News: Kemi- och bioteknik related to Chalmers University of TechnologyTue, 12 Jan 2021 09:50:29 +0100 contributes to a sustainable food sector<p><b>​Chalmers University of Technology’s contribution to research and development of new solutions for a more sustainable food sector is growing. Through three national centres − FINEST, PAN Sweden and BLUE FOOD − Chalmers researchers will be involved in developing the food of the future.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>The Swedish Research Council Formas give 192 million SEK to four national centres for food research and innovation – and Chalmers is participating in three of these. In close collaborations researchers, industry and other actors, will develop new sustainable food systems in Sweden. This means an increase in production of more nutritious food, while the environmental impact decreases.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">BLUE FOOD</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">BLUE FOOD, centre for the seafood of the future, will result in completely new Swedish seafood products that could play an important role in the ongoing protein shift. This shift means leaving red meat as the primary source of protein for more sustainable and healthy alternatives. Ingrid Undeland, Professor of Food Science at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, will, as the research coordinator, have a central role in BLUE FOOD.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“I hope that BLUE FOOD will contribute to more of our Swedish blue raw materials being processed nationally <span>−</span> and that this will positively influence new job opportunities, competence level, self-sufficiency and profitability in the Swedish fishing and seafood industry,” she says.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">One goal of the centre is that a larger proportion of the wild fish caught in Sweden will be used as food – another is to expand Swedish aquaculture, i.e. the cultivation of, for example, fish, mussels and algae. Today, as much as 85 percent of the wild Swedish-caught wild fish is not used for food, but for low-value products that are later used in animal feed. This includes both small fish species such as herring, and sprat, but also the parts of the fish that remain after the fillet is removed. These species and cutting details need to be better utilised. But technological development is required to succeed.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“My research group has extensive experience from processes that can be used to refine both residual raw materials and small fish species. For almost 20 years, we have used complex marine raw materials to isolate functional proteins, i.e. proteins that can provide structure to food at different levels. This knowledge will be used in the doctoral student project that Food and Nutrition Science at Chalmers will supervise in the centre. When it comes to seafood quality, we also have extensive experience, not least on how to avoid oxidation of the unsaturated marine fats, which otherwise leads to the food becoming rancid and losing nutritional value,” says Ingrid Undeland.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Mehdi Abdollahi and Ann-Sofie Sandberg from the Division of Food and Nutrition Science and Robin Teigland from the Department of Technology Management and Economics (TME) also participate, as artificial intelligence,  AI, and digitalisation in the blue sector are important focus areas in BLUE FOOD. The latter will also form the basis for a PhD-student project in a later stage of the centre.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">FINEST</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">FINEST is a centre for future innovations in a sustainable food system. The centre brings research on sustainability and nutrition, food technology, consumer behaviour, innovation management and system change together. In addition, there is a joint development of methods through the Food Transition Lab run by Rise, and a co-creation platform that will be created within the centre formation.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The centre wants to contribute to innovation in the Swedish food sector by involving actors from all parts of the value chain – to jointly create the best conditions for innovation, contribute to system change and support concrete projects, including berries as raw materials and experimental value chains.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Professor Maria Elmquist at TME, on Chalmers' involvement in FINEST:</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“I will lead a work package together with RISE where we will work with innovation management and study how established players can find new paths to innovation by collaborating in new ways and with new parties. We will recruit a doctoral student with a focus on innovation in the food sector, who will, among other things, work closely with ICA and the Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies (Hushållningssällskapet). The activities in the centre will constitute an exciting research arena and lab environment for us, as we will be able to collaborate and study the participating actors, and easily test new models and tools.”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">PAN SWEDEN</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Efforts to limit the environmental impact from animal-based food are needed to meet the goals of Agenda 2030 but innovations within plant-based proteins options are lagging. Evidence-based knowledge within food processing, consumption and health benefits of plant-based proteins is currently scarce, which limits the necessary further development.