News: Energi related to Chalmers University of TechnologySat, 25 Sep 2021 18:40:30 +0200 researcher joins the Young Academy of Sweden<p><b>​Johan Larsbrink, Associate Professor in molecular enzymology at Chalmers, is elected one of eight new members of the Young Academy of Sweden.  </b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>&quot;It feels great and I am honored to have been elected. I see it as a possibility to influence the conditions for young researchers in Sweden. It is also a good opportunity to get to know other researchers around the country from completely different research areas,&quot; says Johan Larsbrink. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">The <a href="">Young Academy of Sweden​</a> (YAS) is an independent academy which bring young researchers together and provides a </span><span style="background-color:initial">platform </span><span style="background-color:initial">to influence current and future research policy and create new, and unexpected, interdisciplinary collaborations. YAS also aims to spread knowledge and influence society at large. Among other things, the academy’s work is focused on inspiring and educating children and young people.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;Like all members of YAS, I will contribute with my own experiences and perspectives. The academy is very dynamic, so there are good opportunities to spark new</span><span style="background-color:initial"> ideas,&quot; says Johan Larsbrink.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Enzymes that degrade biomass and dietary fiber</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">His research at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering is about enzymes that various microorganisms use to break down biomass and use it as nutrition. Biomass degradation is an important step in the production of biofuels. Increased understanding of these enzymes can provide more efficient processes and more sustainable fuel production.  </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">Johan Larsbrink's research group also study gut bacteria that break down dietary fiber, in order to give a better understanding in how different diets benefit different species in the gut. Some of the enzymes studied could also be used as antimicrobials, by breaking down the protective barriers surrounding harmful microorganisms.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Look forward to </span>interdisciplinary collaborations</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">The members of YAS are elected for five years and there are currently 38 members in the academy.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">”We take huge pleasure in welcoming new members, the number of applicants this year was record high. We look forward to unleashing our energy on new activities together,” says chair Sebastian Westenhoff in a press release from YAS.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;With the number of applicants, it of course feels very special to have been elected. I applied because I have heard of many positive things about YAS. I now look forward to working with committed people at a similar stage in their careers – but from different research fields,&quot; says Johan Larsbrink.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Focus on researchers' conditions and transparent supervision</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">On his agenda is, among other things, the different conditions for researcher at different universities. For example, the proportion of research grants that can fund the research project and what amount that must cover other costs at the university . </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">&quot;I also think it is important that we strive for a better and more transparent follow-up of supervision, which is typically a very important part of the doctoral education,&quot; says Johan Larsbrink, who was named <a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Larsbrink-research-supervisor-of-the-year-2019.aspx">Researcher Supervisor of the Year</a> at Chalmers 2019.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Read more about Johan Larsbrink's research:</strong></span><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Biodiversity-in-Vietnam-leads-the-industry-forward.aspx">Biodiversity in Vietnam leads the industry forward​</a><br /></li> <li><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Unique-enzymes-help-gut-bacteria-compete-for-food.aspx">Unique enzymes help gut bacteria compete for food</a></li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong style="background-color:initial">Also read: </strong><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href="/en/research/our-scientists/Pages/The-Young-Academy-of-Sweden.aspx">Chalmers Scientists in The Young Academy of Sweden​</a></li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Text:</strong> Susanne Nilsson Lindh<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Photo</strong>: Martina Butorac</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Fri, 24 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0200 manufacturing can fundamentally change the way we live<p><b>​“I look very much forward to the Materials for tomorrow workshop”, says Uta Klement, Professor in Surface and Microstructure Engineering.This year’s seminar Materials for Tomorrow is devoted to the broad diversity of additive manufacturing, across materials and applications. The topic is &quot;Additive Manufacturing – From academic challenges to industrial practice&quot;. The event will take place online, November 17th, with several internationally recognized speakers. ​</b></p>​​<img src="/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/PublishingImages/Uta-Klement_MFT.jpg" alt="Uta Klement" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>“There is a very close </strong>cooperation between academia and industry. This is also reflected in CAM2, the Centre for Additive Manufacture – Metal, in which around 25 companies are involved and help define research questions”, says Uta Klement, and she continues:</span><div><br /></div> <div>“To achieve the United Nations SDGs, we need to fundamentally change the way we live, including the way we manufacture products. Additive manufacturing contributes to resource efficiency by reducing material waste and energy consumption. Additive manufacturing, AM, can also help to produce lightweight components, which will help reduce fuel costs and the carbon footprint of, for example, planes, cars, and trucks”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Uta Klement </strong>is Professor in Materials Science at Chalmers University of Technology with emphasis on Electron Microscopy and is Head of the Division of Materials and Manufacture at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science. She is also heading the Surface and Microstructure Engineering research group.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Why is this technology so interesting?</strong></div> <div>“In addition to rapid prototyping through 3D printing, Additive Manufacturing can offer local on-demand spare parts production, customer-specific products, lightweight construction, functional integration, and the opportunity to implement completely new ideas. Product development and market entry can be accelerated significantly while cost reduction and sustainability goals can be achieved at the same time”, says Uta Klement.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is the most exciting in the field?</strong></div> <div>“A broader adoption of the additive manufacturing technology depends on the ability to control the entire eco-system, involving pre-printing, printing, and post-printing. This is what we do in CAM2, the Centre for Additive Manufacture - Metal. In addition to a better understanding of the different parts of the process chain, there is currently much focus on quality assurance and the use of inline process monitoring systems together with AI to detect and avoid defects in built components. Also in operando measurements are of much interest to better understand the process and the formed microstructure.</div> <div>Even though additive manufacturing enables the manufacture of parts with a high degree of complexity, internal cooling channels or lattice structures, the surface integrity of the parts is often of inadequate quality, where values for the surface roughness can be much higher than acceptable for many applications. Therefore, surface integrity plays an important role in defining the part's operational performance, which is why post-processing to improve the surface integrity of additively manufactured parts is critical to the introduction of the technology in its broadest sense and requires more attention”, says Uta.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Which materials can be used in Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing?</strong></div> <div>“Due to their ease of use and low melting temperatures, 3D printing began with polymeric materials. Today, additive manufacturing / 3D printing encompasses most types of materials, from polymers to metals, ceramics to living cells”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Which is the most advanced object constructed using additive manufacturing?</strong></div> <div>“That is of course a matter of opinion. Being able to make custom body parts after trauma surgery can be seen as very important and advanced. But even parts that cannot be manufactured using conventional, i.e., subtractive processes, including material-saving lightweight structures, are very progressive and require a completely new design. For future space exploration, when we travel to Moon and Mars, Additive Manufacturing will be fundamental for producing the vital infrastructure”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What are you most looking forward to at this seminar?