News: Kemi- och bioteknik related to Chalmers University of TechnologyTue, 19 Jun 2018 09:12:07 +0200 alloys could be possible, thanks to ground-breaking research<p><b>Many current and future technologies require alloys that can withstand high temperatures​ without corroding. Now, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have hailed a major breakthrough in understanding how alloys behave at high temperatures, pointing the way to significant improvements in many technologies. The results are published in the highly ranked journal Nature Materials.​</b></p><div style="font-size:14px"><div><span>Developing alloys that can withst​and high temperatures without corroding is a key challenge for many fields, such as renewable and sustainable energy technologies like concentrated solar power and solid oxide fuel cells, as well as aviation, materials processing and petrochemistry. </span></div> <span> </span><div><span><br /></span></div> <span> </span><div><span>At high temperatures, alloys can react violently with their environment, quickly causing the materials to fail by corrosion. To protect against this, all high temperature alloys are designed to form a protective oxide scale, usually consisting of aluminium oxide or chromium oxide. This oxide scale plays a decisive role in preventing the metals from corroding. Therefore, research on high temperature corrosion is very focused on these oxide scales – how they are formed, how they perform at high heat, and how they sometimes fail.</span></div> <span> </span><div><span>The article in Nature Materials answers two classical issues in the area. One applies to the very small additives of so-called ‘reactive elements’ – often yttrium and zirconium – found in all high-temperature alloys. The second issue is about the role of water vapour.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:10.6667px"> </span></div></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/TItan%20Microscope.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="font-size:10.6667px"><span style="background-color:window"> <span style="font-size:14px">“Adding reactive elements to alloys results in a huge improvement in performance – but no one has been able to provide robust experimental proof why,” says Nooshin Mortazavi, materials researcher at Chalmers’ Department of Physics, and first author of the study. “Likewise, the role of water, which is always present in high-temperature environments, in the form of steam, has been little understood. Our paper will help solve these enigmas”. </span></span></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:10.6667px"><span style="background-color:window"><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></span></span></div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><span style="font-size:14px"></span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>In this paper, the Chalmers researchers show how these two elements are linked. They demonstrate how the reactive elements in the alloy promote the growth of an aluminium oxide scale. The presence of these reactive element particles causes the oxide scale to grow inward, rather than outward, thereby facilitating the transport of water from the environment, towards the alloy substrate. Reactive elements and water combine to create a fast-growing, nanocrystalline, oxide scale. </span></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><span><br /></span></div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>“This paper challenges several accepted ‘truths’ in the science of high temperature corrosion and opens up exciting new avenues of research and alloy development,” says Lars Gunnar Johansson, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Chalmers, Director of the Competence Centre for High Temperature Corrosion (HTC) and co-author of the paper. </span></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><span><br /></span></div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>“Everyone in the industry has been waiting for this discovery. This is a paradigm shift in the field of high-temperature oxidation,” says Nooshin Mortazavi. “We are now establishing new principles for understanding the degradation mechanisms in this class of materials at very high temperatures.” </span></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><span><br /></span></div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>Further to their discoveries, the Chalmers researchers suggest a practical method for creating more resistant alloys. They demonstrate that there exists a critical size for the reactive element particles. Above a certain size, reactive element particles cause cracks in the oxide scale, that provide an easy route for corrosive gases to react with the alloy substrate, causing rapid corrosion. This means that a better, more protective oxide scale can be achieved by controlling the size distribution of the reactive element particles in the alloy.</span></div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>This ground-breaking research from Chalmers University of Technology points the way to stronger, safer, more resistant alloys in the future. </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Joshua Worth and Johanna Wilde</div> <div>Image: Johan Bodell</div> <div>Caption (the image in the text above): Nooshin Mortazavi and the Titan TEM microscope, which was used to investigate the nanocrystalline oxide forming on high-temperature alloys.  ​​<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <a href=""></a><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><div style="display:inline ! important"><a href="">Read the scientific paper <span style="background-color:initial"><em>Interplay of water and reactive eleme</em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em>nts in oxidation of alumina-forming alloys</em> </span></a><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">in Nature Materials.</a></span></div> <div><div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release from Chalmers University of Technology and download high-resolution images. ​</a></div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More about: Potential consequences of the research breakthrough</h4> <div>High temperature alloys are used in a variety of areas, and are essential to many technologies which underpin our civilisation. They are crucial for both new and traditional renewable energy technologies, such as &quot;green&quot; electricity from biomass, biomass gasification, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), concentrated solar energy, and solid oxide fuel cells. They are also crucial in many other important technology areas such as jet engines, petrochemistry and materials processing.</div> <div>All these industries and technologies are entirely dependent on materials that can withstand high temperatures – 600 ° C and beyond – without failing due to corrosion. There is a constant demand for materials with improved heat resistance, both for developing new high temperature technologies, and for enhancing the process efficiency of existing ones. </div> <div>For example, if the turbine blades in an aircraft's jet engines could withstand higher temperatures, the engine could operate more efficiently, resulting in fuel-savings for the aviation industry. Or, if you can produce steam pipes with better high-temperature capability, biomass-fired power plants could generate more power per kilogram of fuel. </div> <div>Corrosion is one of the key obstacles to material development within these areas. The Chalmers researchers' article provides new tools for researchers and industry to develop alloys that withstand higher temperatures without quickly corroding. </div> <div><br /></div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More About: The Research</h4> <div>The Chalmers researchers’ explanation of how oxide scale growth occurs – which has been developed using several complementary methods for experimentation and quantum chemistry modelling – is completely new to both the research community, and the industry in the field of high-temperature materials.