News: Kemi- och bioteknikhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 07 Dec 2018 11:22:36 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Chalmers-in-dinosaur-collaboration.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Chalmers-in-dinosaur-collaboration.aspxChalmers in dinosaur collaboration<p><b>​New discoveries regarding the dolphin-like fish lizard Stenopterygius, which lived 180 million years ago have been published in the scientific journal Nature. Chalmers’ research infrastructure Chemical imaging plays an important part in the discoveries.</b></p>​The <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stenopterygius">Stenopterygius</a> <span>was around two meters long and lived in the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Jurassic">Early Jurassic</a> period in an ocean that was situated where southern Germany now is, over a hundred million years before the times of the better known dinosaurs Tyrannusaurus and Triceratops. Now researchers, in a multidisciplinary international collaboration led by a group at the Lund University in Sweden, have investigated a very well preserved fossil which has led to astonishing new knowledge about the dolphin-like creature which they now <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0775-x">publish in Nature</a>. The fossil’s integumental parts such as blubber, skin and liver have been studied at both cellular and molecular levels. This has led to a clearer image of what the animal looked like and was structured.  One discovery the researchers made was that although 180 million years have passed, there is still some flexibility in parts of the tissue. To be able to perform this in depth analysis the groupe involved Chalmers infrastructure of Chemical imaging.</span><div><br /><span></span> <div>– We have been looking at melanophores, i.e pigment-containing cells, and skin from the fossil. We have been able to confirm that the cells, after millions of years, still contain important organic elements from lipids and proteins, says <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Per-Malmberg.aspx">Per Malmberg</a>, director at Chalmers and University of Gothenburgs open infrastructure <a href="/en/researchinfrastructure/chemicalimaging/Pages/default.aspx">Chemical imaging</a>.<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Dinosaur/Per%20Malmberg-.jpg" width="2741" height="3549" alt="" style="height:220px;width:170px;margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div>The discovery contributes with renewed knowledge regarding convergent evolution, i.e similar characteristics in different species that have developed due to similar living conditions rather than due to heritage. The fish lizard has several similarities with today’s dolphins and porpoises, but also the leatherback sea turtle, even though they are not related. </div> <div>The research has been carried out together by universities all over the world, but has been led by researchers at the Lund University. They choose to engage Chalmers because <span style="background-color:initial">their open infrastructure</span><span style="background-color:initial"> offer access to NanoSIMS-analysis and analytical competence</span><span style="background-color:initial">.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div></div> <div>– Me and my colleague Aurélien Thomen from University of Gothenburg, who also is involved in this work, are proud to be able to contribute with an important piece of the puzzle to understand how Stenopterygius functioned. Our infrastructure offers a unique possibility to get high resolution chemical surface analysis and our contribution to the study shows that our infrastructure is world class, says Per Malmberg.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>NanoSIMS, as part of Chemical imaging, is a technology that makes it possible to create chemical maps of surfaces. Ranging from hard materials such as fossil to soft matter such as cells, all can be analysed by the <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Dinosaur/nanosims.jpg" width="457" height="294" alt="" style="height:223px;width:345px;margin:5px" /><br />NanoSIMS. It is a quite sensitive technology that may analyse substances at a ppm-level and create images of distribution with a resolution down to 50 nanometres. Chemical imaging is an infrastructure co-owned together with the University of Gothenburg and facilitates the only NanoSIMS instrument in the Nordic countries.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://www.lu.se/article/valbevarat-fossil-avslojar-hud-som-fortfarande-ar-mjuk">Read more about the discovery at Lunds University’s web.​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mats Tiborn</div> <div>​<br /></div></div>Wed, 05 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Removing-toxic-mercury-from-contaminated-water-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Removing-toxic-mercury-from-contaminated-water-.aspxRemoving toxic mercury from contaminated water<p><b>Water which has been contaminated with mercury and other toxic heavy metals is a major cause of environmental damage and health problems worldwide. Now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, present a totally new way to clean contaminated water, through an electrochemical process. The results are published in the scientific journal Nature Communications. ​​​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">“Our results have really exceeded the expectations we had when we started with the technique,” says the research leader Björn Wickman, from Chalmers’ Department of Physics. “Our new method makes it possible to reduce the mercury content in a liquid by more than 99%. This can bring the water well within the margins for safe human consumption.” </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mercury is one the most harmful substances for human health. It can influence the nervous system, the development of the brain, and more. It is particularly harmful for children and can also be transmitted from a mother to a child during pregnancy. Furthermore, mercury spreads very easily through nature, and can enter the food chain. Freshwater fish, for example, often contain high levels of mercury. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the last two years, Björn Wickman and Cristian Tunsu, researcher at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers, have studied an electrochemical process for cleaning mercury from water. Their method works via extracting the heavy metal ions from water by encouraging them to form an alloy with another metal. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Today, removing low, yet harmful, levels of mercury from large amounts of water is a major challenge. Industries need better methods to reduce the risk of mercury being released in nature,” says Björn Wickman. </div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Vattenrening_labbsetup1_webb.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;background-color:initial" /><div>Their new method involves a metal plate – an electrode – that binds specific heavy metals to it. The electrode is made of the noble metal platinum, and through an electrochemical process it draws the toxic mercury out of the water to form an alloy of the two. In this way, the water is cleaned of the mercury contamination. The alloy formed by the two metals is very stable, so there is no risk of the mercury re-entering the water. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“An alloy of this type has been made before, but with a totally different purpose in mind. This is the first time the technique with electrochemical alloying has been used for decontamination purposes,” says Cristian Tunsu.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>One strength of the new cleaning technique is that the electrode has a very high capacity. Each platinum atom can bond with four mercury atoms. Furthermore, the mercury atoms do not only bond on the surface, but also penetrate deeper into the material, creating thick layers. This means the electrode can be used for a long time. After use, it can be emptied in a controlled way. Thereby, the electrode can be recycled, and the mercury disposed of in a safe way. A further positive for this process is that it is very energy efficient.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Another great thing with our technique is that it is very selective. Even though there may be many different types of substance in the water, it just removes the mercury. Therefore, the electrode doesn’t waste capacity by unnecessarily taking away harmless substances from the water,” says Björn Wickman. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Patenting for the new method is being sought, and in order to commercialise the discovery, the company Atium has been setup. The new innovation has already been bestowed with a number of prizes and awards, both in Sweden and internationally. The research and the colleagues in the company have also had a strong response from industry. ​ </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We have already had positive interactions with a number of interested parties, who are keen to test the method. Right now, we are working on a prototype which can be tested outside the lab under real-world conditions.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se">mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se​</a> </div> <div>and Joshua Worth, <a href="mailto:%20joshua.worth@chalmers.se"> joshua.worth@chalmers.se ​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read the article, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07300-z">“Effective removal of mercury from aqueous streams via electrochemical alloy formation on platinum”​</a> in Nature Communications.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><a href="http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/chalmers/pressreleases/removing-toxic-mercury-from-contaminated-water-2800540"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and download high-resolution images. ​​</a><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Vattenrening_Bjorn_Wickman_Cristian_Tunsu_portratt_750x340_NY.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />​<span style="background-color:initial">Björn Wickman and Cristian Tunsu</span><span style="background-color:initial"> ​are pr</span><span style="background-color:initial">esenting a new and effective way of cleaning mercury from water. With the help of new technology, contaminated water can become clean enough to be well within the safe limits for drinkability. The results are now published in the scientific journal Nature Communications. ​</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Image: Mia Halleröd Palmgren</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Potential uses for the new method</h3> <div><ul><li>T<span style="background-color:initial">he technique could be used to reduce the amount of waste and increase the purity of waste and process water in the chemical and mining industries, and in metal production. </span></li></ul></div> <div><ul><li>It can contribute to better environmental cleaning of places with contaminated land and water sources.<br /></li></ul></div> <div><ul><li>​It <span style="background-color:initial">can even be used to clean drinking water in badly affected environments because, thanks to its low energy use, it can be powered totally by solar cells. Therefore, it can be developed into a mobile and reusable water cleaning technology. </span></li></ul></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More on heavy metals in our environment</h3> <div>Heavy metals in water sources create enormous environmental problems and influence the health of millions of people around the world. Heavy metals are toxic for all living organisms in the food chain. According to the WHO, mercury is one of the most dangerous substances for human health, influencing our nervous system, brain development and more. The substance is especially dangerous for children and unborn babies. </div> <div>Today there are strict regulations concerning the management of toxic heavy metals to hinder their spread in nature. But there are many places worldwide which are already contaminated, and they can be transported in rain or in the air. This results in certain environments where heavy metals can become abundant, for example fish in freshwater sources. In industries where heavy metals are used, there is a need for better methods of recycling, cleaning and decontamination of the affected water. <span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif">For more information</h3> <div><span style="font-weight:700"><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Björn-Wickman.aspx">Björn Wickman​</a></span>, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 51 79, <a href="mailto:bjorn.wickman@chalmers.se">bjorn.wickman@chalmers.se​</a></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700"><a href="/en/staff/Pages/tunsu.aspx">Cristian Tunsu</a></span>,  Post Doc, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering​, <span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers University of Technology, +46 </span><span style="background-color:initial">31 772 29 45, <a href="mailto:tunsu@chalmers.se">tunsu@chalmers.se</a></span></div></div> <div><div><div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div></div></div>Wed, 21 Nov 2018 07:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Skeletal-imitation.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Skeletal-imitation.aspxSkeletal imitation reveals how bones grow atom-by-atom<p><b>​Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered how our bones grow at an atomic level, showing how an unstructured mass orders itself into a perfectly arranged bone structure. The discovery offers new insights, which could yield improved new implants, as well as increasing our knowledge of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.</b></p><p>​The bones in our body grow through several stages, with atoms and molecules joining together, and those bigger groupings joining together in turn. One early stage in the growth process is when calcium phosphate molecules crystallise, which means that they transform from an amorphous mass into an ordered structure. Many stages of this transformation were previously a mystery, but now, through a project looking at an imitation of how our bones are built, the researchers have been able to follow this crystallisation process at an atomic level. Their results are now published in the scientific journal Nature Communications. <br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Martin%20150.jpg" alt="" style="height:200px;width:150px;margin:5px" /><br />“A wonderful thing with this project is that it demonstrates how applied and fundamental research go hand in hand. Our project was originally focused on the creation of an artificial biomaterial, but the material turned out to be a great tool to study bone building processes. We first imitated nature, by creating an artificial copy. Then, we used that copy to go back and study nature,” says Martin Andersson, Professor in Materials Chemistry at Chalmers, and leader of the study. </p> <p><br />The researchers were developing a method of creating artificial bone through additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. The resulting structure is built up in the same way, with the same properties, as real bone. Once fully developed, it will enable the formation of naturalistic implants, which could replace the metal and plastic technologies currently in use. As the team began to imitate natural bone tissue functions, they saw that they had created the possibility to study the phenomenon in a setting highly resembling the environment in living tissue. </p> <p><br />The team’s artificial bone-like substance mimicked the way real bone grows. The smallest structural building blocks in the skeleton are groups of strings consisting of the protein collagen. To mineralize these strings, cells send out spherical particles known as vesicles, which contain calcium phosphate. These vesicles release the calcium phosphate into confined spaces between the collagen strings. There, the calcium phosphate begins to transform from an amorphous mass into an ordered crystalline structure, which creates the bone’s characteristic features of remarkable resistance to shocks and bending. </p> <p><br />The researchers followed this cycle with the help of electron microscopes and now show in their paper how it happens at the atomic level. Despite the fact that bone crystallisation naturally occurs in a biological environment, it is not a biological process. Instead, calcium phosphate’s intrinsic physical characteristics define how it crystallises and builds up, following the laws of thermodynamics. The molecules are drawn to the <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Antiope%20150.jpg" alt="" style="height:200px;width:150px;margin:5px 10px" />place where the energy level is lowest, which results in it building itself into a perfectly crystallised structure.</p> <p><br />“Within the transmission electron microscope, we could follow the stages of how the material transformed itself into an ordered structure. This enables it to achieve as low an energy level as possible, and therefore a more stable state,” says Dr Antiope Lotsari, a researcher in Martin Andersson’s group, who conducted the electron microscopy experiments.