</strong></div> <div>“I'm looking forward to interesting lectures that give a broad overview of what can already be done with Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing and what challenges we still face”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Who should attend to the seminar?</strong></div> <div>“Everyone is welcome, from beginners to experts. I think the seminar offers something for everyone and everyone can learn something new.</div> <div>I hope the participants learn during the seminar that additive manufacturing is very broad and a topic that will keep us busy for the next years to come”, Uta Klement concludes.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/materials/Calendar/Pages/Materials-for-Tomorrow-2021.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">P</span><span style="background-color:initial">rogram Materials for Tomorrow 2021 </span></a><br /></div> <span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Register to the seminar </a></span>Fri, 24 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0200 for WASP affiliated PhD Student Positions<p><b>15 open positions within WASP Graduate School</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P"><b>​Application deadline: </b>October 31, 2021 <span>(opens October 1)</span></p> <p><font color="#212121"><br /></font></p> <p><font color="#212121">The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program hereby announces a <b>call for 15 affiliated WASP PhD student positions </b>at the five partner universities Chalmers, KTH, Linköping University, Lund University and Umeå University as well as the research groups at Örebro University and Uppsala University that are members of WASP. The purpose of the call is to provide the opportunity for PhD students not funded by WASP to be part of the WASP Graduate School.</font></p> <p><font color="#212121"><br /></font></p> <p><font color="#212121"><em><b>Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP)</b> is Sweden’s largest ever individual research program, a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education, and faculty recruitment. The program addresses research on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information, and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. </em><br /></font></p> <p><font color="#212121"><br /></font></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(33, 33, 33)"></span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(33, 33, 33)"><a href="" target="_blank" title="link to WASP call website"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the full information on the WASP website</a></span><br /></p> <p><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div>Thu, 23 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0200 for a method that enables full development of RNA-based medicines<p><b>​RNA-based therapeutics had their big breakthrough as a Covid vaccine. But in order to also be able to cure cancer and other diseases, a refined technology is needed that increases the uptake of RNA into the cell. Elin Esbjörner and Marcus Wilhelmsson have led a research team that has developed a method that facilitates this development. For this, they now receive the Areas of Advance Award.</b></p>​<img src="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/PublishingImages/A_A_Elin-Esbjorner_2.jpg" alt="Elin Esbjörner " class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>They are from different research areas</strong>, but have shared lunch rooms for many years.</span><div>” We have talked for a long time about collaboration to test if Marcus' fluorescent short <span style="background-color:initial">RN</span><span style="background-color:initial">A could be used in live cells but have never had a platform for it. In 2017, we, together with other researcher at Chalmers and other Swedish universities, received a large research grant that made it possible,” s</span><span style="background-color:initial">ays Elin Esbjörner, associate professor at the Department of Biology and </span><span style="background-color:initial">Bio</span><span style="background-color:initial">locical</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"> Engineering</span><span style="background-color:initial">.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The FoRmulaEx research center</strong> was formed and a goal was set - if everything went well, they would have a method to produce fluorescent mRNA within six years.</div> <div>It took three.</div> <div>“mRNA is a molecule that assist in translating the genetic code to protein. It is used in Covid vaccines, but it also has great promise for cancer vaccines and to treat different types of genetic diseases. The potential is huge. But for this to work, these large and fragile molecules must become better at getting into the cells and reach their target. The functional uptake into the cells today is at best a few percent.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><img src="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/PublishingImages/A-A_Marcus-Wilhelmsson_I0A4104.jpg" alt="Marcus Wilhelmsson" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />This is where the fluorescent mRNA comes in</strong>. Marcus Wilhelmsson, professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, explains that it behaves like a natural mRNA, even though one of RNA’s own building-blocks here is replaced by a corresponding fluorescent building-block that has been developed by the team.</div> <div>“In this way you can follow mRNA molecules into the cell and see how they are taken up. The method makes it easier for the pharmaceutical industry and academic research groups to accelerate the development of mRNA medicines,” says Marcus Wilhelmsson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>To ensure that the method is utilized, the researchers have submitted a couple of patent applications and with the support of Chalmers Ventures and Chalmers Innovation Office, a company is being started up.</div> <div>“We are currently looking for a business developer and in a few weeks, the company will be up and running.”<br /><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>So how long can it take before</strong> the new technology can be on the market?</div> <div>“The fluorescent building block could be on the market within a year. Skilled labs around the world could use it to do their own investigations. A kit for the entire technology, which includes information about the production of the long mRNA strand, may take two years, says Marcus Wilhelmsson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The method has already received a lot of attention, not least since the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) selected the project and the innovation for its annual 100 list. The Areas of Advance Award is another recognition that the results of their research which has also been done in collaboration with AstraZeneca, makes a difference.<br /><br /></div> <span style="background-color:initial"><strong>“Sweden is not known</strong> for having many academic prizes, so it is nice to get that attention. It´s an honor, especially when you think about the talented people who have received the award before. We are very proud”</span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Related:</strong><br /><a href="/en/centres/FoRmulaEx/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />The FoRmulaEx research center</a><br /><br />Text: Lars Nicklasson</span>​</div> ​Wed, 15 Sep 2021 17:00:00 +0200 in focus for the new Director for Energy Area of Advance<p><b>​Tomas Kåberger is the new Director of Chalmers Energy Area of Advance. He took office on 1 September.– It feels so good to hand over to Tomas, he has the knowledge, experience and network in the society and industry to pursue strategic sustainability issues that benefit societal development, says Maria Grahn who is now leaving the assignment.</b></p>​<img src="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/PublishingImages/Tomas_Kåberger_4_Highrez.jpg" alt="Tomas Kåberger" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px 10px;width:350px;height:337px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Tomas Kåberger's</strong> hallmark is to drive change from different platforms. So what does the vision look like when you now take on this task?</span><div>– The world's energy supply is developing rapidly and research results and new technology are valuable. Chalmers’ researchers have a lot to offer and I want to help in making this knowledge useful, says Tomas Kåberger, who is reinstated professor of Industrial Energy Policy at Chalmers University of Technology.<br /><br /></div> <div>Tomas left his professorship at Chalmers three years ago, to work with energy technology innovations and industrial development together with InnoEnergy, which is part of the EIT, European Institute of Innovation and Technology. He has also until recently been a member of the Swedish Government's Climate Policy Council and will continue as chairman of the Renewable Energy Institute in Tokyo and board member of Vattenfall.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>– The key word during my years </strong>as Director for Chalmers Energy Area of Advance has been collaboration and achieving exciting strategic collaborations together with academia, authorities and industry, says Maria Grahn, associate professor at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences.</div> <div>For research on complex systems, the term wicked sustainability problems is sometimes used. One example is the transition into sustainable energy and transport systems.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/PublishingImages/Maria_G.jpg" alt="Maria Grahn" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />– Now, for example, electric cars are part of the solution, but as soon as you introduce electric cars, you have to deal with new challenges - you have to think about cobalt and lithium with all that entails regarding resource constraints and other risks such as child labor. But there is no actor who can solve a wicked problem on his own. So we have to take on the challenge from a larger perspective so that we really create a sustainable society and achieve the UN's sustainability goals, says Maria Grahn.</div> <div>During her time as Director for the Energy area, she introduced a special track for collaborative projects, where researchers can apply for funding where they take on a challenge based issue from at least two different aspects to find as sustainable solutions as possible.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>The IPCC's latest report,</strong> Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, is the sharpest to date, with the same message as previous reports but now with even larger letters and with even more consensus among the researchers. In media reporting, one hears that much must change, not just the energy system, but everything from what we consume, to how it is produced. Here you have to be wise strategically and have a long-term focus.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>How do you see the role of Chalmers University of Technology and the Areas of Advance in contributing to this transition?</strong></div> <div>– Yes, the threat levels look worse. But at the same time, the technical solutions have become better and economically competitive. Now it is more about quickly putting the new technology into use and developing the industry in Sweden and Europe to enable global economic prosperity. Now it is more important and more fun to engage in energy technologies than it has been in 100 years, says Tomas Kåberger.</div> <div>Tomas is constantly moving between academia, authorities, environmental organizations, and companies, and they are also the ones who gather at our seminars.</div> <div>– Here, he points out, that Chalmers Areas of Advance has, in organized collaborations with companies at open seminars, managed to establish an arena that attracts participants from Chalmers and society. With these contacts with the outside world, Chalmers also contributes to the formation of new constellations of researchers to handle research tasks that are relevant to the outside world.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What do you especially want to highlight?</strong></div> <div>– After the pandemic year, I hope that we will be able to have more creative meetings both internally and externally, and that the combination of real meetings and all the communication methods we have now learned will give us even more international exchange.</div> <div>Tomas Kåberger wants to contribute with efficient internal processes and focus on getting results in use.</div> <div>– It will be inspiring to, together with talented Chalmers researchers, contribute to the industrial development of western Sweden, Sweden and Europe, he concludes.<br /><br /><b>Related:<br /></b><span></span><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Renewable Energy Institute, Japan</a><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Vattenfall</a><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Swedish Climate Policy Council</a><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />InnoEnergy</a><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Tomas Kåberger – Wiki​</a><br /><br /><br />Photo: Christian Löwhagen<br />Text: Ann-Christine Nordin</div> <div><br /></div> ​Thu, 09 Sep 2021 10:15:00 +0200 insulation material improves electricity transport.aspx material improves electricity transport<p><b>High-voltage direct current cables which can efficiently transport electricity over long distances play a vital role in our electricity supply. Optimising their performance is therefore an important challenge. With that aim in mind, scientists from Chalmers University of Technology present a new insulation material up to three times less conductive, offering significant improvements to the properties and performance of such cables.</b></p>​If we are to transition to a world powered by renewable energy, efficient long-distance transport of electricity is essential, since the supply – renewable energy sources such as wind and solar farms, as well as hydroelectric dams – is often located far from cities, where most of the demand exists. High voltage direct current cables, or HVDC cables, are the most efficient means of transporting electricity over long distances. <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Cellulosatråd/portratt_christian_muller_320x305px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Porträttbild Christian Müller " style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">HVDC cables with an insulation layer can be buried underground or laid on the seabed, allowing for considerable expansion of networks, and many projects are currently underway to connect different parts of the world. In Europe, for instance, the NordLink project will connect southern Norway and Germany, and HVDC cable projects form a significant part of the energiewende, Germany's overarching plan to move to a more environmentally sustainable energy supply. </span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“For us to handle the rapidly increasing global demand for electricity, efficient and safe HVDC cables are an essential component. The supply of renewable energy can fluctuate, so being able to transport electricity through long distance networks is a necessity for ensuring a steady and reliable distribution,&quot; says Christian Müller, leader of the research and Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.&quot;<br /><br /><div><span></span>During transport, as little energy as possible should be lost. One way to reduce transmission losse such as this is by increasing the direct current voltage level. </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/isoleringsmaterial%20i%20högspänningskablar/Xiangdong-Xu%20320x305.jpg" alt="porträttbild Xiangdong Xu" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><br /><p style="margin-bottom:8.25pt"><span lang="EN-GB">&quot;However, an increase in the transmission voltage adversely affects the insulation of an HVDC cable,&quot; explains Xiangdong Xu, research specialist at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.&quot; </span></p></div> <div>The researchers now present a novel way to reduce the conductivity of an insulation material. </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A material that gives the cables three times lower conductivity</h2></div> <div>The basis of the new material is polyethylene, which is already used for insulation in existing HVDC cables. Now, by adding very small amounts – 5 parts per million – of the conjugated polymer known as poly(3-hexylthiophene), the researchers were able to lower the electrical conductivity by up to three times<br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The additive, also known as P3HT, is a widely studied material, and given the tiny amounts required, opens up new possibilities for manufacturers. Other possible substances that have previously been used to reduce the conductivity are nanoparticles of various metal oxides and other polyolefins, but these require significantly higher quantities.<br /><br /></span></div> <div>“In materials science, we strive to use additives in as small quantities as possible, in order to increase the potential for them to be used in industry and for better recycling potential. The fact that only a very small amount of this additive is required to achieve the effect is a big advantage,” says Christian Müller.<br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A discovery that could lead to a new research field</h2></div> <div><span></span>Conjugated polymers, such as P3HT, have been used in the past to design flexible and printed electronics. However, this is the first time they have been used and tested as an additive to modify the properties of a commodity plastic. The researchers therefore believe that their discovery could lead to numerous new applications and directions for research.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Our hope is that this study can really open up a new field of research, inspiring other researchers to look into designing and optimising plastics with advanced electrical properties for energy transport and storage applications,&quot; says Christian Müller.<br /></div> <div></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact:</h3></div> <div><span></span><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Christian-Müller.aspx" title="Link to personal profile page ">Christian Müller</a>, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology​<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research</h3> <div><ul><li>The research study is part of a project funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and was led by Christian Müller and his research group at Chalmers and was carried out in collaboration with colleagues active in both Sweden and internationally. </li></ul></div> <div><ul><li>​The scientific article <a href="" title="Link to scientific article ">Repurposing Poly (3-hexylthiophene) as a Conductivity-Reducing Additive for Polyethylene-Based High-Voltage Insulation</a> has been published in the journal Advanced Materials and is written by Amir Masoud Pourrahimi, Sarath Kumara, Fabrizio Palmieri, Liyang Yu, Anja Lund, Thomas Hammarström, Per-Ola Hagstrand, Ivan G. Scheblykin, Davide Fabiani, Xiangdong Xu, and Christian Müller. The researchers are active at Chalmers University of Technology, University of Bologna, Lund University and Borealis AB.