</div> <div>The research was carried out by the High Temperature Corrosion Center (HTC) ( in a collaboration between the Departments of Chemistry and Physics at Chalmers, together with the world leading materials manufacturer Kanthal, part of the Sandvik group. HTC is jointly funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, 21 member-companies and Chalmers. </div> <div>The paper was published in the highly prestigious journal <a href="">Nature Materials​</a>. </div> <div>​<br /></div> <div style="display:inline ! important"><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""></a></span> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/Nooshin%20WEB.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />Nooshin Mortazavi is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. <a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Materials-scientists-wins-two-prestigious-fellowships-------.aspx">She was recently awarded prestigious fellowships by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Wallenberg Foundation. ​</a><span style="background-color:initial">She can now choose between two or three years of postdoctoral training at either Harvard University or at Stanford University in the US – followed by two years at Chalmers Univ</span><span style="background-color:initial">​ersity. </span></div> <div><br /></div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">For more information: </h4> <div><div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Nooshin-Mortazavi-Seyedeh.aspx">Nooshin Mortazavi​</a>, Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, , +46 73 387 32 26, +46 31 772 67 83, <span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/lg.aspx">Lars-Gunnar Johansson</a>, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 28 72, <span style="background-color:initial">,​</span></div> </div></div>Tue, 19 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0200 initiative for personalised medicine<p><b>​There are high expectations on the new wave of so-called &quot;personalised medicine&quot; which is adapted for each patient&#39;s needs. Chalmers is now involved in a new pharmaceutical collaboration between ten Nordic universities, funded by NordForsk with 46 million SEK.</b></p><p>​The personalised medicine is a kind of pharmaceutical that is constructed to suit each individual patient’s precondition. This will lead to better effect and less side-effects of the pharmaceutics.<br /></p> <p>Though expectations are high, the development has been relatively slow. Now NordForsk, which is a research funder part of the Nordic Council of Ministers, takes the initiative to increase the speed of development by funding the project Nordic PP (Patient Oriented Products) with 46 million SEK. The aim of the project is to put the Nordic research within the field of development of patient oriented products. This will reduce unwanted suffering and side effects for the patients. To reach the aim all researchers at the universities with this goal should build a strong community with much exchange of ideas and sharing of competences and instruments. The grant can only be used to mobility actions. <br /></p> <p>“At Chalmers we have both good equipment and competences in material science, production and pharmaceutics, which will be the platform for incoming researchers from the other universities. At the same time, all Chalmers researchers´ can visit the other universities in the network and do research. I am sure that this will strengthen both Chalmers and the Nordic research within the field” says Professor Anette Larsson, at Chalmers, who is leading the project from Chalmers’ side. <br /></p> <p>Involved in the project are pharmaceutical researchers at universities in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Denmark. They will develop strategies to design new type of pharmaceutical products, make the production of medicine more flexible, and move it closer to the end-user. The project runs for six years and was initiated in January with a kick-off meeting at University of Southern Denmark where 140 researchers participated. Collaborating partners are from University of Copenhagen and University of Southern Denmark, University of Oslo and University of Tromsö, University of Helsinki, Åbo Akademi University and University of Eastern Finland, University of Iceland and University of Uppsala and Chalmers University of Technology.<br /></p> <p>If you interested to invite guest researchers (from students to professors) or visit any of the universities in the network, please contact <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/anette-larsson.aspx">Professor Anette Larsson</a>  or <a href="">Professor Jukka Rantanen </a>for more information.</p> <div> <br /></div>Tue, 29 May 2018 00:00:00 +0200 biofuels can be produced extremely efficiently, confirms industrial demonstration<p><b>​A chance to switch to renewable sources for heating, electricity and fuel, while also providing new opportunities for several industries to produce large numbers of renewable products. This is the verdict of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, who now, after ten years of energy research into gasification of biomass, see an array of new technological achievements.&quot;The potential is huge! Using only the already existing Swedish energy plants, we could produce renewable fuels equivalent to 10 percent of the world&#39;s aviation fuel, if such a conversion were fully implemented,” says Henrik Thunman, Professor of Energy Technology at Chalmers.​</b></p><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Popreport_cover.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Report detailing 200 man-years of research  </h5> <div>​We have summarized the work of the last ten years at Chalmers Power Central and GoBiGas in the report: &quot;GoBiGas demonstration – a vital step for a large-scale transition from fossil fuels to advanced biofuels and electrofuels&quot;. Researchers at the division of Energy Technology at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers have worked together with colleagues at the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Technology Management and Economics, Biology and Biological Engineering, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences​ as well as a wide range of Swedish and international collaborative partners in industry and academia. <a href="" style="outline:none 0px"><span style="background-color:initial">Download the report: </span><span style="background-color:initial">GoBiGas demonstration – a vital step for a large-scale transition from fossil fuels  to advanced biofuels and electrofuels. </span></a>(21 Mb). <div><h6 class="chalmersElement-H6">​Pathway to a radical transition</h6></div> <div><div>How to implement a switch from fossil-fuels to renewables is a tricky issue for many industries. For heavy industries, such as oil refineries, or the paper and pulp industry, it is especially urgent to start moving, because investment cycles are so long. At the same time, it is important to get the investment right because you may be forced to replace boilers or facilities in advance, which means major financial costs. Thanks to long-term strategic efforts, researchers at Sweden´s Chalmers University of Technology have now paved the way for radical changes, which could be applied to new installations, as well as be implemented at thousands of existing plants around the globe.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The solution presented involves widespread gasification of biomass. This technology itself is not new. Roughly explained, what is happening is that at high temperatures, biomass is converted into a gas. This gas can then be refined into end-products which are currently manufactured from oil and natural gas. The Chalmers researchers have shown that one possible end-product is biogas that can replace natural gas in existing gas networks.</div> <h6 class="chalmersElement-H6">The problems with tar are solved​</h6> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/tar-problem-before-and-after.