</p> <p><br />The Chalmers researchers are the first to show in high resolution what happens when bones crystallise. The results could influence the way many common bone related illnesses are treated. </p> <p><br />“Our results could be significant for the treatment of bone disease such as osteoporosis, which today is a common illness, especially among older women. Osteoporosis is when there is an imbalance between how fast bones break down and are being re-formed, which are natural processes in the body,” says Martin Andersson. </p> <p><br />Current medicines for osteoporosis, which work through influencing this imbalance, could be improved with this new knowledge. The hope is that with greater precision, we will be able to evaluate the pros and cons of current medicines, as well as experiment with different substances to examine how they hinder or stimulate bone growth.</p> <p><br />The article “<a href="http://network.mynewsdesk.com/wf/click?upn=jT4ao6EIWq-2B-2Fx9SECyWO4-2F3NrlX2-2Fnm4FQcveXCi43isecyOuYW7oWnBr4foZiiD7GZHtNUdA7e76vI5IUmE3Q-3D-3D_X6nVGqSMdJTrz-2FI1LxXG5p2migGMf1WazWDFt93-2FtiI1gYqAxvDcGyKwx2VSvp2Qu4S7dbxiGOADD-2BPxNvRDBo13-2FkNZip-2FdWo3vIzwtu4xnDEpw5nfjCHF9h7QTYlrgGM5-2Bk-2BoYo3FgbyVZeEfVs1LFPZxgF1DdCXNBIKCsSdWf6M6UkLH-2F1dT-2BoQ3Sf18tc6IJ52N1hf-2FUZ68xDZW-2BSHPwvmMGYwUHhdLBS60-2FS6-2FUgu-2FSoHN4imBpIZhPK7a9P-2BMxJvA-2Fr4AikF4WB-2FG97d4LFcB4JgF-2B3xCFpHJbiHknPgjkTzo2RWnROGrDTZMVTjdTg8KHEIQWZT5GbCkkAI8npyAyDvwD-2FacPTjVPzo96ExiuL8pKemOVvlzVuPW0EgdUtQcl1kO3ZKoBc-2FjOp9YBaCDbcRKYNw3b-2BCC5d5A-3D">Transformation of amorphous calcium phosphate to bone-like apatite</a>” is published now in Nature Communications. <br /></p>Sun, 18 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New-study-on-radium---one-of-the-least-explored-basic-elements.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New-study-on-radium---one-of-the-least-explored-basic-elements.aspxNew study on radium - one of the least explored basic elements<p><b>​Radium is one of the most radiotoxic elements and is very hard to do research on because of its nature. Since the 1930’s the scientific achievements within this field have practically been absent, due to this fact. Now PhD student Artem Matyskin defends his thesis on the solubility of some radium compounds.​</b></p>​<span>In the different waste streams, for example, repository of nuclear waste there will always parts of Radium. Due to its high radioactivity it is considered as a high risk for the environment, if it would leak. To know more about what would happen if Radium would pour out in nature Artem Matyskin has investigated the solubility of radium sulfate and carbonate.<br /><br /></span><strong>What is your thesis about?</strong><div>I have focused on radium. It has no stable isotopes so it is a very rare laboratory material, but we got our material from the Sahlgrenska hospital in Gothenburg, where it has been used for cancer treatment in the beginning of the last century. Nowadays radium is not used for cancer treatment anymore. This is waste now and it is very highly radioactive. <img width="632" height="698" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Artem Matyskin" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Artem%20Matyskin/artem_matyskin%20(1%20of%201).jpg" style="width:202px;margin:5px" /><br /><br /><strong>Why do you research this field? </strong></div> <div>Radium decays very slowly. Its half-life is 1600 years and at the same time it is very toxic. If you have a nuclear waste repository, you will, after a few thousand years also have significant amounts of radium in it because of other materials decaying and becoming radium. If the repository is damaged and the radium leaks there might be severe consequences for the surrounding area. Since there are plans to build final nuclear waste repository in Sweden and radium will be present in these repositories, there is a discussion about what will happen in case of leakage and water intrusion into the nuclear waste and the studies are financed by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority. My study is a part of the long-term safety assessment. <br /><br /><strong>What did you do?</strong></div> <div>I investigated the solubility of radium sulfate and carbonate.  The data is very limited since it is so hard to get radium so there is not so much discovered around radium. I have worked with radium sulfate and radium carbonite because sulphate and carbonate are very common in nature and likely to bond to radium and precipitate, so when the radium reaches sulphite or carbonite my theory was that it will stop there. The most demanding parts of my work has been safety. To secure a totally safe conduction of my experiments has always been first priority, since the consequences of a mistake might cause severe damage. </div> <div><br /><strong>Tell us about your results!</strong></div> <div>Because of the rareness of radium as a laboratory material for studies I have had much that seem fundamental and long since known when it comes to other basic elements, yet to discover. So even if measuring the solubility of a basic compounds seems simple, it really isn’t when it comes to radium. My results show that radium easily precipitate with sulphate, which means that a leakage of radium into the ground very likely would result in much precipitation of radium sulfate, since sulphate is very common in the earth crust. Regarding radium carbonate there wasn’t any tests to compare with so these results are completely new. They show that the solubility of radium carbonate is very high, which means that the precipitation of radium and carbonite is very limited. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mats Tiborn</div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 16 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/PhD-student-at-Chalmers-to-Researcher’s-Grand-prix-finale.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/PhD-student-at-Chalmers-to-Researcher%E2%80%99s-Grand-prix-finale.aspxPhD student at Chalmers to Researcher’s Grand prix finale<p><b>​Gustav Ferrand-Drake del Castillo, PhD student at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, is qualified to the finale in the popular science presentation contest “Researcher’s Grand prix”. The finale is held November 27.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">In his research he imitates nature by creating small spaces which mimic the cell-like environment for enzymes. In brief, the research is focused on  developing materials on which enzymes retain their function, while also controlling their activity and how to make different enzymes co-operate in chain reactions. The final goal is to use enzymes in a smarter way, which could lead to more environmentally friendly synthesis of chemicals or improved medical treatments in the future.<br /><br /></span><div><strong>What have you learned from preparing for the competition?</strong></div> <div>&quot;How to summarize my research, which I have worked on for many years now, in under four minutes. Being a detail-oriented person, it is a challenge for me to describe my work briefly and in terms of concepts.  This competition has taught me how important it is to have a clear message which reaches out to more than just my colleagues at work.&quot;</div> <div><br /><strong>What made you participate in the Grand Prix competition?</strong></div> <div>&quot;I was inspired by my supervisor Andreas Dahlin to participate. Andreas has also competed in popular science presentations, in fact he is European champion! &quot;</div> <div><br /><strong>How do you plan to win?</strong></div> <div>&quot;I want to engage my audience and at the same time spread knowledge about how cool science is and what we can use it for. I will use items and products I found at home as props. All of the products contain or have been manufactured using enzymes, like for instance gluten-free beer, washing detergent and tablets for those who are lactose intolerant.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mats Tiborn</div> <div><br /></div> Fri, 16 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Romain-Bordes-and-Lars-Nordstierna-receive-SSF-funding.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Romain-Bordes-and-Lars-Nordstierna-receive-SSF-funding.aspxSSF funding for a self-standing droplet<p><b>​Romain Bordes and Lars Nordstierna, specialist and Associate Professor at Chemistry and Chemical Engineering receive SSF funding for NMR based research on what happens inside a droplet. SSF distributes more than SEK 236 million to 33 different projects to promote the development of instruments, methods and technologies that provide the prerequisites for future, advanced research and innovation. The 33 projects receive between four and eight million kronor each.