​​</li></ul> <span></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>​<br /></div> <div><br /></div></div> ​Thu, 26 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0200 graphene opens doors to sustainable batteries<p><b>​In the search for sustainable energy storage, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology present a new concept to fabricate high-performance electrode materials for sodium batteries. It is based on a novel type of graphene to store one of the world's most common and cheap metal ions – sodium. The results show that the capacity can match today’s lithium-ion batteries.</b></p><div>​Even though lithium ions work well for energy storage, lithium is an expensive metal with concerns regarding its long-term supply and environmental issues. <br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Sodium, on the other hand, is an abundant low-cost metal, and a main ingredient in seawater (and in kitchen salt). This makes sodium-ion batteries an interesting and sustainable alternative for reducing our need for critical raw materials. However, one major challenge is to increase the capacity.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>At the current level of performance, sodium-ion batteries cannot compete with lithium-ion cells. One limiting factor is the graphite, which is composed of stacked layers of graphene, and used as the anode in today’s lithium-ion batteries. <br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The ions intercalate in the graphite, which means that they can move in and out of the graphene layers and be stored for energy usage. Sodium ions are larger than lithium ions and interact differently. Therefore, they cannot be efficiently stored in the graphite structure. But the Chalmers researchers have come up with a novel way to solve this. <br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/Jinhua_Sun.jpg" alt="Jinhua Sun" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:0px 25px;width:125px;height:145px" />“We have added a molecule spacer on one side of the graphene layer. When the layers are stacked together, the molecule creates larger space between graphene sheets and provides an interaction point, which leads to a significantly higher capacity,” says researcher Jinhua Sun at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science at Chalmers and first author of the scientific paper, published in Science Advances. </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Ten times the energy capacity of standard graphite</h2></div> <div> </div> <div>Typically, the capacity of sodium intercalation in standard graphite is about 35 milliampere hours per gram (mA h g-1). This is less than one tenth of the capacity for lithium-ion intercalation in graphite. With the novel graphene the specific capacity for sodium ions is 332 milliampere hours per gram – approaching the value for lithium in graphite. The results also showed full reversibility and high cycling stability.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/Aleksandar_Matic.jpg" alt="Aleksandar Matic" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:0px 30px;width:125px;height:146px" />“It was really exciting when we observed the sodium-ion intercalation with such high capacity. The research is still at an early stage, but the results are very promising. This shows that it’s possible to design graphene layers in an ordered structure that suits sodium-ions, making it comparable to graphite,” says Professor Aleksandar Matic at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">“Divine” Janus graphene opens doors to sustainable batteries</h2></div> <div> </div> <div>The study was initiated by Vincenzo Palermo in his previous role as Vice-Director of the Graphene Flagship, a European Commission-funded project coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology. <br /></div> <div> </div> <div> The novel graphene has asymmetric chemical functionalisation on opposite faces and is therefore often called Janus graphene, after the two-faced ancient Roman God Janus – the God of new beginnings, associated with doors and gates, and the first steps of a journey. In this case the Janus graphene correlates well with the roman mythology, potentially opening doors to high-capacity sodium-ion batteries. <br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/VincenzoPalermo.jpg" alt="Vincenzo Palermo" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px 20px;width:140px;height:165px" /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Our Janus material is still far from industrial applications, but the new results show that we can engineer the ultrathin graphene sheets – and the tiny space in between them – for high-capacity energy storage. We are very happy to present a concept with cost-efficient, abundant and sustainable metals,” says Vincenzo Palermo, Affiliated Professor at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span><em>Text: Marcus Folino and Mia Halleröd Palmgren<br /></em></span></div> <div><span><em></em><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><span><em>Image of Jinhua Sun: Marcus Folino<span style="display:inline-block"></span></em></span><em><span style="display:inline-block"></span><br /></em><div><em>Image of Aleksandar Matic: Anna-Lena Lundqvist<br /></em></div> <div><span><em>Image of Vincenzo Palermo: Graphene Flagship<span style="display:inline-block"></span></em></span><br /><em><span style="display:inline-block"></span></em></div> <br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the material: Janus graphene with a unique structure</h2> <div>The material used in the study has a unique artificial nanostructure. The upper face of each graphene sheet has a molecule that acts as both spacer and active interaction site for the sodium ions. Each molecule in between two stacked graphene sheets is connected by a covalent bond to the lower graphene sheet and interacts through electrostatic interactions with the upper graphene sheet. The graphene layers also have uniform pore size, controllable functionalisation density, and few edges. </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the research: </h2> <div>The scientific article <a href="" title="Link to the scientific article">“Real-time imaging of Na+ reversible intercalation in “Janus” graphene stacks for battery applications”</a> was published in Science Advances and is written by Jinhua Sun, Matthew Sadd, Philip Edenborg, Henrik Grönbeck, Peter H. Thiesen, Zhenyuan Xia, Vanesa Quintano, Ren Qiu, Aleksandar Matic and Vincenzo Palermo. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers are active at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science, the Department of Physics and Competence Centre for Catalysis at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, Accurion GmbH, Germany and Institute of Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity (ISOF) at the National Research Council of Italy.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under GrapheneCore3 881603–Graphene Flagship, FLAG-ERA project PROSPECT, the Chalmers Foundation and the Swedish Research Council. The calculations were performed at C3SE (Gothenburg, Sweden) through an SNIC grant. This work was performed, in part, at Myfab Chalmers and Chalmers materials analysis laboratory. <br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, please contact: </h3> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/jinhua.aspx">Jinhua Sun</a>, Researcher, Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 76 960 99 56, <a href=""><br /></a></div> <div><a href=""><br /></a></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Aleksandar-Matic.aspx">Aleksandar Matic</a>, Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 51 76, <a href=""></a></div> <div><br /> </div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Vincenzo-Palermo.aspx">Vincenzo Palermo</a>, Affiliated Professor, Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; Director, Institute for Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity, CNR, Bologna, Italy, +39 051 639 97 73 or +39 051 639 98 53, <a href=""></a></div> <div> </div>Wed, 25 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0200 knowledge of grains – one route to green energy<p><b>​Christoph Langhammer is exploring boundaries. But they are not external boundaries; they are internal ones – inside the nanoparticles he is building to create high-speed ultra-sensitive hydrogen gas sensors. The materials behave differently at the boundaries. He wants to exploit these traits to improve the particles.</b></p>​“Over the past year interest in hydrogen has soared, not least in the EU, and more and more people are starting to realize that current hydrogen sensors are not good enough – and that sensors of this kind will be needed everywhere,” says Christoph Langhammer, <span style="background-color:initial">Pr</span><span style="background-color:initial">ofessor of Chemical Physics at Chalmers University of Technology and Wallenberg Academy Fellow 2016.<br /><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Re​ad the full interview with Christoph Langhammer on</a><br /></span>Thu, 22 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0200 electronic paper displays brilliant colours<p><b>​Imagine sitting out in the sun, reading a digital screen as thin as paper, but seeing the same image quality as if you were indoors. Thanks to research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, it could soon be a reality.  