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Previously, the development of gasification technology has been hampered by major problems with tar being released from the biomass, which interferes with the process in several ways. Now, the researchers from Chalmers’ division of Energy Technology have shown that they can improve the quality of the biogas through chemical processes, and the tar can also be managed in completely new ways, see images to the right. This, in combination with a parallel development of heat-exchange materials, provides completely new possibilities for converting district heating boilers to biomass gasifiers. <a href="">Watch an animation with more details about how the problems with tar has been solved​</a>. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;What makes this technology so attractive to several industries is that it will be possible to modify existing boilers, which can then supplement heat and power production with the production of fossil-free fuels and chemicals.&quot;, says Martin Seemann, Associate Professor in Energy Technology at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We rebuilt our own research boiler in this way in 2007, and now we have more than 200 man-years of research to back us up,” says Professor Henrik Thunman. “Combined with industrial-scale lessons learned at the GoBiGas (Gothenburg Biomass Gasification) demonstration project, launched in 2014, it is now possible for us to say that the technology is ready for the world.” </div> <h6 class="chalmersElement-H6">Many applications</h6> <div>The plants which could be converted to gasification are power and district heating plants, paper and pulp mills, sawmills, oil refineries and petrochemical plants.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The technical solutions developed by the Chalmers researchers are therefore relevant across several industrial fields”, says Klara Helstad, Head of the Sustainable Industry Unit at the Swedish Energy Agency. “Chalmers´ competence and research infrastructure have played and crucial role for the demonstration of advanced biofuels within the GoBiGas-project.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Swedish Energy Agency has funded energy research and infrastructure at Chalmers for many years. </div> <div>How much of this technological potential can be realised depends on the economic conditions of the coming years, and how that will affect the willingness of the industrial and energy sectors to convert. The availability of biomass is also a crucial factor. Biomass is a renewable resource, but only provided we do not deplete the conditions for its biological production. There is therefore a limit for total biomass output.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Christian Löwhagen, Johanna Wilde. </div> <div>Translation: Joshua Worth.</div> <div>Tar illustration: BOID. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Process-video.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Watch a film detailing the process in the GoBiGas Plant</a>. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read more in the international press release. ​</a></div> <div>​<br /></div></div>Mon, 21 May 2018 07:00:00 +0200 chemistry in severe nuclear accidents<p><b>​In the event of a nuclear accident, the release of radionuclides is always a concern. In his PhD project, Fredrik Espegren, PhD student in Nuclear chemistry at Chalmers, maps what happens with tellurium under different conditions during an accident.</b></p>​<span>The extent of radionuclide release is affected by several factors, for example type of atmosphere, temperature, and what structural materials are present during the accident. </span><div>The release of tellurium is especially worrying due its volatility, its reactivity, and the fact it decays to radioactive iodine. Moreover, the radiological and chemical toxicity of tellurium will, during an accident, be very problematic to the public and the environment. Fredrik has experimentally studied the interaction of tellurium both with metallic structural materials of the containment and with sea-salt residues, which is relevant if seawater is used as a coolant in an accident scenario.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Results from the containment experiments using a furnace showed signs of possible reaction between tellurium and a copper surface under inert humid conditions close to room temperature. Otherwise, tellurium deposition occurred on the metal surfaces with no observable chemical reaction and no strong attachment to the surface. For the seawater investigations, thermogravimetric analysis and furnace experiments were used. Under inert atmosphere, no indication of interaction was seen, but for oxidizing conditions an interaction for all samples was observed” says Fredrik Espegren.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What does that mean?</strong></div> <div>&quot;The containment experiments give a clear picture of what happens to tellurium when exposed to different conditions in the atmosphere and the corresponding deposition in the containment on selected metal surfaces. The sea-salt residue is a sort of screening experiment to see if anything at all happens. Something was potentially seen under oxidizing conditions, and further research can continue onward from this.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>How can these findings be used? </strong></div> <div>The main use lies in better understanding the source term of tellurium from a chemical speciation perspective and potentially validating simulations of nuclear accidents with regards to tellurium. In general, this supports the use of the already existing mitigating system (containment spray).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>You have another 2-3 years left of your PhD project - What will you do next?</strong></div> <div>Continue with another condition (reducing) and a new surface, paint. Moreover, the tellurium water chemistry will be touched upon with some interaction between tellurium and painted surfaces in water. Furthermore, some Cs-I-Mo investigations will be performed as well, to see what chemical species are formed between them under different conditions. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is the best part of your work?</strong></div> <div>The best part is the experimental work, and analyzing the outcome.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 04 May 2018 00:00:00 +0200 method for recycling titanium dioxide from white paint<p><b>​Large amounts of titanium dioxide become waste in the paint industry and at recycling stations. Now, research from Chalmers shows a method of utilizing the valuable material.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Titanium dioxide is one of the more common substances used to produce white paint. But titanium dioxide is an expensive material that is extracted by refraction. In today's chemical processes for paint production, much titanium dioxide is wasted. In collaboration with AkzoNobel and Stena Recycling, <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/kx02kami.aspx">Mikael Karlsson</a>, at Chalmers Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, has developed a method of recovering titanium dioxide through pyrolysis, a type of separation process that occurs through heating.</span><div>The method involves separating organic from inorganic material. Mikael Karlsson has primarily looked at titanium-based white paint because it does not contain as many other types of inorganic material as coloured paints.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;By my method, we can recycle titanium dioxide of sufficient quality to be used as a matte wall paint, which is one of the biggest uses for white paint,&quot; says Mikael Karlsson.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Competence%20Centre%20Recycling/Nyheter/Mikael%20Karlsson.