</b></p><p><strong><img width="150" height="212" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Audio description: Photo Lars Nordstierna." src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Romain%20och%20Lars/Lars%20Nordstierna%20150.jpg" style="height:198px;width:140px;margin:10px 5px" /><img width="150" height="210" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Audio description: photo Romain Bordes." src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Romain%20och%20Lars/Romain%20Bordes%20150.jpg" style="height:196px;width:140px;margin:10px 5px" />Hi Romain and Lars. The project is about studying water in a very unusual </strong><strong>way.</strong><strong> Please tell us more.</strong><br />NMR-Lev will apply, for the first time, the analytical power of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy to a perfectly immobile, and self-standing droplet, thanks to the latest breakthrough in acoustic levitation. It will allow resolving, in detail, processes taking place in single droplet, free of any interaction with a disturbing surface, in terms of structure and chemistry, as function of time.<br />The challenge is to fit a device that enables levitation into a high field magnet. To reach this objective, the project will focus on adapting a miniaturized acoustic levitation device inside a high-field magnet and on developing compatible NMR methodologies. </p> <div><strong></strong> </div> <div><strong>How impo</strong><strong>rtant is the grant?</strong><br />The grant is 8MSEK and will cover the project cost for 3 years.<br />For a long time, NMR has occupied a central position in the analytical arsenal, both on the academic and on the industrial side. However, and despite major innovations such as the capacity of imaging, the way of introducing the samples in the magnet has nearly not changed and still remains archaic. NMR-Lev will add a new dimension by allowing the introduction of a container-less sample in the high field magnet, thus opening for new NMR optimization and studying advance processes in real time while avoiding the negative impact of the presence of a container.</div> <div><strong></strong> </div> <div><strong>What will you use it for?</strong><br />With the implementation of this technique we will be able to study, for instance, the drying processes of a single component system while monitoring water mass transport, the in-situ gelling of droplets, or the <br /><br />mechanism of protein crystallization in an individual confinement. This technique development of acoustic levitation implemented in NMR will directly benefit a variety of industrially relevant research in materials science, industrial processing, life science, and medical technology. During the preparation of the proposal, we have received a very important support from industrial partners such AstraZeneca or Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals),</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What are your hopes about future applications of your research?</strong><br />We believe that integrating industrial partners from the beginning is the key to efficient implementation. In addition, benchmarking the methodology with concrete case studies will enable reaching other areas where the project results find application. We have already identified four major industrial areas of potential use, which are food science, pharmaceutics, materials science and biotechnology. For these industries NMR is already an integrated tool and implementing NMR-Lev will enable keeping their position at the forefront of development. Science of droplet finds application well beyond the chemical industry, and other fields of research could be envisioned such as atmospheric and aerosol science.</div> <div><br /> </div>Fri, 19 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Carbon-dioxide-capture-technology-exists,-but-no-one-dares-take-the-first-step.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Carbon-dioxide-capture-technology-exists,-but-no-one-dares-take-the-first-step.aspxCarbon dioxide capture: technology exists, but no one dares take the first step<p><b>​It is possible to stop at 1.5 degrees warming of the planet, the IPCC claims in a new report, but few believe it will happen. In order to succeed, carbon dioxide capture has to scale up. Chalmers has the technology, but who dares take the first step to commercialize?</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">In the UN climate panel, the IPCC report describes how we not only need to reduce the rate of emissions but, in the long run, also reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. This means that we need to capture carbon dioxide. Chalmers conducts research in the field and has reached far. One of the researchers in the field is Henrik Leion, Associate Professor at Chalmers Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.</span><div><br /></div> <div>&quot;We must start catching all carbon dioxide, regardless of fuel. Right now we are working with biofuels. The fossil fuels already work well to capture. The technology for this is available. What prevents us is primarily economy and legislations.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Koldioxidinfångning/Henrik%20Leionweb.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Photo of Henrik Leion" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div>The technique Henrik Leion researches and develops is based on oxygen-bearing solids that replace combustion of oxygen as a gas. His research is part of several projects around a technology called CLC, which stands for chemical looping combustion. In most cases, the heat is generated in power plants through combustion in air. This forms carbon dioxide mixed with another type of gas, depending on technology, and gases are difficult to separate from each other. In order to get as clean a stream of carbon dioxide as possible, CLC uses a solid material where oxygen is included as an oxide, for example ordinary rust. Instead, water and carbon dioxide are created, which are easier to distinguish from each other. When the oxygen on the oxygen carrier is consumed, it is exposed to air and the material is then reoxidized and reusable.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Research at Chalmers within CLC is conducted jointly by several research groups across institutional boundaries. Henrik Leion looks at how oxygen carrier and fuel can be optimized.</div> <div>As the situation is now, it is not enough to capture only carbon dioxide from fossil sources. Also carbon dioxide from bio combustion must be collected in order to achieve negative net emissions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;We will need to capture carbon dioxide to a very large extent. Emissions must begin to sink within just a few years, and if we do not do that now, it means that around 2050, we will have to catch more carbon dioxide than we release to compensate for what we did not do 30 years earlier, he says. <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Koldioxidinfångning/Järnoxidweb.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Iron oxide being poured into a bowl" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">CLC is primarily a technology that can work at stationary facilities. Capture involves heavy loads. Not only does the oxygen carrier consist of some kind of metal. The carbon dioxide collected weighs about three times more than the fuel, which in itself would mean increased emissions for a vehicle due to the weight.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Economy and legislation impede</strong></div> <div>Thus, CLC could be of great use if it was used at commercial level. But yet nobody dares to take the financial risk to invest in the technology. So far, it has been tested in the Chalmers test facility of 12 megawatts with successful results. But a major effort is required for technology to come through, believes Henrik Leion.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Someone must dare to test the technology in a 50 megawatt facility. This will probably mean losing money initially, but the technology needs this to be further developed, he believes.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In addition, it must be cheaper to use the technology. The price must be able to compete with carbon credits. Today, a carbon credit, ie the right to release a ton of carbon dioxide, costs about 20 euros. CLC is slightly more expensive, but could, with a bigger initiative, become cheaper. If it is cheaper to collect carbon dioxide than to release it into the atmosphere, chances are that the industry will invest in the technology. In addition, CLC requires that large parts of the combustion system is rebuilt. Another problem is the storage.