A new type of reflective screen – sometimes described as ‘electronic paper’ – offers optimal colour display, while using ambient light to keep energy consumption to a minimum.​​</b></p><div>Traditional digital screens use a backlight to illuminate the text or images displayed upon them. This is fine indoors, but we’ve all experienced the difficulties of viewing such screens in bright sunshine. Reflective screens, however, attempt to use the ambient light, mimicking the way our eyes respond to natural paper.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/elektroniska%20papper%20Anderas%20Dahlin/Marika_Gugole_220x230.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Porträttbild Marika Gogole " style="margin:5px" /><br /><div>“For reflective screens to compete with the energy-intensive digital screens that we use today, images and colours must be reproduced with the same high quality. That will be the real breakthrough. Our research now shows how the technology can be optimised, making it attractive for commercial use,” says Marika Gugole, Doctoral Student at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">The researchers had already previously succeeded in developing an ultra-thin, flexible material that reproduces all the colours an LED screen can display, while requiring only a tenth of the energy that a standard tablet consumes</a>. But in the earlier design the colours on the reflective screen did not display with optimal quality. <a href="" title="Link to scientific article ">Now the new study, published in the journal Nano Letters takes the material one step further. </a>Using a previously researched, porous and nanostructured material, containing tungsten trioxide, gold and platinum, they tried a new tactic – inverting the design in such a way as to allow the colours to appear much more accurately on the screen. <br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"></h2> <div><span lang="EN-GB"><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span lang="EN-GB">Inverting the design for top quality colour​ </span></h2> </span></div> </div> <div><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">The inversion of the design represents a great step forward. They placed the component which makes the material electrically conductive underneath the pixelated nanostructure that reproduces the colours – instead of above it, as was previously the case. This new design means you look directly at the pixelated surface, therefore seeing the colours much more clearly. </span></p></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><div><div>In addition to the minimal energy consumption, reflective screens have other advantages. For example, they are much less tiring for the eyes compared to looking at a regular screen.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/elektroniska%20papper%20Anderas%20Dahlin/Andreas_Dahlin%20220x230.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="porträttbild Anderas Dahlin " style="margin:5px" />To make these reflective screens, certain rare metals are required – such as the gold and platinum – but because the final product is so thin, the amounts needed are very small. The researchers have high hopes that eventually, it will be possible to significantly reduce the quantities needed for production.<br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Our main goal when developing these reflective screens, or ‘electronic paper’ as it is sometimes termed, is to find sustainable, energy-saving solutions. And in this case, energy consumption is almost zero because we simply use the ambient light of the surroundings,” explains research leader Andreas Dahlin, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.​</div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Flexible with a wide range of uses</h2></div> <div>Reflective screens are already available in some tablets today, but they only display the colours black and white well, which limits their use.<br /><br /></div> <div>“A large industrial player with the right technical competence could, in principle, start developing a product with the new technology within a couple of months,” says Andreas Dahlin, who envisions a number of further applications. In addition to smart phones and tablets, it could also be useful for outdoor advertising, offering energy and resource savings compared with both printed posters or moving digital screens.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Update of this article: Next step taken – video speed operation in electronic papers </h2> <div> <div>Andreas Dahlin’s research group has together with colleagues from University of Cambridge, managed to reach video speed operation for electronic papers, in a new study <a href="" title="Link to scientific article ">Video Speed Switching of Plasmonic Structural Colors with High Contrast and Superior Lifetime​</a>, <span style="background-color:initial">recently published in the journal Advances Materials . </span></div> <span></span><div></div></div> <div>​<br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"></h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research</h3> <div><ul> <li>​The technology in Chalmers researchers' reflective screens is based on the material's ability to regulate how light is absorbed and reflected. In the current study, tungsten trioxide is the core material, but in previous studies, researchers also used polymers. The material that covers the surface conducts electronic signals throughout the screen and can be patterned to create high-resolution images.<br /><br /></li> <li>The scientific article <a href="" title="Link to article "> <span>Electrochromi</span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span>c</span><span> Inorganic Nanostructures with High Chromaticity and Superior Brightness</span></a> has been published in Nano Letters and is written by Marika Gugole, Oliver Olsson, Stefano Rossi, Magnus P. Jonsson and Andreas Dahlin. The researchers are active at Chalmers University of Technology and Linköping University.​</li></ul></div> <div><div><div><p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><span style="background-color:initial">​The scientific article </span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="" title="Link to scientific article ">Video Speed Switching of Plasmonic Structural Colors with High Contrast and Superior Lifetime​</a> </span><span style="background-color:initial">h</span><span style="background-color:initial">as been published in</span><span style="background-color:initial"> Advanced Materials </span><span style="background-color:initial">and is written by</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Kunl</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">i</span><span style="background-color:initial"> Xiong, Oliver Olsson, Justas Svirelis, Chonnipa Palasingh, Jeremy Baumberg, Andreas Dahlin. </span><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">he researchers are active at Chalmers University of Technology and University of Cambridge.</span>​</li></ul> <span></span><p></p> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span></span></p></div> </div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> Contact <br /></h3></div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Andreas-Dahlin.aspx" title="Link to Anderas Dahln personal profile page "><span>A</span><span style="background-color:initial">ndre</span><span style="background-color:initial">as</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Dahl</span><span style="background-color:initial">i</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">n</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span></a></div> <div>Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Marika Gugole, PhD student, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology​​</div> <div><br /></div> <div></div></div> <div>​​<br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">​</h3> ​​​​​​​​Mon, 12 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0200 transition needs to accelerate urgently<p><b>​There are several viable paths towards a carbon-neutral future, and it is possible to achieve it by 2050. But it requires immediate action. That is the message from various European academies, including the Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), which has been commissioned by the European Commission to provide advice on how to facilitate the energy transition  in Europe.</b></p>​<img src="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/PublishingImages/filipj.jpg" alt="Filip Johnsson" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>&quot;Our report shows </strong>big challenges but also significant opportunities in the transformation of the energy system&quot;, says IVA fellow Filip Johnsson, professor of Energy Systems at Chalmers, one of the experts behind the advice prepared for the European Commission. </span><div><br /></div> <div><strong>On 29 June 2021</strong>, the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism publishes two major documents on a systemic approach to the energy transition in Europe: </div> <div><ul><li>​An Evidence Review Report from SAPEA presents the latest scientific evidence and a series of evidence-based policy options.</li> <li>The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors’ Scientific Opinion, informed by this evidence, presents key policy recommendations.