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:299px" /><br /><br /></div> <div>The PhD student project is linked to AkzoNobel's strategic work to reduce its carbon footprint by recycling white paint in their processes. But much titanium dioxide is also wasted today in colour cans that come from private individuals and companies to recycling centres. Manufacturers may be required to be responsible for recycling for the products they sell, which makes the method interesting even with regard to this type of waste.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research has been done with the help of CCR and Mikael Karlsson sees the advantages with having the centre close at hand.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>- I have been helped with different points of view during the course of work. Recycling is so wide that it is good to keep knowledge of others close. I am basically a paint technician and my work here has been very interdisciplinary with access to both industry and different research disciplines, &quot;says Mikael Karlsson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>One possible next step in process development is to investigate paint that contains more inorganic materials than just titanium dioxide so that these may be separated to create as efficient value chain as possible.</div> <div>On May 4, Mikael Karlsson defends his thesis Recycling of TiO2 pigment from waste paint: process development, surface analysis and characterization.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Mats Tiborn</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/sv/institutioner/chem/kalendarium/Sidor/Mikael-Karlsson,-Energi-och-material.aspx">More about the defense​</a><br /></div> Wed, 02 May 2018 00:00:00 +0200 provides Chalmers funding to develop new methods to study brain cells<p><b>​Greater insight into the chemical processes of brain cells can lay the groundwork for new ways to cure brain-related diseases where short-term memory is affected. In a new grant from the ERC (European Research Council), Professor Andrew Ewing has received 25 million to chart the role of secretion of neurotransmitters in our memory process.</b></p><p>​Signal substances in the brain are the molecules that cells use to communicate and send nerve signals to each other. The cells contain capsules, so-called vesicles, which are filled with a certain amount of transmitter molecules, so-called signal substances, used by the cells for communication and regulatory functions in the organism.</p> <p><br />Our short-term memory starts with a chemical process in the brain where brain cells interact with the aid of neurotransmitters that are secreted from these vesicles. The cellular processes that direct the vesicle to start release have been charted and the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was given for this. Exactly how this finishes is, however, not known today, but earlier results from Andrew Ewing’s research show that the amount of signal substance that cells emit varies in different situations providing a mechanism for change in signal or learning. By examining the content of signal substance in individual vesicles and comparing to the amount of signal substance that a cell yields, his research shows that it is possible to see at a very detailed level how much signal substance is released from the cell in different situations. </p> <p><br />&quot;This discovery provides a completely different view of what regulates neurotransmitter release and shows this regulation is possible at the level of single release events.&quot;</p> <p> <br />Knowledge of this opens up for further research on the transmission of signal transmission and raises questions about the plasticity of the cell wall and how strong the coupling, synapse, between the nervous cells, which can lead to methods that may counter memory diseases.</p> <p><br />&quot;This can give us tools to understand the processes that are affected in diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, adding a new pharmaceutical target by regulating individual vesicles and how they open.&quot;</p> <p><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/andrew-ewing.aspx"><br />Andrew Ewing</a> has now received an estimate of 2.5 million euro from the ERC to test how extensive the proposed mechanism is, to develop new methods of analysis of nanometer vesicles, and to use this in a next step to investigate full brain cells of banana flies as a model. In addition, he will investigate the role of changes in the membrane of the cell in the chemical reactions that are essential for a functioning short-term memory.</p> <p><br />&quot;I have been blessed with being able to interact with great students, postdocs and collaborators with open minds and super ideas. ​This is a very exciting and far reaching project where many of the things we are investigating are clearly controversial and parts might not work, but that adds to the excitement and this is the kind of work the ERC funds to push science to the future.&quot;</p> <p><br />In the long run, Andrew Ewing hopes that his research will provide tools to understand how diseases that damage short-term memory work on a deeper level.</p> <p> </p> <p>Text: Mats Tiborn</p>Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200 textile lights a lamp when stretched<p><b>​Working up a sweat from carrying a heavy load? That is when the textile works at its best. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have developed a fabric that converts kinetic energy into electric power, in cooperation with the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås and the research institute Swerea IVF. The greater the load applied to the textile and the wetter it becomes the more electricity it generates. The results are now published in the Nature Partner journal Flexible Electronics.</b></p>​Chalmers researchers Anja Lund and Christian Müller have developed a woven fabric that generates electricity when it is stretched or exposed to pressure. The fabric can currently generate enough power to light an LED, send wireless signals or drive small electric units such as a pocket calculator or a digital watch.<div> </div> <div>The technology is based on the piezoelectric effect, which results in the generation of electricity from deformation of a piezoelectric material, such as when it is stretched. In the study the researchers created a textile by weaving a piezoelectric yarn together with an electrically conducting yarn, which is required to transport the generated electric current.</div> <div> </div> <div>“The textile is flexible and soft and becomes even more efficient when moist or wet,” Lund says. “To demonstrate the results from our research we use a piece of the textile in the shoulder strap of a bag. The heavier the weight packed in the bag and the more of the bag that consists of our fabric, the more electric power we obtain. When our bag is loaded with 3 kilos of books, we produce a continuous output of 4 microwatts. That’s enough to intermittently light an LED. By making an entire bag from our textile, we could get enough energy to transmit wireless signals.”</div> <div> </div> <div>The piezoelectric yarn is made up of twenty-four fibres, each as thin as a strand of hair. When the fibres are sufficiently moist they become enclosed in liquid and the yarn becomes more efficient, since this improves the electrical contact between the fibres. The technology is based on previous studies by the researchers in which they developed the piezoelectric fibres, to which they have now added a further dimension. </div> <div> </div> <div>“The piezoelectric fibres consist of a piezoelectric shell around an electrically conducting core,” Lund says. “The piezoelectric yarn in combination with a commercial conducting yarn constitute an electric circuit connected in series.” </div> <div> </div> <div>Previous work by the researchers on piezoelectric textiles has so far mainly focused on sensors and their ability to generate electric signals through pressure sensitivity. Using the energy to continuously drive electronic components is unique. </div> <div> </div> <div>“Woven textiles from piezoelectric yarns makes the technology easily accessible and it could be useful in everyday life. It’s also possible to add more materials to the weave or to use it as a layer in a multi-layer product. It requires some modification, but it’s possible,” Lund says. </div> <div> </div> <div>The researchers consider that the technology is, in principle, ready for larger scale production. It is now mainly up to industrial product developers to find out how to make use of the technology. Despite the advanced technology underlying the material, the cost is relatively low and is comparable with the price of Gore-Tex. Through their collaboration with the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås the researchers have been able to demonstrate that the yarn can be woven in industrial looms and is sufficiently wear-resistant to cope with the harsh conditions of mass production.