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;There is no logistics and legislation to deposit carbon dioxide. It takes about 10,000 years for the gas to be converted into limestone. Carbon dioxide is not very dangerous, it is not comparable to nuclear waste, but we talk about huge amounts here, says Henrik Leion.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A legislative problem is the question of liability. Who will be responsible for the storage for 10,000 years? It has also proved difficult to find places where governments and populations accept storage. Another way to store the greenhouse gas is to pump it into drained oil sources at sea. It is expensive and lacks logistics, but it may be necessary.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Must be put into use</strong></div> <div>Any type of capture technique must be taken into use. Without capture techniques, climate targets will not be reached. What is needed, Henrik says, is that a major energy company dares to test the technology at the commercial level. That company must be ready to lose money. Somewhere, money will probably be lost, but it may be something we have to accept to avoid a significantly higher temperature rise. Without capture, we do not have a chance to stop the temperature rise at 2 degrees, Henrik says who soon will be off for parental leave.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;To be honest, it is frankly not morally easy for me to take a break from the research in this situation. My way of handling my climate depression is to work”, he says. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Mats Tiborn</div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 19 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/WWSC-recruits-17-employees.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/WWSC-recruits-17-employees.aspxWWSC recruits 17 employees<p><b>​WWSC is moving into the next phase. The research programme is now looking for 17 new employees – at the same time. “In WWSC, you will be involved in developing sustainable materials for the future”, says Professor Lisbeth Olsson.</b></p>​By the end of last year, Wallenberg Wood Science Center – WWSC – received further funding for its research on the production of sustainable materials from forest raw material. Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation then announced that they would continue to support the research programme, which then changed its name to WWSC 2.0, with up to 400 million SEK over the upcoming decade.<br /><br />Three universities – Chalmers University of Technology, KTH and Linköping University – invest a total of 22 million SEK per year in PhD positions and working hours. The forest industry also contribute an additional 100 million SEK over the ten-year period, channeled through the TreeSearch initiative, creating a research environment where more applied research is also conducted.<br /><br />Today, 17 positions on WWSC 2.0 are advertised. The positions are distributed over five Chalmers departments: Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Physics, Industrial and Materials Science, and Microtechnology and Nanoscience.<br /><br />The research center, which became a world leader during the first ten years, seeks both doctoral students and post docs to contribute to the fundamental research conducted, and aimed at adding further knowledge to the production of new sustainable materials.<br /><br />”We have formed a new research programme and everything is in place. That’s why we are hiring as many as 17 people at the same time”, explains Lisbeth Olsson, Professor at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering where three positions are announced, and also the head of WWSC’s activities at Chalmers in the new programme.<br /><br />”In the first programme, we built a very strong research school, headed by Professor Paul Gatenholm here at Chalmers. We have developed an interesting multidisciplinary environment and a strong collaboration between Chalmers and KTH. The research programme has enabled research on new materials from the forest to be deepened, and has resulted in many new achievements and opportunities for applications.”<br /><br />WWSC offers the possibility to work in a unique research environment in close cooperation with the involved universities, with specialized equipment and the ability to participate in developing innovative and environmentally friendly materials from forest raw materials, according to Lisbeth Olsson.<br /><br />Read more <a href="http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/research/industrial-biotechnology/Pages/WWSC-recruiting.aspx">about the recruitments here</a>!<br /><br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Johan Bodell<br />Thu, 11 Oct 2018 17:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Student-thesis-led-to-conductive-thread.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Student-thesis-led-to-conductive-thread.aspxStudent thesis led to conductive thread<p><b>​The two master students, Sozan Darabi and Sandra Hultmark, doing their Master thesis in Professor Christian Müller’s research group at Chalmers, developed an electrically conductive thread that they then wove into a keyboard with help from a handicraft association in Gothenburg. Now they publish their results in the magazine Advanced Materials Technologies.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The wire is completely free from metal. It consists of silk dyed with an electrically conductive plastic. The researchers have developed a &quot;dye&quot; for textiles that both dyes fabrics and threads beautifully blue, while at the same time making them electrically conductive. The electrically conductive component is a kind of polymer or plastic which, when dissolved in water, has a low pH which makes it firmly stick on silk. This makes the threads withstand both abrasion and washing after staining.</span><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">The textile takes a step closer to smart clothes with built-in features, without metals or other materials that affect the feeling of fabric. The thread could also be used for embroidered circuit boards in fabric.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">“With an electrically conductive silk wire comes new possibilities for designing textile electronics, which can be used for, for example,  pulse and movement sensors, fully integrated in clothing. One can also imagine sewing a keyboard that can easily be rolled up and put in the pocket”, says Dr. Anja Lund, who is part of the Christian Müller research group.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">In order to successfully weave the thread into a fabric, Chalmers went to the handicraft association Göteborgs Hemslöjdsförening, because of their good looms and great weaving experience.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">“The handicraft association has been crucial for this project, since we have had to combine new materials with traditional crafts. We also have machine-embroidered electrically conductive patterns out of the wire, with help from the company ACG Nyström in Borås. It is a very nice thing to be able to use local knowledge in our work, &quot;says Anja Lund.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">The researchers now want to move on and combine the conductivity in the thread with their previous research findings, where they developed textiles that generate electricity from heat. Together, this could lead to smart clothes that use the body heat to support the features with electricity.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Text and image: Mats Tiborn​</p> Mon, 08 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Emissions-free-energy-system-saves-heat-from-the-summer-sun-for-winter-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Emissions-free-energy-system-saves-heat-from-the-summer-sun-for-winter-.aspxEmissions-free energy system saves heat from the summer sun for winter<p><b>​A research group from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has made great, rapid strides towards the development of a specially designed molecule which can store solar energy for later use. These advances have been presented in four scientific articles this year, with the most recent being published in the highly ranked journal Energy &amp; Environmental Science.