</li></ul></div> <div><strong>The expert group emphasises</strong> that the transition to sustainable energy is not just a technical challenge. To enable the transition, a huge systemic problem must be solved by coordinating investment, consumption, and behavior across Europe. This means transforming the entire European energy system — a change which will affect every part of our society and require huge investment during the transition. And we already need to accelerate progress if we want to achieve the EU’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>“Thanks to the enthusiastic</strong> engagement of top experts from academies across Europe, both within Euro-CASE and across many other disciplines represented within the SAPEA consortium, we are able to present this comprehensive report to the European Commission. Our advice could not be more timely, as the EU prepares to publish its strategy for a zero-carbon future, and the world wakes up to the urgency of fighting climate change.” says Tuula Teeri, IVA’s President.</div> <div><br /><div>In the work on the Evidence Review Report, SAPEA selected experts from different disciplines. The group was led by Professor Peter Lund.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>The full report and a complete list of the working group can be found at</strong> <a href="" style="outline:currentcolor none 0px"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />​​</a></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Facts about Euro-CASE</strong></div> <div>Five years ago, the European Commission set up SAM (The Scientific Advice Mechanism). Through it, the Commission asks European academies to provide scientific evidence for future policy decisions. One of the networks is Euro-CASE (European Council of Academies of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering) that brings together European academies that focus on engineering and technology, IVA being one of the academy members.</div>Wed, 30 Jun 2021 15:00:00 +0200 researcher awarded with Royal Society of Chemistry-prize<p><b>A collaboration of scientists from around the world have been named the winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s new Horizon Prize. Björn Wickman, Associate professor at the Department of Physics, was part of the research group that made the discovery that is now being awarded; a breakthrough in hydrogen peroxide production. </b></p><div><div>Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical with a short shelf life that is used, among other things, as a bleaching agent in industry, but also for disinfection and purification of water. The production is often large-scale and energy intensive. In addition, transports of the substance from large factories are often required.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Eight years ago, a research group at the Technical University of Denmark made a discovery in how to produce hydrogen peroxide locally and on a smaller scale. The Royal Society of Chemistry is now naming the research group as the winners of the new <em>Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division Horizon Prize: John Jeyes Award</em>, which aims to draw attention to research that contributes to a better world.</div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><strong><span>Björn Wickman part of the research group</span></strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Chalmers researcher Björn Wickman, who at the time had a postdoctoral position at the Technical University of Denmark, was a part of the research group. That the discovery that is now being praised was even made was, however, a bit of a coincidence, he says:</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I was working on a project on reduction of carbon dioxide, but the experiments did not work as intended. At the same time, in another group, research on hydrogen peroxide was underway with calculations for how to produce hydrogen peroxide on a small scale and locally. We started talking and the idea arose that our concept might work for them. And it turned out to work great!”</div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><strong>C</strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>o</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>uld achieve close to one hundred percent yield of hydrogen peroxide</strong></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Oxygen can be reduced by means of electrochemistry on a catalyst surface of, for example, platinum or palladium, so that hydrogen peroxide is obtained. The problem is that hydrogen peroxide then rapidly continues to reduce and form water. For the final step to take place, it is required that there are at least two atoms of the active catalyst material next to each other.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers made a surface where there are no atoms of the catalyst material sitting next to each other. This was done with the help of an ordered alloy where the atoms are arranged without the active atoms bordering each other. The process could then achieve close to one hundred percent yield of hydrogen peroxide.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research results showed how one could produce hydrogen peroxide in smaller volumes, and formed the basis of an article published in Nature Materials 2013.</div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><strong>Small-scale manufacturing is a reality today</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Since then, the article has been cited over 400 times, laid the foundation for further research on the subject and led to small-scale hydrogen peroxide production becoming a reality. The project resulted in the company <a href="" target="_blank">HPNow​</a>, whose device known as an electrolyser, makes it possible to produce hydrogen peroxide on-site and on demand using solely water, electricity, and air as inputs. They now have installations in over 15 countries around the world, treating water at both hospitals and agricultural sites. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>This is what the Royal Society of Chemistry is now awarding with the Horizon Prize in the category Environment, Sustainability and Energy.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It is now clear that our research has had impact. I feel honoured and I’m delighted that the Royal Society of Chemistry pays attention to our work and finds our research of importance”, says Björn Wickman.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><strong>About the Horizon Prize</strong></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">United Kingdom-based Royal Society of Chemistry has the goal of advancing the chemical sciences. Their Horizon Prizes – new this year – highlight the most exciting, contemporary chemical science at the cutting edge of research and innovation. These prizes are for teams or collaborations who are opening up new directions and possibilities in their field, through ground-breaking scientific developments.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em style="background-color:initial"><br /></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em style="background-color:initial">The Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division Horizon Prize 2021: John Jeyes Award</em><span style="background-color:initial"> is given to the research group consisting of the following researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Imperial College London, University of Copenhagen, Technical University of Denmark, University of Calgary and BASE Life Science: </span><span style="background-color:initial">Debasish Chakraborty, Ib Chorkendorff (<a href="/en/research/our-scientists/Pages/Jubilee-Professors.aspx" target="_blank">Jubilee Professor at Chalmers, 2012</a>), Davide Deiana, Maria Escudero-Escribano, Rasmus Frydendal, Ziv Gottesfeld, Thomas W. Hansen, Mohammadreza Karamad, Paolo Malacrida, Jan Rossmeisl, Samira Siarhostami, Ifan E.L. Stephens, Arnau Verdaguer-Casedevall and Björn Wickman.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <div><span style="font-weight:700">For more information, please contact:</span></div> <div><a href="/sv/Personal/Sidor/Björn-Wickman.aspx" target="_blank">Björn Wickman</a>, Associate professor, Department of Physics<br />+46 (0)31-772 51 79<br /><a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700">Read more:</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>For more information about the prize, see the <a href="" target="_blank"><div style="display:inline !important">Royal Society of Chemistry's award page</div></a></div> <a href="" target="_blank"> ​</a><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial"></span></p> <div>The article <a href="" target="_blank">Enabling direct H2O2 production through rational electrocatalyst design </a>was published in Nature Materials. ​</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Tue, 08 Jun 2021 08:00:00 +0200's computer could be tomorrows goldmine<p><b>​How many computers do you have at home? Several of us probably have a smaller collection. Smartphones and computers offer fantastic opportunities. But there is a downside to humans and the planet. Sofia Nygård and the Chalmers IT Office work to make Chalmers more sustainable, especially when it comes to hardware.</b></p>​<img src="/sv/styrkeomraden/material/nyheter/PublishingImages/sofia%20nygård.jpg" alt="Sofia Nygård" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“In my own closet I actually have zero old computers. The IT office have events, &quot;Återtag&quot; reuse, where you also can hand in your private equipment. I have taken advantage of that. Chalmers equipment can be hand in at any time. Even though I am not a researcher, I know that it is important to use a product as long as possible and then reuse it as much as possible”, says Sofia Nygård, Head of Unit, at Chalmers' IT office.