<br />   </div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /> Anja Lund about the research results</a></div>Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0100 study increases the trustworthiness of charcoals.<p><b>​Charcoal filters are shaped to protect against and sample radioactive methyl iodide. But how well do the filters protect us from and capture other kinds of radioactive organic iodine? Researchers at Chalmers recently published an article about this in the journal Nuclear Engineering and Design.</b></p>​Charcoal filters are used in environmental sampling to estimate radioactive iodine both under normal operating conditions and during emergencies. They are used in protection systems such as air purifying filter respirators to protect against radioactivity. But they must be versatile. Iodine can exist in many forms during a nuclear accident. <div><br />One of the most common types is methyl iodide, which is why the charcoal filter is designed to retain this kind of iodine. But there may also be other kinds of radioactive iodine, and as the formation of other organic iodine compounds has been observed in nuclear plants it can be reasoned that a failure of a charcoal to retain other types of organic iodine than methyl iodide could have adverse consequences. </div> <div><br />Researchers at Chalmers have investigated how different charcoals have the ability to capture radioactive organic iodine compounds other than methyl iodide. </div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">– Of the compounds tested it has been found that methyl iodide is the compound which is most poorly retained by charcoal. The charcoal in our tests was more able to capture and retain ethyl iodide, isopropyl iodide and chloromethyl iodide than methyl iodide. This is an important finding as it indicates that we can better trust the charcoal based devices used to sample the radioactive iodine in the air and also that we can better trust respirator filters which are based on the charcoal with the standard methyl iodide fixing agent, says <a href="/en/staff/Pages/foreman.aspx">Associate Professor Mark Foreman</a>.</span></div></blockquote> <div style="font-size:14px">Compared with many other radioactive elements, iodine has a particularly high ability to harm humans and other animals. All vertebrates have a thyroid, a small but vital gland which controls the metabolic rate and other important bodily functions. The thyroid gland needs iodine to work properly and it absorbs both radioactive and non-radioactive iodine, which may lead to thyroid cancer if it is exposed to the harmful kind.  </div> <div style="font-size:14px"> </div> <div>A lot of radioactive iodine is formed by the fission of uranium and plutonium atoms in a nuclear reactor. During a serious nuclear reactor accident a large fraction of the radioactive iodine in the fuel can escape from the core and subsequently from the plant. The iodine also has the potential to become very mobile, it can form several gases and very low boiling point compounds. While the noble gases in reactor fuel are more mobile than iodine, the iodine is often of greater concern as its chemistry and biology causes it to be more radiotoxic. </div> <div><a href="">Read the article here</a><br /></div> <div><br /> Text: Mats Tiborn</div>Fri, 26 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0100 methods to analyze molecular dynamics in biology, chemistry and physics<p><b>​A recent paper in Nature Chemistry, involving Chalmers guest researcher Jakob Andreasson, explains a key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Materials%20Science/News/Jakob-Andreasson.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />In biology, chemistry, and physics, molecular function is strongly dependent on the interaction between structure and dynamics. In processes such as photosynthesis and many types of catalysis, charge transfer reactions between metal ions and their surroundings, and the time scale on which they occur, play a major role. Jakob Andreasson, guest researcher at the Condensed Matter Physics division at Chalmers University of Technology, has together with an International and interdisciplinary team of researchers performed a study where a combination of ultrashort X-ray and laser pulses were used to show how the local binding of copper ions depends on the speed of charge transfer in photochemical reactions. The results of this demanding series of experiments were published earlier this week in Nature Chemistry.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The research project is led by Sonja Herres-Pawlis from the RWTH Aachen University (RWTH),  Michael Rübhausen from the University of Hamburg and Wolfgang Zinth from Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="">Read the press release from DESY</a><br /></p> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Read the article in Nature Chemistry<br /></a></div> <div>doi:10.1038/nchem.2916</div> <div><br /> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><em>Photo: Jakob Andreasson during preparations for an experiment at the AMO instrument at the X-ray Free Electron Laser LCLS at SLAC, Stanford, California. </em>(Jakob Andreasson, private)</p> <div><a href=""></a> </div></div>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:00:00 +0100,-cheap-to-produce-and-easy-to-transport,-new-Wallenberg-Academy-Fellow-project.aspx,-cheap-to-produce-and-easy-to-transport,-new-Wallenberg-Academy-Fellow-project.aspxPolymer solar cells, new Wallenberg Academy Fellow project<p><b>Solar cells are predicted to play an important role in reaching a sustainable energy production, but a problem with the silicon based is their complicated manufacture process. Associate Professor Ergang Wang receives funding as a Wallenberg Academy Fellow to develop polymer solar cells that are bendable and easy to produce.</b></p><div><div>Organic solar cells, OSCs, normally consist a polymer as donor and a fullerene derivative as acceptor in the active layer. However, the fullerene derivate, which is the most common acceptor, cannot guarantee high enough efficiency and stability of OSCs to change the solar power market. As a Wallenberg Academy Fellow <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/ergang.aspx">Ergang Wang </a>will explore another, fullerene-free path for the OSC. </div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“This fellowship gives me freedom to explore the fields where I believe a solution may exist. It is of course an honour to become a Wallenberg Academy Fellow and a great feeling to finally get it. You should never give up!” he says.</span></div></blockquote> <div>OSCs have the advantages of light-weight, low cost and fast high-volume production. They are also believed to have little environmental impact. Due to the promise of OSCs, many countries have invested heavily in the research and development of OSCs with the aim of commercializing them. As a result, the development of OSCs has been significant with efficiencies improving from 1 percent to over 14 percent in the last two decades. Still the technology is not yet ready for practical applications.