</b></p>​<span>A research group from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has made great, rapid strides towards the development of a specially designed molecule which can store solar energy for later use. These advances have been presented in four scientific articles this year, with the most recent being published in the highly ranked journal Energy &amp; Environmental Science. <br /></span><br />Around a year ago, the research team presented a molecule that was capable of storing solar energy. The molecule, made from carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, has the unique property that when it is hit by sunlight, it is transformed into an energy-rich isomer – a molecule which consists of the same atoms, but bound together in a different way.<br /><br />This isomer can then be stored for use when that energy is later needed – for example, at night or in winter. It is in a liquid form and is adapted for use in a solar energy system, which the researchers have named MOST (Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage). In just the last year, the research team have made great advances in the development of MOST. <br /><br />“The energy in this isomer can now be stored for up to 18 years. And when we come to extract the energy and use it, we get a warmth increase which is greater than we dared hope for,” says the leader of the research team, Kasper Moth-Poulsen, in Nano Materials Chemistry at Chalmers.<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Utsläppsfritt%20energisystem/KasperMoth-Poulsen_180913_07_3000px.jpg" alt="Professor Kasper Moth-Poulsen holding a tube containing the catalyst, in front of the ultra-high vacuum setup that was used to m" width="4114" height="2742" style="height:181px;width:272px;margin:5px" /><br /><br />The research group have developed a catalyst for controlling the release of the stored energy. The catalyst acts as a filter, through which the liquid flows, creating a reaction which warms the liquid by 63 centigrades.  If the liquid has a temperature of 20°Celsius when it pumps through the filter, it comes out the other side at 83°Celsius. At the same time, it returns the molecule to its original form, so that it can be then reused in the warming system.<br /><br />During the same period, the researchers also learned to improve the design of the molecule to increase its storage abilities so that the isomer can store energy for up to 18 years. This was a crucial improvement, as the focus of the project is primarily chemical energy storage. <div><div><br />Furthermore, the system was previously reliant on the liquid being partly composed of the flammable chemical toluene. But now the researchers have found a way to remove the potentially dangerous toluene and instead use just the energy storing molecule. <br /><br />Taken together, the advances mean that the energy system MOST now works in a circular manner. First, the liquid captures energy from sunlight, in a solar thermal collector on the roof of a building. Then it is stored at room temperature, leading to minimal energy losses. When the energy is needed, it can be drawn through the catalyst so that the liquid heats up. It is envisioned that this warmth can then be utilised in, for example, domestic heating systems, after which the liquid can be sent back up to the roof to collect more energy – all completely free of emissions, and without damaging the molecule. <br /><br />“We have made many crucial advances recently, and today we have an emissions-free energy system which works all year around,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen. <br /><br />The solar thermal collector is a concave reflector with a pipe in the centre. It tracks the sun’s path across the sky and works in the same way as a satellite dish, focusing the sun’s rays to a point where the liquid leads through the pipe. It is even possible to add on an additional pipe with normal water to combine the system with conventional water heating. <br /><br />The next steps for the researchers are to combine everything together into a coherent system. </div> <div>“There is a lot left to do. We have just got the system to work. Now we need to ensure everything is optimally designed,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen.<br /><br />The group is satisfied with the storage capabilities, but more energy could be extracted, Kasper believes. He hopes that the research group will shortly achieve a temperature increase of at least 110<span style="background-color:initial">°</span><span style="background-color:initial">Celsius and thinks the technology could be in commercial use within 10 years. </span></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><span><strong><br />More on: the advances behind the four scientific publications </strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>The research group has published four scientific articles on their breakthroughs around the energy system during 2018.</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>1.</strong></span><span style="white-space:pre"><span><strong> </strong></span></span><span><strong>Removing the need for toluene to be mixed with the molecule. Liquid Norbornadiene Photoswitches for Solar Energy Storage in the journal Advanced Energy Materials. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/aenm.201703401</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>2.</strong></span><span style="white-space:pre"><span><strong> </strong></span></span><span><strong>Increasing energy density and storage times. Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage in photoswitch oligomers increases energy densities and storage times in the journal Nature Communications. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04230-8</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>3.</strong></span><span style="white-space:pre"><span><strong> </strong></span></span><span><strong>Achieving energy storage of up to 18 years. Norbornadiene-based photoswitches with exceptional combination of solar spectrum match and long-term energy storage in Chemistry: A European Journal. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/chem.201802932</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>4.</strong></span><span style="white-space:pre"><span><strong> </strong></span></span><span><strong>New record in how efficiently heating can be done. The liquid can increase 63C in temperature. Macroscopic Heat Release in a Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage System in the journal Energy and Environmental Science. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2018/ee/c8ee01011k</strong></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:10px"></span><br /></div></div>Wed, 03 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Three-awarded-for-best-nanoposters.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Three-awarded-for-best-nanoposters.aspxThree awarded for best nanoposters<p><b>​Ludvig de Knoop, Astrid Pihl and Maja Feierabend won the prizes in the poster competition when the excellence initiative Nanoscience and Nanotechnology met in Marstrand recently. &quot;All the contributions held an impressive high quality,&quot; said the juror Erwin Peterman, professor at the Vrije University Amsterdam in the Netherlands.​</b></p>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/astrid_erwin_IMG_4993_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">A total of 65 posters competed for the three top prizes. Professor Peterman joined the jury with Tero Heikkilä, professor at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. They agreed that it was a tough task to select the winners and that all contributions were at a very high level.</span><div>&quot;We were really amazed by the fantastic quality of the posters, ranging from quite complicated theory to beautiful quantum kind of stuff to fantastic biophysical applications&quot;, said Peterman.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Ludvig de Knoop, Astrid Pihl and Maja Feierabend, were rewarded with SEK 5,000 each to be used for conference trips. In addition to the poster itself, an oral presentation was included in the assessment.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/ludvig_de_knoop_IMG_5006_665x330.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Ludvig de Knoop (above) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Physics. He competed with the poster &quot;Room temperature melting of gold observed with atomic resolution&quot;, which won the first prize.</span><br /></div> <div>&quot;What really stroke us was the supercool science, although it was at room temperature!&quot;, Erwin Peterman joked. </div> <div>He emphasized the nice outline of the poster, and that Ludvig de Knoop flavoured his presentation by showing some illustrative movie clips.