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The centre PAN SWEDEN (plant-based proteins for health and wellbeing) will in collaboration with universities, research institutes, the Swedish industry and public sector partners, develop new knowledge and new methods to examine how increased consumption of plant-based proteins affects health and well-being. PAN brings together a unique set of interdisciplinary competence and creates a new infrastructure that integrates research on food, nutrition, technology, medicine and social sciences. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Marie Alminger, Professor of Food and Nutrition Science, is part of PAN’s management team and she will participate in the research with focus on characterisation of plant-based proteins. Among other things, the researchers want to clarify the relationship between processing, structure, bioavailability, digestion of proteins, and how the proteins can affect the intestinal flora and health. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> “We will compare selected plant proteins (model proteins combined with fibre components) with animal foods, in this case chicken. We want to identify raw materials with promising properties that work well in food processes − but also gain knowledge about possibilities and health effects, or risks, that come with increased use of plant-based foods,” she says.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Anna Ström is Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. She is also part of the management of PAN and is responsible for the focus area &quot;Biomolecular signatures in a precision nutrition perspective&quot;. Here, the researchers will work mainly on how plant-based nutrition is absorbed by the body and investigate the processes for uptake of different vegetable proteins in the digestive systems. As a chemist, Anna Ström contributes with the physical chemical aspects and she is particularly interested in exploring one idea with an exciting focus:</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The idea is to develop a sensor that makes it possible to follow how we degrade various plant-based proteins, which could enable us to look directly into the intestinal system. We see a great need for such technical solutions. With the help of AI, the information can be translated into new, important knowledge on the functions of different proteins in our digestive systems,” says Anna Ström.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Another research area to be explored is how the combination of different proteins, and high and low fibre levels in the diet affects us from a nutritional and health perspective.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Read the press release from Formas:</strong> <a href="">Multi-million investment in Swedish centres for food research and innovation​</a></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Tue, 22 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0100 precious zinc from waste ash<p><b>​Incineration of solid waste produces millions of tonnes of waste fly ash in Europe each year, that most commonly ends up in landfill. But this ash often contains significant amounts of precious metals, such as zinc. A unique method developed by researchers at Chalmers can now help extract these precious metals, potentially leading to reductions in environmental pollution, landfill and transport.</b></p><div>​During waste incineration, the released flue gases are purified and the small particles present are separated, leading to the formation of fly ash. This fly ash contains toxic substances, such as dioxins, and so is normally classified as hazardous waste and landfilled. But it also contains valuable metals, such as zinc, which are thereby lost.  But a new method from Chalmers University of Technology, tested at pilot scale and detailed over several years of research, involves treating this waste with an acid wash, also separated from the flue gases, to separate the zinc from the fly ash. The zinc can then be extracted, washed and processed into raw material.  </div> <div> </div> <div>  – In our pilot study, we found that 70 percent of the zinc present in fly ash can be recycled. The zinc is not extracted as a pure metal, which would be a much more intensive process, but instead as a zinc-rich product, which can be sold to the metal industry and processed further in currently existing industry production lines,” says <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/karin-karlfeldt.aspx">Karin Karlfeldt Fedje</a>, Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and researcher at the recycling and waste management company Renova AB.  </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Ash turned into useful material </h2> <div> </div> <div>In further refinement to the method, the researchers have been able to significantly reduce the level of toxicity.  </div> <div> </div> <div>  – After extraction, we incinerate the residual ash again to break down the dioxins. Ninety percent of this is then turned into bottom ash, which can be used as a construction material, for example,” explains Karin Karlfeldt Fedje.  </div> <div> </div> <div>Internationally, the prevalence of waste incineration is varied, but the need to handle large amounts of ash after the process is widespread. In Sweden, incineration of household waste in waste-to-energy plants is common, and results in around 250,000 tonnes of fly ash every year that could potentially be treated in this way. The rest of Europe accounts for around ten times that amount.    </div> <div> </div> <div>Although it is hard to estimate how many tonnes of zinc are currently lost through landfill in Sweden and beyond, the method developed by the Chalmers researchers can be of great interest to all waste management actors. It offers great potential for recovering these metals in a relatively simple way and could have a significant impact on the profitability of waste incineration, as well as its role in the circular economy.  </div> <div> </div> <div>  – The technology for extracting zinc from fly ash could have several positive effects, such as reducing the need for mining virgin zinc raw material, lower levels of toxicity in the ash, and greatly reduced landfill contributions. It can be a vital contribution to society's efforts towards a more circular economy,” says <a href="/en/staff/Pages/sveander.aspx">Sven Andersson</a>, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and R&amp;D Manager at flue gas cleaning supplier Babcock &amp; Wilcox Vølund AB.  </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Applied in full scale in Sweden  </h2> <div> </div> <div>Dividing her time between Chalmers and Renova, Karin Karlfeldt Fedje has spent many years developing the methodology, in collaboration with several external actors. Together with Sven Andersson, they have been able to design a full-scale process. Their research has led to Renova AB and B&amp;W Vølund now building an ash washing facility with zinc recycling in Gothenburg Sweden, an investment that is estimated to save hundreds of thousands of euro every year for the municipally owned waste management company.  </div> <div> </div> <div>Read their scientific article, “<a href="">Zinc recovery from Waste-to-Energy fly ash – A pilot test study</a>”, published in the journal Waste Management. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Catharina Björk</em><br /><br /></div>Tue, 15 Dec 2020 17:00:00 +0100 made it through ERC&#39;s needle’s eye<p><b>​After an extensive process, the two Chemistry researchers Andreas Dahlin and Kasper Moth-Poulsen, have succeeded in receiving the highly regarded consolidation grant from the European Research Council. Their projects may contribute to better treatments of serious diseases and to develop emission-free energy systems with new materials, that could also be developed faster.</b></p><div>​Two very satisfied researchers have recently received the good news. Both describe an extremely thorough application procedure, which they are now noticeably relieved to have made it through.</div> <div> </div> <div>“This is one of the main grants you can get as a researcher where your project is examined exceptionally hard. It is a very special feeling to have succeeded”, says Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.</div> <div> </div> <div>“You don´t get such a tough and valuable evaluation anywhere else. It feels very good to have made it all the way” says Andreas Dahlin, Associate professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">New tool to be used by biologists around the world</h2> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/ERC%20Andreas%20kasper/Andreas_Dahlin_320x320.jpg" alt="" style="height:180px;width:180px;margin:5px" />The major goal for Andera Dahlin's project &quot;SIMONANO2&quot; (Single Molecule Analysis in Nanoscale Reaction Chambers 2), is to develop a new technology to study how biological molecules interact with each other. It aims to create a new platform that makes it possible to analyze individual proteins better.</div> <div> </div> <div>“With the methods we use today, it is difficult to carry out experiments on individual biomolecules, in a reliable and non-invasive way, especially when it comes to physiological conditions. This is especially true for proteins because they are more fragile” says Andreas Dahlin</div> <div> </div> <div>Once developed in this project, the nanoscale reaction chambers can become a tool used by biologists worldwide, which will advance our understanding of life on the molecular level and provide crucial benefits in biotechnology. In the long run, it can mean better and more effective treatments for various diseases that are difficult to treat and where proteins are clumped together. Examples of those are Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Materials that convert energy from various fossil-free sources into heat and cold and exploration of the future chemistry laboratory </h2> <div><div>In Kasper Moth-Poulsen's project &quot;PHOTOTHERM&quot; (Photo Thermal Management Materials), the researchers <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/ERC%20Andreas%20kasper/Kasper_Moth_Poulsen_320x320.jpg" alt="" style="height:190px;width:190px;margin:5px" />want to develop new materials that can capture light such as solar energy and other fossil-free energy sources around us, and convert it to both heat or cold in emission-free systems. This ability will be achieved by combining two different thermal systems with unique qualities MOST (Molecular Solar Energy System) and Phase change materials (PCM). The research is connected to other research that Kasper and his group are working on, but an important distinguishing part of this project is that the researchers also plan to develop the method for producing the materials and ask themselves the question &quot;how can the future chemistry laboratory look like?