</div> <div><br />Fullerenes are football shaped molecules that have many good characteristics in many applications. In many OSCs of today they are used as acceptors in the cell’s active layer. The problem, however, is low stability caused by molecular diffusion, weak absorption in solar spectrum region, high cost and high-energy consumption required to produce fullerene derivatives themselves. Therefore, in order to boost the efficiency and stability of OSCs, there is a strong need to replace fullerenes as the acceptors in OSCs.</div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“For long researchers have tried to improve the fullerenes to be optimised for the OSCs. I want to try a different path. I want my OSCs to be independent from the limitations of fullerenes,” says Ergang Wang.</span></div></blockquote> <div>Ergang Wang and his group have already come far in the development of solar cells only consisting of polymers in the active layer. They have reached an efficiency of nine percent with a blend based on three polymers. They are very light and easy to produce in big roll-to-roll printing machines, kind of like the ones than newspapers are produced in. The major issue now is to get a better stability and efficiency.</div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“I believe that we are on the right track and my vision is that we, because of the funding, may be able to create a prototype with the right efficiency and stability to be able to start collaborations with industry.”</span></div></blockquote> <div>Ergang Wang thinks there is a great interest for breakthroughs in this kind of technology since it is sustainable both ecologically and economically. His goal is to reach towards an efficiency of around fifteen percent, which is a figure he says may make OSCs profitable and competitive in the market. </div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“The silicon cells will be more efficient for a long time forward but OSCs will be more cost effective in the long run. In ten years we may have reached far enough to have the technology on the market with for example polymer solar cells that you may put on your window or at the roof top,” says Ergang Wang.</span></div></blockquote> <div>The funding for the Wallenberg Academy Fellowship is SEK 7.5 million over five years with a possible extension of five more years. In addition Chalmers will fund the fellowship with another SEK 5 million for five years. <br />     </div> <div>    </div></div> <div><div>Text: Mats Tiborn</div></div> ​Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 safety of nuclear fuel repositories<p><b>​Lovisa Bauhn, at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, recently defended her thesis related to the final repository of used nuclear fuel.</b></p><p>​Could you please tell us a little bit about your research and your results?</p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><p><span style="font-size:14px">According to the KBS-3 method, the used fuel will be placed in copper canisters at a depth of 500 metres in the bedrock, where it should be isolated from contact with groundwater. However, scenarios of groundwater intrusion into the canisters are investigated as part of the safety assessment. In such a scenario, migration of radiotoxic elements into the environment depends on the dissolution behaviour of the UO2 matrix, which could be altered by oxidative species formed during radiolysis of the water. Previous studies have shown that hydrogen gas (which would be formed through anoxic corrosion of canister iron in case of groundwater contact) inhibits the radiation induced oxidative dissolution of the fuel. My research has therefore been focused on further investigations of this hydrogen effect. The results show that the fuel surface itself has an important role in activating the hydrogen, and that the hydrogen effect can be maintained even at very high levels of alpha activity.</span></p></blockquote> <p>What can your results be used for?</p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><p dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><span style="font-size:14px">The results can be used to provide further understanding of the dissolution behaviour of used nuclear fuel under repository conditions, and they are positive in the sense that they confirm the limited possibility of radionuclide migration with groundwater.</span></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px">Can you see your results put into action in the future? </p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><p dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><span style="font-size:14px">Yes, they can be taken into consideration in future repository research and safety assessments.</span></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px">What are you doing now after becoming PhD?</p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:13px;margin-right:0px"><p dir="ltr" style="font-size:13px;margin-right:0px"><span style="font-size:13px">I am currently working as a researcher at Industrial Materials Recycling at Chalmers.</span></p></blockquote> <div> </div>Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 method maps chemicals in the skin<p><b>​A new method of examining the skin can reduce the number of animal experiments while providing new opportunities to develop pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Chemical imaging allows all layers of the skin to be seen and the presence of virtually any substance in any part of the skin to be measured with a very high degree of precision.</b></p>​More and more chemicals are being released into our environment. For example, parabens and phthalates are under discussion as two types ofchemicals that can affect us. But so far it has not been possible to find out how they are absorbed by the skin. A new study from Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg shows how what is termed chemical imaging can provide comprehensive information about the human skin with a very high level of precision.<br /><br />Investigations into how substances pass into and through the skin have so far taken<img width="400" height="215" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/nickel.png" alt="" style="margin:5px" /> place in two ways:by using tape strips to pull off the top “corneal” layer of skin for analysis,and throughurine and blood testing to see what has penetrated through the skin. But we still know very little about what happens in the layers of skin in between. Chemical imaging now allows us to see all layers of the skin with very high precision and to measure the presence of virtually any substances in any part of the skin. This can lead to pharmaceutical products that are better suited to the skin, for example. <div> </div> <div>The new method was created when the chemists Per Malmberg, at Chalmers University of Technology,and Lina Hagvall, at the University of Gothenburg, brought their areas of research together.</div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><div><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"><img width="200" height="257" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Lina%20Hagvall.jpg" alt="" style="height:171px;width:133px;margin:5px" /><br />“With pharmaceuticals you often want as much as possible of the dose to be </span></em><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">absorbed by the skin, but in some cases you may not want skin absorption, such as when you apply a sunscreen, which needs to remain on the surface of the</span></em><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"> skin and not penetrate it. Our method allows you to design pharmaceuticals according to the way you want the substance to be absorbed by the skin,” says Hagvall.