaller fields, hedgerows and a variety of crops gives other benefits – greater biodiversity, for example,” says Christel Cederberg of Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, (photo). </div> <div><br /></div> <div>LCA’s product-focused approach also fails to capture the subtleties of smaller, diverse systems which are more reliant on ecological processes, and adapted to local soil, climate and ecosystem characteristics. LCA needs a more fine-grained approach. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We often look at the effects at the global food chain level, but we need to be much better at considering the environmental effects at the local <span style="background-color:initial">level,” says Marie Trydeman Knudsen. </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers note in their study that efforts are being made in this area, but much more progress is needed. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>A further key weakness is when hypothetical “indirect effects” are included, such as assuming that the lower yields of organic agriculture lead to increased carbon dioxide emissions, because more land is needed. For example, another prominent study – from a researcher also based at Chalmers University of Technology – suggested that organic agriculture was worse for the climate, because the requirement for more land leads indirectly to less forest area. But accounting for these indirect effects is problematic. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“For example, consider the growing demand for organic meat. Traditional LCA studies might simply assume that overall consumption of meat will remain the same, and therefore more land will be required. But consumers who are motivated to buy organic meat for environmental and ethical reasons will probably also buy fewer animal-based products in the first place. But hardly any studies into this sort of consumer behaviour exist, so it is very difficult to account for these types of social shifts now,” says Hayo van der Werf. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Current LCA methodology and practice is simply not good enough to assess agroecological systems such as organic agriculture. It therefore needs to be improved and integrated with other environmental assessment tools to get a more balanced picture” says Christel Cederberg. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read the article “<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-020-0489-6">Towards better representation of organic agriculture in life cycle assessment​</a>” in Nature Sustainability. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">For more information, contact: </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Christel Cederberg, <span style="background-color:initial">Professor, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology</span></div> <div>christel.cederberg@chalmers.se</div> <div>+46 31 772 22 18</div> <div>​<br /></div> Tue, 17 Mar 2020 07:00:00 +0100