</div> <div>&quot;We also liked very much the combination of experiment and theory, and you explained it in a very clear way.&quot;</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/astrid_pihl_IMG_5000_adj_665x330.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Astrid Pihl (above) is a PhD student at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. She was awarded with the second prize for her poster &quot;Analysis of silica-encapsulated biomolecules using Atom Probe Tomography&quot;.</span><br /></div> <div>&quot;What really stood out was the stunning look of the poster, it was really beautiful and clear. Also, we found your presentation very enthusiastic. We believed in your ideas&quot;, said Professor Peterman.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/maja_feierabend_IMG_4986_adj_665x330.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Maja Feierabend (above)</span><span style="background-color:initial"> is a PhD student at the Department of Physics. Her contribution was titled &quot;Controlling the optical fingerprint of transition metal dichalcogenides via molecules and strain&quot;, and was awarded with third prize.</span><br /></div> <div>&quot;Your poster was very clear and organized. You managed to reach a very high quality of your explanation of a complicated topic&quot;, said Erwin Peterman.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The community building event was arranged by Astrid Pihl, Ingrid Strandberg and Maja Feierabend, PhD students at the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Microtechnology and Nanoscience - MC2, and Physics.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Michael Nystås</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Read the winning posters [pdf]​</span><br /></div> <div>#1. Ludvig de Knoop: <a href="http://www.chalmers.se/sv/institutioner/mc2/nyheter/Documents/l_de_knoop_poster_EI_Nano_2018.pdf">Room temperature melting of gold observed with atomic resolution​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">#2. Astrid Pihl: </span><a href="http://www.chalmers.se/sv/institutioner/mc2/nyheter/Documents/a_pihl_poster_EI_Nano_2018.pdf">Analysis of silica-encapsulated biomolecules using Atom Probe Tomography​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>#3. Maja Feierabend: <a href="http://www.chalmers.se/sv/institutioner/mc2/nyheter/Documents/m_feierabend__poster_EI_Nano_2018.pdf">Controlling the optical fingerprint of transition metal dichalcogenides via molecules and strain</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/150-nano-researchers-at-successful-networking-event.aspx">Read more about the networking event in Marstrand</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a>Read more about the excellence initiative Nano</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div></div>Mon, 01 Oct 2018 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Chalmers-Nuclear-chemists-get-expanded-permit.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Chalmers-Nuclear-chemists-get-expanded-permit.aspxChalmers Nuclear chemists get expanded permit<p><b>​The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has decided to extend and expand Chalmers’ permission to hold and process fissile material. This means new possibilities for the department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering to conduct nuclear research, but most of all for educating students and PhD students.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The team that makes the research and educate in Nuclear Chemistry got their permit to conduct nuclear research. In addition, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority extends the permit. This is due to the fact that the group has been able to meet the very high safety requirements for handling fissile materials. According to Christian Ekberg, Professor of Nuclear Chemistry and leading the group, the permit gives Chalmers unique possibilities.</span><div>&quot;It is amazing that this small group now has the opportunity to do things that cannot be done elsewhere in the western world,&quot; says Christian Ekberg, Professor of Nuclear Chemistry.</div> <div>The permission creates the opportunity to let students and doctoral students work hands on with relevant amounts of radioactive material which, according to Christian Ekberg, is important for learning about opportunities, risks and limitations in reality.</div> <div>&quot;It's one thing reading about radioactive material, but another thing to actually work with the material. In order to really understand what, for example, nuclear fuel is and to make real-world assessments, it's important to have experience of working with it”, says Christian Ekberg.</div> <div>The radioactive material that is contained in interlayers and final repositories will require knowledge in the area for many generations to come. The education and research that the permission now provides offer greater opportunities for competence development in this area, not only in Sweden but also internationally through the unique courses that the group provides. </div> <div><br /></div> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Barriers-and-opportunities-in-renewable-biofuels-production-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Barriers-and-opportunities-in-renewable-biofuels-production-.aspxBarriers and opportunities in renewable biofuels production<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have identified two main challenges for renewable biofuel production from cheap sources. Firstly, lowering the cost of developing microbial cell factories, and secondly, establishing more efficient methods for hydrolysis of biomass to sugars for fermentation. Their study was recently published in the journal Nature Energy.​</b></p>​<span>The study, by Professor Jens Nielsen, Yongjin Zhou and Eduard Kerkhoven, from the Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology, evaluates the barriers that need to be overcome to make biomass-derived hydrocarbons a real alternative to fossil fuels. </span><div><br /><span></span><div> <strong>“Our study is of particular interest </strong>for decision makers and research funders, as it highlights recent advances and the potential in the field of biofuels. It also identifies where more research is required. This can help to priorities what research should be funded,” says Eduard Kerkhoven.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>It is technically already possible to produce biofuels from renewable resources by using microbes such as yeast and bacteria as tiny cell factories. <br />However, in order to compete with fossil-derived fuels, the process has to become much more efficient. But improving the efficiency of the microbial cell factories is an expensive and time-consuming process, so speeding-up the cell factory development is therefore one of the main goals. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Professor Jens Nielsen </strong>and his research group are world leaders in the engineering of yeast, and in the development and application of computer models of yeast metabolism – as well as being noted for their world-class research into human metabolism, and investigations into aging processes and diseases. Their work informs how yeast can best be engineered to manufacture new chemicals or biofuels. In their article “Barriers and opportunities in bio-based production of hydrocarbons,” the researchers investigate the production of various biofuels using a model of yeast metabolism. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>“We have calculated</strong> theoretical maximum production yields and compared this to what is currently achievable in the lab. There is still huge potential for improving the process,” says Eduard Kerkhoven.</div> <div>The other main barrier is efficient conversion from biomass, such as plants and trees, to the sugars that are used by the cell factories. If this conversion were made more efficient, it would be possible to use waste material from the forest industry, or crops that are purposely grown for biofuels, to produce a fully renewable biofuel. Eduard Kerkhoven notes how important biofuels will be for the future.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>&quot;In the future, </strong>whilst passenger cars will be primarily electric, biofuels are going to be critical for heavier modes of transport such as jets and trucks. The International Energy Agency projects that by 2050, 27 percent of global transport fuels will be biofuels. Meanwhile, large oil companies such as Preem and Total also predict that renewable biofuels will play an important role in the future. In their '<a href="https://www.shell.com/energy-and-innovation/the-energy-future/scenarios/shell-scenario-sky.html">Sky Scenario</a>', Shell expects that biofuels will account for 10 percent of all global end energy-use by the end of the century. That is in line with our research too,” he concludes.