</span></em><span style="font-size:14px"> </span></div></blockquote> <div>Chemical imaging has until now mainly been used for earth sciences and cellular imaging, but with access to human skin from operations the researchers have come up with thisnew area for the technology. The researchers now also see opportunities opening up for replacing pharmaceutical tests which currently involve animal experiments. Their methods provide more accurate results than tests on mice and pigs. Since it is not permissible to use animals to test cosmetics, this method may also create new opportunities for thecosmetics industry.</div> <div> </div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“Many animal experiments carried out by researchers and companies are no longer necessary as a result of this method. If you want to know something about passive absorption into the human skin, this method is at least as good. It’s better to do your testing on human skin than on a pig,” says Hagvall.</span></em></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><em style="font-size:14px"></em><span style="font-size:14px"></span> </div></blockquote> <div dir="ltr">The new method can also provide a basis for determining the correct limits for harmful levels of substances that may come into contact with the skin. In order to establish those limits, youneed to know how much of the dose on the skin’s surface penetrates into and through the skin, which this method can show. It enhances our knowledge about what we are absorbing in our workplaces and in childcare facilities. </div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><div> <img width="200" height="257" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Per%20Malmberg.jpg" alt="" style="height:171px;width:133px;margin:5px" /><br /><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“Our method can show everything with an image, whether you are looking for </span></em><em style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">nickel, phthalates or parabens in the skin, or if you want to follow the drug’s path through the skin. Withjust a skin sample we can essentially search for any molecules. We don’t need to adapt the method in advance to what we are looking for,” says Malmberg.</span></em><br /></div></blockquote> <div>It will be possible to apply the results in the very near future. The technology itself is ready for use today. There is still a small amount of work left to do in optimising the tests to achieve the best results, but the researchers believe that the method will be ready for use within a year.</div> <div><br /><strong>Facts: </strong><strong>Chemical imaging</strong></div> <div>Chemical imaging involves the use ofa laser or ion beam to analyse the sectionsof skin using a mass spectrometer. Every dot, or pixel, of the section which the beam strikes provides information, which is used to classify the chemicals present in the skin according to molecular weight. The chemical information from each dot can then be combined into a digital image which shows the distribution of a substance in the skin. A time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer (ToF-SIMS), which provides a very high spatial resolution down to the nanometre range, was used in this particular study.</div> <div><br /></div> <p><img width="960" height="641" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Kemikalier%20i%20huden%20avbildas%20med%20ny%20metod/Chemical%20imaging2.png" alt="" style="height:205px;width:322px;margin:5px" /></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>The chemists Lina and Per make samples ready for analysis in the ToF-SIMS. When analyzed, samples are introduced into the test chamber using the test arm as seen in the bottom of the image.</p>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0100 awards to Chalmers corrosion chemist<p><b>​Mohsen Esmaily, researcher at the Inorganic Environmental Chemistry Division has recently received two prestigious awards from the Electrochemical Society and Acta Materialia Inc for cutting-edge research in the field of materials and corrosion science.</b></p><p><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/mohsen-esmaily.aspx">​​Mohsen Esmaily</a> is currently employed as postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical engineering, Division of Energy and Materials at Chalmers University of Technology. He completed his Ph.D. at the same university in Feb. 2016 “The role of Microstructure in the Atmospheric Corrosion of selected Light Alloys and Composites”. The thesis includes 16 peer reviewed journal papers. For the ground breaking results achieved in this thesis he is now given the two prestigious awards. </p> <p>​Mohsen Esmaily showed in his thesis and also later work ways to create much more corrosion resistant magnesium alloys than this far has been possible. This may open up the field for new lightweight magnesium constructions, and thus may in the long run lead to a reduction of harmful emissions.   </p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><p style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">“To make the world a better place is my biggest goal, but along the way I need some support and appreciation so it was really rewarding for me to see that my work was appreciated by the community. I am thinking about all the days, nights, weekends, summers and holidays when I was in the office and in the lab instead of being with my family, with my son. I was happy when I got the awards because I knew that I have made a great contribution. I now feel even more motivated than before to do high quality research, but I also need to have more balance in my life”, says Mohsen Esmaily.</span></p></blockquote> <p>Recently he also, together with leading corrosion scientists from Spain, Germany, Australia, and USA coauthored a 100 pages comprehensive review summarizing decades of Mg corrosion research as well as some new unpublished data. It was published August 2017 in the highly ranked journal <em>Progress in Materials Science</em> with reviewers comments such as “the best review I’ve ever seen in the field of corrosion”, “superior to the majority of previous Mg review articles”, and “a tremendous contribution to the field of Mg corrosion”. The paper is now listed as the second most downloaded review in the journal.</p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><p><span style="font-size:14px">“I was managing the team and we had a (very) tight deadline. That was also a lot of hard work, but I would really suggest such work to other people at my level because at the end of this review I saw the bigger picture of our research, I found many interesting unknowns, and could select much better questions in the field of materials science to answer in the future. Also, I had the chance to interact with many prominent scientist”, says Mohsen Esmaily. </span></p></blockquote> <p>Previously, Mohsen Esmaily’s achievements in the field of light alloys corrosion have been recognized and rewarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and the Wallenberg Foundation. </p> <p><br />Read more about Mohsen Esmaily’s awards and research on the links below.<br /><a href="/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Breakthrough-for-magnesium-lightweight-materials.aspx">Breakthrough for magnesium lightweight materials </a><br /><a href="">2017 Corrosion Division Morris Cohen Graduate Student Award Goes to Moshen Esmaily!</a><br /><a href="">Recipients of the 2016 Acta Student Awards</a></p> <p> </p> <p><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Mohsen%20Esmaily%20text.png" width="250" height="175" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>Image: ASM Award Ceremony- From left: Dr. William E. Frazier  (American Society of Metals (ASM) president), Mohsen Esmaily (Chalmers), and Prof. Christopher Schuh (The Head of Materials Science Department at MIT) <br /><br /></p> <p>  </p>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0100 collisions at a nanoscale<p><b>​​</b></p><p style="font-size:15px"><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/SuMo/Frida%20I%20250.jpg" alt="" style="height:176px;width:155px;margin:5px" /><strong>Hydrophobic surfaces are efficient materials to use for instance for packaging p</strong><strong>urposes. </strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/frida-iselau.aspx">Frida Iselau industrial PhD student</a><strong> <span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">at Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Kemira/AkzoNobel has been studying the fundamental principles of a technique called “Surface sizing”, a method for creating hydrophobic, and thereby more water resistant, paper materials by applying hydrophobic nanoparticles on the paper surface. </span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p style="font-size:15px"><span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"></span></span></span></span> <br />What can you tell us about your research and results?