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>At Chalmers, laptops are used for an average of four years, and desktops for five. Every computer can almost be reused. The IT office works actively with students and employees to make them bring in old computers. After collecting the computers, a company deletes all data, reinstalls the computer and removes all labels so that it cannot be tracked to Chalmers. After that, it goes to the Nordic market. The end is material recycling, the computers that can't be reused go directly to recycling.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We slowly started with &quot;Återtag&quot; in the autumn of 2018. It was an easy way to combine Chalmers' vision for a sustainable future and at the same time ensure that all our researchers and teachers have equipment that is functional and easy for us in the IT office to handle”, says Sofia Nygård who is the initiator of &quot;Återtag&quot;.<br /><br /></div> <div>“The researchers must have appropriate equipment. But the equipment at Chalmers was far too poor and too old. To get the researchers to let go of the equipment, we needed to find a way without contributing to more e-waste. The risk is that one's computer will end up in Africa and that a child will burn cables and plastic to get hold of valuable metals”, says Sofia. So, to succeed in managing sales, and the e-waste that is generated, the IT Office works in many ways.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It is important to have an active work on sustainability, both in collaboration with our suppliers, those who own the IT systems, to influence and make demands on the industry, but also for different partners. Internally at Chalmers, our ambition is to create guidance on how to save our documents, preferably in the cloud and on file servers, so that it will be easier to hand in when that day comes”, says Sofia Nygård and gives examples.</div> <div>“Now we are looking at whether Chalmers can purchase recycled phones directly. An example is smartphones that have been used for two years. It saves money and CO2. It's the same with recycled printers. We also take an active part in the public discussion. Most recently in Aktuell Hållbarhet with the debate article It-köpare - det är tid att agera”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Other initiatives are:</strong></div> <div><ul><li>​The new platform, Chalmers recycling website, - an internal &quot;Blocket&quot;, with the big difference that everything is free. This is part of Chalmers' business support sustainability work that contributes to the UN's sustainable develoment goal 12, <a href="">Responsible Consumption and Production</a>.</li> <li>Collaboration with the organization Closing the loop, which works with circular services. The organization is the first to be approved to handle the collection of electronic waste within the framework of the requirement TCO certified egde. The money that &quot;Återtag&quot; deliver to Chalmers, contributes to Closing the loop being able to buy back old mobile phones from Africa for recycling.</li></ul></div> <div>– All electronics in Europe ends up in a dump in Africa. That's the big thing. They can't recycle the material, which is a health issue. When we first met Closing the loop, we realized that they could also handle old electronic waste locally on site that had already been shipped to Africa.<br /><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/en/staff/Bild/Martina%20Petranikova.jpg" alt="Martina Petranikova" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><strong>&quot;From the technological point of view</strong>, we have come a long way&quot;, says Martina Petranikova, Associate Professor, at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. <br /><br /></div> <div>Her work deals with hydrometallurgical process to recover valuable metals from primary sources like ores. And from secondary sources – car batteries, steel making dust, mining waste, waste of electric and electronic equipment, etc.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>&quot;We are keeping old electronic </strong>waste at home. The concentration of precious metals, like gold, used in one computer around the year 2000 can be used to produce five or six computers today, so we should really bring in the old computers&quot;, says <span style="background-color:initial">Martina Petranikova.</span></div> <div>The advantage with recycling materials from waste, is that we already have it.  We do not have to mine ore to get hold of it, which saves the environment but also transportation, and less CO2 emissions.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>&quot;I usually tell my students</strong> that metals are amazing materials. It doesn’t matter how many times it will be recycled if you do it properly and purify the metals. The metals will keep its properties. One example is recycled aluminum and copper. If you use recycled aluminum, you only need ten percent of the energy for the production, compared with production from the ore&quot;. <br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Martina Petranikova mentions </strong>the challenges for the society. One is to develop a system that is safe for the customers to bring in the computers, we have lots of personal data stored in our old electronic equipment. Another positive challenge is that we do not need large amounts of waste to get this profitable. </div> <div>&quot;So, we need a circular system to enhance better economy and sustainable production. There is already a network and infrastructure for how the electronic waste is treated. But the effective collection of the waste is still the most crucial step in whole value chain&quot;, she concludes.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Related:</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Konfliktmineraler som bryts för IT-produkter driver på krig i utsatta regioner</a><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Closing the loop</a><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />It-köpare - det är dags att agera</a> (Debate article)</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""></a><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Reuse -</a></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""></a><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Martina Petranikova</a><br /></span></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>By: Ann-Christine Nordin</div></div>Fri, 04 Jun 2021 17:00:00 +0200 insulation material can enable more efficient electricity distribution<p><b>​The most efficient way to transport electricity over long distances is to use high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cables. To further improve the power transmission efficiency of HVDC cables insulation materials with a very low electrical conductivity are needed, something that Christian Müller and his research group at Chalmers University of Technology have now come one step closer in a project funded by the Foundation for Strategic Research.</b></p><strong>​</strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>There are many benefits</strong> to HVDC cables. In a direct current cable, the electricity can go in both directions, a perfect way to connect electricity networks that are otherwise separated. The cables can also be buried and even laid on the seabed, which makes it possible to expand the network and connect different parts of the world.</span><div><br /></div> <div>But even if today’s HVDC cables are good, they can be even better. To get as small electricity losses as possible in the cables, you want to increase the transmission voltage. But that sets high standards on the insulation material around the conducting core. Today’s most advanced electrical cables use extruded insulation based on polyethylene, a plastic that is also found in ordinary shopping bags. The problem with this material is that it is heat sensitive. At the high working temperatures of HVDC cables, 70 to 90 ºC, the material becomes soft. This can be solved by creating covalent crosslinks between the polymer chains, but then a new problem arises. During production, harmful by-products are formed, which also impair the electrical properties of the material.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/sv/personal/PublishingImages/Kemi-%20och%20bioteknik/Tillämpad%20Kemi/Profilbilder%20plan%208/C-Müller.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><strong>Christian Müller</strong> and his research group have found a new way to create an insulation material with excellent electrical properties. By adding very small amounts of the conjugated polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) to polyethylene the electrical conductivity of the insulation material can be drastically reduced. When only 5 ppm of P3HT was added, the direct current conductivity in the material was three times lower compared to polyethylene without the additive – which, considering the low amount of the additive that is needed, is the best result for any conductivity-reducing additive so far. Other types of conductivity-reducing additives include metal oxide nanoparticles and other polyolefins but those must be added in much larger amounts.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Conjugated polymers</strong>, such as P3HT, have previously been used to design, for example, flexible and printed electronics. This is the first time that a conjugated polymer (one of the workhorse materials for flexible and printed electronics) is used as a mere additive for another polymer to change its properties and the researchers believe the discovery will open a host of new applications.