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read the article in Nature Energy</strong></div> <div><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-018-0197-x">Barriers and opportunities in bio-based production of hydrocarbons ​</a></div> <div>the authors, Yongjin J. Zhou, Eduard J. Kerkhoven, Jens Nielsen</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information, contact:</strong></div> <div><p style="margin:0cm 0cm 6.75pt;line-height:13.5pt"><span style="font-size:10pt">Eduard Kerkhoven , Project leader, Computational Metabolic Engineering, department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, +46-31-772 3140, <a href="mailto:eduardk@chalmers.se"><span>eduardk@chalmers.se</span></a></span></p> <p style="margin:0cm 0cm 6.75pt;line-height:13.5pt"><span style="font-size:10pt">Jens Nielsen, Professor, Quantitative Systems Biology, Head of Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology, <br />Chalmers University of Technology, +46-31-772 38 04, <span><a href="mailto:nielsenj@chalmers.se">nielsenj@chalmers.se</a></span></span></p></div></div> ​Tue, 04 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/150-nano-researchers-at-successful-networking-event.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/150-nano-researchers-at-successful-networking-event.aspx150 nano researchers at successful networking event<p><b>​150 participants, 65 research posters and a wide range of reputable speakers. It was a successful community building event for the excellence initiative Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Marstrand on 20-22 August. &quot;This has evolved into the annual meeting place for the area&#39;s researchers, and with 150 participants it feels like we have established something really good,&quot; says director Bo Albinsson.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/nanoevent_balbinsson_IMG_4530_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Chalmers former Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Area of Advance has since been reorganized into an excellence initiative. It was the first time the researchers met in the new form for three days at Marstrands Havshotell, and overall the ninth networking meeting.</span><br /></div> <div>&quot;It is an opportunity to talk about both current and future issues. Those who are interested and active come here and know that it's good to meet and greet. Several have been here since the beginning – and it must mean that some think it's worth coming here,&quot; says Bo Albinsson (to the left), who is a professor of physical chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.</div> <div>He is the director of the excellence initiative together with co-director Göran Johansson, Professor of Applied Quantum Physics and Head of the Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory at MC2.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/nanoevent_IMG_4657_robert_hadfield_bra_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The participants were invited to a packed program with speakers from Sweden and other countries. Chalmers was represented by, among others, Per Delsing, Julie Gold and Giulia Ferrini. Among the invited international speakers were Robert Hadfield (to the right), University of Glasgow, and Tuomas Knowles, University of Cambridge.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>During the three days, 65 posters were exhibited and judged by a jury consisting of Professor Erwin Peterman, Vrije Universiteit in The Netherlands, and Professor Tero Heikkilä, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The top three posters were rewarded with SEK 5,000 each, to be used for conference trips.</div> <div>On Wednesday morning, prizes for best posters were awarded to Maja Feierabend, Astrid Pihl and Ludvig de Knoop. Also, Arne Sjögren's award for best doctoral dissertation in the nano area 2017 was awarded to Martin Eriksson from the Department of Physics.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/nanoevent_IMG_5050_arrangorer_b_665x330.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">The community building event was arranged by Astrid Pihl, </span><span style="background-color:initial">Maja Feierabend and </span><span style="background-color:initial">Ingrid Strandberg (picture above), PhD students at the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Physics, and Microtechnology and Nanoscience –</span><span style="background-color:initial"> MC2.</span></div> <div>&quot;Preparations have taken place since April. At the end, there were a lot of logistics before all pieces fell into place,&quot; says Ingrid Strandberg, adding that all three were very pleased with the event.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Michael Nystås</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/research/strong/nano">Read more about the excellence initiative Nano</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div>Thu, 30 Aug 2018 10:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/The-world's-first-research-conference-on-battery-recycling.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/The-world's-first-research-conference-on-battery-recycling.aspxThe world&#39;s first battery recycling research conference<p><b>​Our vehicles are moving towards an increasingly electrified future, but without functioning battery recycling technology, development will stop and electric cars&#39; batteries are still very difficult to recycle industrially. Now researchers and industry gather at Chalmers to attend the world&#39;s first research conference with the main focus on battery recycling.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Research on recycling of lithium batteries from, among other things, electric cars and portable electronics has grown as we approach a fossil-free and electrified society. Metals and minerals that are necessary for the batteries will sooner or later end. Cobalt, for example, which is one of the most common substances in the batteries, is now expected to reach its production peak around 2025. Cobalt is also considered by many to be a so-called conflict mineral where human rights are often violated in connection with mining in the form of child labour and slavery.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>&quot;This is a very critical issue where it is crucial that we find a solution soon. Sustainable cobalt supply and recovery is crucial to the electric car's existence, &quot;says Assistant Professor <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/marpetr.aspx">Martina Petranikova</a>, organiser of the conference.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>However, there are more areas in the battery life cycle that hold them back in terms of durability. Among other things, electric cars, when consumed, still have so much energy that recycling can be dangerous. In addition, electric vehicle batteries may vary so much between manufacturers that it is difficult for the recycler to know what the battery contains. At the same time, it is a competitive advantage for the companies to develop new assemblies on the batteries and thus the producers have to talk to the recyclers in order to find a right design</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;The industry is very interested in finding the right recycling technology. Among other things, they are obliged to take care of the waste from their products, such as used batteries. With different combinations of batteries, they are very difficult to recycle industrially. Today we can recover most of a battery, but it takes time and is costly. With the conference, we want to meet and solve these problems, &quot;said Martina Petranikova.</div> <div>In order to find a sustainable solution, the entire battery life cycle must be coordinated from production and development to collection and recycling, as well as legislation. Therefore, Chalmers researchers in industrial recycling gather researchers, experts, manufacturers, users and recyclers under the same roof to share their knowledge, their expectations, technical and financial realities, and also their dreams to take the initiative for a circular economy of batteries .</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Circular Economy of Batteries Production and Recycling, CEB, will be held at Lindholmen Conference Center 24-26 September 2018.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="http://www.ceb2018.org/">Read more at the conference page.</a></div> </div>Tue, 28 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0200