</p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><p style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"><img width="228" height="204" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/dropletonsurface%20340.png" alt="" style="height:207px;width:223px;margin:5px" /></span>For packaging purposes a paper material needs to be hydrophobic in order to withstand water and moist exposure during transportation and storage. In my research I have shown that it is important to control the colloidal behaviour of the particles in order to get an efficient process and this knowledge can be used for a more knowledge-driven product development in the future. Some parts of my research has already been implemented, both in the particle synthesis process and in the application.</span></p></blockquote> <p>You are an industrial PhD student at Kemira and AkzoNobel. How is that compared to be only in academia?</p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><p><span style="font-size:14px">I started as an industrial PhD student at AkzoNobel, but two years after I’ve started my PhD studies the Paper Chemicals division at AkzoNobel was divested to the Finnish chemical company Kemira! Fortunately Kemira found my PhD project interesting and it was no problem for me to continue my project. Actually the global R&amp;D Manager Heidi Fagerholm at Kemira is engaged in my project as a steering group member. So I’m not a typical industry PhD student, but the main difference when I compare with only academia is the advantage to have two work places with great competences in different areas. At Chalmers I have access to advanced instrumentation and very skilled people within chemistry and at the company I have access to more specialized equipment and the experience from my colleagues within my research field. </span>  </p></blockquote> <p>How has your collaboration with SuMo BIOMATERIALS been? What help have you gotten from the centre?</p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><p style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Romain-Bordes.aspx">Romain Bordes </a>has been my supervisor since 2014. He has been very supporting and a great driving force for my project. My main collaborations have been with <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Aleksandar-Matic.aspx">Aleksandar Matic</a> (Chalmers), <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Tuan-Phan-Xuan.aspx">Tuan Phan Xuan</a> (Chalmers) and Mark Nicholas (AstraZeneca). Aleksandar, Tuan and I have two publications together and their expertise within scattering have contributed much to my project. Mark Nicholas is an expert in ToF-SIMS and we have utilized this technique to reveal how the particles are distributed on and in a paper sheet and we have shown that this correlates to the degree of hydrophobization. Another interesting interaction was with StoraEnso. Chris Bonnerup was the opponent of my Licentiate Thesis. Moreover I have had collaborations with Annika Altskär and Erich Schuster and the SuMo seminars and conferences have been very rewarding as well. </span></p></blockquote> <p>What are your plans for after your thesis defence?</p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><p style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">After the defence I will stay at Chalmers for a couple of months, finalize some manuscripts. After that I don’t know, if I want to continue within Kemira I would have to move to Helsinki but as for now I would prefer to stay in the Göteborg area. </span></p> <p style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px"></span> </p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">Image: Kemira</span> </p>Tue, 24 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0200 initiative in process engineering at Chalmers<p><b>​In order to provide new opportunities for research in process engineering, the Chalmers University of Technology Foundation invested SEK 32.2 million in new equipment and personnel. The purchased MRI equipment means unique opportunities for process research.</b></p><p>​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Bengt%20Andersson200.jpg" width="200" height="212" alt="" style="height:182px;width:170px;margin:5px" />During the 1990s process engineering was heavily invested in in Sweden, but lately the focus has been more on developing the product itself than its manufacturing process. With the Chalmers University of Technology Foundation’s initiative for process engineering, new knowledge and new possibilities will be made to streamline the chemical engineering processes. The investment made it possible for the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering to purchase new powerful magnetic resonance imaging equipment, MRI, which can depict non-optically available processes, enabling analyse in detail of what happens when, for example, chemicals are mixed into pulp or when medicine dissolves in stomach acid. Chalmers is one of a handful of universities in the world with similar MRI equipment, and this now give companies like Alfa Laval, AstraZeneca, Tetra Pak, Valmet, SCA, several new opportunities for collaboration with Chalmers in process engineering. </p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><p style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">– With the facility, we will be able to contribute to more efficient use of today's process equipment because we will know more about what actually happens inside the device. We will be able to see what is relevant to improve. It may not be the mechanisms that we today think give effect that actually do, and process equipment can therefore be more expedient, says Bengt Andersson, responsible for the MRI infrastructure.</span></p></blockquote> <p>In multi-phase flow, ie process of material in multiple phases, for example emulsions or blends of liquids and fibres, using traditional methods, it is not possible to directly see what happens. The new MRI gives an opportunity to accurately follow the entire process. For example, in the case of paper pulp bleaching, it is difficult to see how the turbulent mixing occur, where it stands still and where it is most in motion. More knowledge can lead to better materials, but also better utilization of equipment in the process industry.</p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><p style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">– The process industry has noticed that it is not enough only to buy new equipment to progress. They must also look at the equipment they already have and see if it can be used more efficiently. In addition, the materials are becoming so advanced that it is not enough to look at the final composition of the product. You also have to consider how the manufacturing process shapes it, says Professor Bengt Andersson.</span></p></blockquote> <p>In addition to the investment in MRI equipment of SEK 15.4 million over six years, the Foundation's commitment to process engineering also meant that both the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and the Department of Mechanical and Maritime Sciences could employ a new research assistant each.</p> <p><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/mri2700.png" width="750" height="199" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />Text and image: Mats Tiborn</p>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0200