<br /><br /><strong>RELATED:</strong></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">R</span><span style="background-color:initial">ead the a</span><span style="background-color:initial">rticle in Advanced Materials</span></a><br /></div> <div><a href=";ab_channel=Stiftelsenf%C3%B6rStrategiskForskningSSF"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">Wat</span><span style="background-color:initial">ch the movie about the research</span></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>WRITER</strong></div> <div><a href="">Sofie Pehrsson</a>, <span style="background-color:initial">Fo</span><span style="background-color:initial">undation for Strategic Research.</span></div> <div><br /></div> Fri, 04 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0200 for PostDoc funding for academic year 2022<p><b>The Chalmers Area of Advance Energy is offering to provide support for a PostDoc position within the profile Electricity for Societal Development. The grant is of 1.2 Mkr for 2022 and may be extended for 2023. We now invite you to submit ideas within the research theme energy storage and flexibility. Applications must be submitted no later than May the 30th, 2021.  The selected Postdoc project is expected to start in January 2022. </b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Tomorrow's electric power systems must drastically change in order to become sustainable and efficient,</span><br /></div> <div>meeting at the same time the changing societal challenges and demands. The aim of Electricity for Societal</div> <div>Development is to lead of this process by proposing, investigating and evaluating new solutions for</div> <div>reinforcing and transforming the power system and its associated infrastructures. The project application</div> <div>must have the electricity systems in focus and be clearly linked to the research agenda of the profile. <br /><br /><strong>The </strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>a</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>pplication should address energy storage and flexibility from the perspective of one of the following </strong></span><strong style="background-color:initial">thematic areas:</strong></div> <div><ul><li><span style="background-color:initial">Technology fo</span><span style="background-color:initial">cus, including materials, testing and LCA;</span></li> <li>Sector coupling focus, including process simulation for flexibility in industry;</li> <li> Electricity system focus, including power system control and flexible electricity generation;</li> <li>Information focus, including use of information technology for system optimization, r<span style="background-color:initial">eliability/resiliency improvement, reduced need for energy storage.</span></li></ul></div> <div><br /></div> <div>In order to strengthen the collaborations at Chalmers and stimulate multidisciplinary projects, we especially appreciate research initiatives with potential to link different research groups. Thus,applications addressing energy storage on one thematic area with plans for collaboration with energy storage research on another thematic area (another application or ongoing research) will be prioritized.</div> <div>Connection to other ongoing projects as well as indications for future funding possibilities are considered as figures of merit for the application.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>The selected Postdoc project is expected to start in January 2022.</strong></div> <div>The funding application (maximum 2 pages) should be written in English. <br /><br /><strong>Applications must be submitted no later than May the 30th, 2021.<br /></strong><br /><strong>Please send your application to:</strong><br /> Massimo Bongiorno <span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""></a> or Lisa Göransson <a href=""></a></span></div> <div><br />If you need any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact either Massimo or Lisa for more information.</div>Wed, 12 May 2021 00:00:00 +0200 that contributes to sustainable emergency readiness <p><b>​A tool that enables sustainable planning of maintenance and renovation measures in apartment buildings, and a model for Demand Response and estimation of capacity for egenrgy storage in supermarkets – those are innovations that contribute sustainability and resilience for Sweden, and hence places ACE researchers on the IVA 100 list of 2021.</b></p><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​<br />SINOM: A platform for strategic maintenance and renovation planning of housing portfolios  </h2> <div>Researchers Claudio Nägeli and Abolfazl ”Amir” Farahani have developed a desktop tool to make it easy for housing owners to make financially feasible and long-term maintenance and renovation plans.  The unique optimization algorithm of the tool enables the user to create perennial plans for maintenance and renovation, forecast the energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions and to keep track of building components and service-life. The tool Sinom is not only welcomed by housing owners, this unique concepts has granted the researchers a spot on the IVA (Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences) 100 list of 2021: “From knowledge to sustainable emergency readiness”.    </div> <div> </div> <div>   – What we strive for as researchers is for our results to be utilized and create value, for people in their everyday life and for the environment. So, an acknowledgement like this from the IVA feels very positive, says Claudio Nägeli.      </div> <div> </div> <div>The Swedish building stock is relatively old and in need of extensive renovation measures in order to meet today´s building standards and targets for energy performance improvements. Having limited resources, housing owners face a difficult situation in planning for maintenance and renovation, which often lead to measures being postponed, resulting in an even worse situation when improvements aren’t executed in time. This is where Claudio Nägeli’s and Abolfazl Farahani’s tool comes in. The name Sinom is a wink to the Swedish phrase” i sinom tid” (in due time) which captures both short-term needs and the proactive and long-term approach that the researchers want the tool to contribute its users with, by the distinct visualization and incorporation of future needs and objectives presented in the tool.    </div> <div> </div> <div>   – For housing owners the use of the Sinom tool will mean help working proactively and to prioritize measures in line with budgetary preconditions. And for residents, they might experience that improvements actually are being executed in time, without too big of an increase in rent, says Claudio Nägeli.    </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">About Sinom and the researchers  </h3> <div><strong>Claudio Nägeli</strong> is a postdoc at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Division of Building Technology. He has a doctorate from 2019. His doctoral thesis: <a href="">Bottom-Up Modeling of Building Stock Dynamics - Investigating the Effect of Policy and Decisions on the Distribution of Energy and Climate Impacts in Building Stocks over Time.</a>     </div> <div><strong>Abolfazl Farahani </strong>holds a postdoc position at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, division of Building Services Engineering through the Lars Erik Lundberg scholarship, and has a doctorate from 2019. His doctoral thesis: <a href="">A systematic approach to strategic maintenance and renovation planning in multifamily buildings.   </a></div> <div>Parts of his research is also described here (in Swedish): Stegvis planering blir modellen för allmännyttan    </div> <div> </div> <div>The collaboration was initiated in the end of their doctoral studies after realising their research areas had many common denominators. With them in the Sinom project is also Professor Jan-Olof Dalenbäck, the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, division of Building Services Engineering. The work in the project involves houwing and real estate companies like Stena Fastigheter, Familjebostäder and Bostadsbolaget. The project is financed by Energimyndigheten (the Swedish Energy Agency) platform E2B2, and the researchers are in the final phase of finalizing the prototype of the tool.  </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Refrigerators to balance the energy grid  </h2> <div> </div> <div>Another ACE connected researcher who has been awarded a spot on the IVA 100 list is Tommie Månsson, Doctor from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Division of Building Technology, with his concept for using supermarkets as thermal buffers for renewable electricity grids. Tommie Månsson has a doctorate from 2020. Link to his doctoral thesis: <a href="">Supermarket refrigeration systems for demand response in smart grids</a>. <br /><br />Tommie Månsson describes his innovation as follows :     </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Our supermarkets make for an important and underused resource in the shift towards a sustainable energy production – they offer flexibility through the possibility to store energy in their cooling systems. When the sun is shining and the wind blows, sustainable energy is being generated, but unfortunately, we cannot regulate the production to match our needs. Instead, we need to shift and make energy consumers adapt to the existing energy capacity.   For this purpose, we have developed a concept where the supermarkets cooling systems contribute the electricity grid with its flexibility and hence contribute to an decreased climate impact from the energy production.”    </div> <div> </div> <div>Read more about Tommie Månssons’s reserch here: <a href="/en/departments/ace/news/Pages/Supermarkets-as-batteries-in-smart-grids.aspx">Supermarkets as batteries in smart grids</a></div>Tue, 11 May 2021 10:00:00 +0200