&quot;.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Developing new materials takes a lot of time. In this project, we want to investigate how we can speed up that process. In collaboration with Chalmers Research Center (CHAIR), we plan to design an automated laboratory with robots and AI” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen.</div> <div> </div> <div>He emphasizes the great need for method development in material production by comparing it with a similar automation process in the pharmaceutical industry, which has made fast development of vaccine for covid-19 possible.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Long journey to get the highly regarded grant</h2> <div>Receiving a consolidation grant from the ERC involves a long and demanding process that needs to be done at the right time. It can´t be longer than 12 years since the researchers PHD and not shorter than 7 years. Kasper Moth-Poulsen and Andreas Dahlin have both applied before and sees that as a crucial factor to that they are now receiving the grant. They share a useful tip to all colleagues - do not wait until the last chance!</div> <div> </div> <div>More on <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Andreas-Dahlin.aspx">Andreas Dahlin</a></div> <div>More on <a href="/en/staff/Pages/kasper-moth-poulsen.aspx">Kasper-Moth-Poulsen</a></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Press release from the European Research Council</h2> <div><a href="">Consolidator Grants 2020</a></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on European Research Council consolidation grants</h2> <div>The grant is meant to go to prominent researchers of different nationalities and ages, with a scientific track record showing great promise and an excellent research proposal. Up to 2 million Euros for 5 years can be awarded.</div></div>Wed, 09 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 want’s to capture and store energy in new material<p><b>​Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, has been awarded the Swedish Research Council&#39;s consolidation grant of 12 million for 2020 - 2026. The grant will be used to explore a new material that can both store solar energy and absorb energy from the environment and release it as heat.</b></p><p>​“It feels great, I'm both happy and proud, especially since this is a grant that you can only apply for every other year in very high competition” says <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/kasper-moth-poulsen.aspx">Kasper Moth-Poulsen</a></p> <p>The research that will be funded by the grant is similar to the solar energy system MOST (Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage Systems), which Kasper and his group have been working on for many years, and has attracted a great deal of attention around the world. But the new project is about developing the knowledge further and differs in several crucial ways. Now the researchers will work in systems with solid substances instead of in liquids as in MOST, and the material will be able to do several things at once.</p> <p>“We want to investigate whether it is possible to create a new material that can both store the sun's energy and absorb the energy or heat from the surroundings. In short, you might say that the overall purpose is to try to handle heat and, also cooling in a completely new way” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen.</p> <p>The material that the researchers are investigating must be sustainable and contribute to new emission-free solutions in energy storage.<br /></p> <p>In addition to Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Victor Torres Company at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience was also awarded a consolidation grant from the Swedish Research Council.</p> <p><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Prestigious-funding-for-photonic-research-from-The-Swedish-Research-Council.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Prestigious funding for photonic research from The Swedish Research Council​​</a><br /></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More about Kasper-Moth Poulsen </h2> <div>Kasper Moth-Poulsen is Professor and Head of Division at Applied Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and works with research in the field of nano chemistry and new materials for energy capture and storage and synthetic chemistry. He has received several different grants and awards for his research, such as ERC starting grant, SSF future research leaders grant, Wallenberg Academy Fellow Grant and a scholarship from HM King Carl XVI Gustaf's Foundation for Science, Technology, for his work with the solar energy system MOST.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the consolidator grants</a><br />    </div> <div>Text: Jenny Holmstrand</div>Fri, 04 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 scholarship for research on recycling lithium-ion batteries<p><b>​Nathália Vieceli, postdoc at Industrial Materials Recycling, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering was recently awarded the Environmental Scholarship of the company Renova, for her research on more sustainable methods to recycle lithium-ion batteries</b></p><div>​Beneath she comments on how the scholarship makes a difference on her work in finding more sustainable solutions in a highly topical and important research field.  </div> <div> </div> <div>“The Renova Environmental Scholarship is an incentive to keep looking for recycling ideas that promote a circular and more sustainable model for lithium-ion batteries. This scholarship may help to fund conferences, courses, or others, to support me to keep working on the use of solvent extraction to selectively recovery metals from lithium-ion batteries. I want to focus on more environmentally-friendly alternatives and on the optimization of the process to maximize the recovery of metals and reduce the use of energy and reagents in the process.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Extract in English of Renova´s press release </h2> <div>Nathália Vieceli is researching on recycling metals from spent lithium-ion batteries at Chalmers in Gothenburg. There are essentially two methods for this. Pyrometallurgy, which is based on combustion. It is a stable method but requires large amounts of energy and normally some metals are lost in the process, such as lithium. Nathália Vieceli works to develop and refine the second method - hydrometallurgy - where the metals are instead dissolved in acid and extracted into various solvents. By experimenting with different parameters, she wants to find a process that requires as little energy and solvent as possible.</div> <div> </div> <div>In the press release she comments on the method: </div> <div>“An advantage is that you get the metals out with very high purity and content. The first step now is to extract manganese. Then the turn goes to cobalt, nickel and lithium” she comments in the press release and continues:</div> <div>“It is also important that the recycling process itself is sustainable, she points out. This method requires significantly less energy than combustion and we can use the same solvent over and over again” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Renova's scholarship is SEK 100,000 and was awarded to Nathália Vieceli at Renova's sustainability seminar in Gothenburg on 14 October.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">Whole press release in Swedish</a></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/nathalia-vieceli.aspx">More on Nathália Vieceli</a></div>Mon, 26 Oct 2020 00:00:00 +0100 shuttlecock on its way to the world cup<p><b>​The Badminton World Federation (BWF) uses test methods developed at Chalmers to show that synthetic balls can replace shuttlecocks. Chalmers&#39; test method is currently being used to produce balls for the World Cup.</b></p>​Shuttlecocks used in major competitions such as the Olympics and the World Cup have long been made of goose feathers. The aerodynamic properties have been considered superior to those shuttles made of synthetic material, especially in smash and net games, but that is changing. <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Challenges with traditional shuttlecocks </h2> <div>Shuttles made of goose feathers require a large amount of needlework and are made in Asia, often under doubtful working conditions. The feathers are harvested, cleaned and sorted according to length and angle, then they are fixed in a shuttlecock which is tested with many manual operations during all manufacturing steps. The shuttlecocks also require careful handling. They must be stored in regulated humidity and temperature to maintain their performance. Another problem is that they have a relatively short life in games. Manufacturers are now looking for alternatives with shuttles made of synthetic material. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Manufacturers in need of scientific tests </h2> <div>The test methods used for shuttlecocks uses professional players who have smashed the shuttlecocks a certain number of times and they have also tested games by the net to assess ball paths. The method works acceptably for shuttlecocks, but when synthetic balls were to be tested, one began to realize that the methods were too subjective. A more scientific approach was desired. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Christer Forsgren" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/M2/Nyheter/Christer_Forsgren_170x220.jpg" style="margin:5px" />BWF started looking for solutions and talked to the company that tests shuttlecocks for them, Polyfor AB. It’s run by former elite player Christer Forsgren. He studied chemical engineering at Chalmers and has been active for seven years as an adjunct professor of industrial materials recycling at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Through his company, he has tested and approved balls for BWF for about 35 years. For Christer Forsgren, the contact with Chalmers was his first choice. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“Research in fluid dynamics and Chalmers' investment in sports technology is a good combination for developing test methods&quot; says Christer Forsgren. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>The contact with Chalmers resulted in a research project that BWF decided to fund. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Tests in Chalmers’ Laboratory of Fluids and Thermal Sciences </h2> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Valery Chernoray" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/M2/Nyheter/Valery%20Chernoray_I0A5484_170x170px.jpg" style="margin:5px" />Valery Chernoray is a research professor at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences and led the project with testing, that was performed by Satheesh Kaviladhikarakunnathu Puthanveeti, a former masters student at Chalmers. Valery says that they figured out and tested many different variants of test methods. They summarized everything in a report that BWF now uses to show that Chalmers' methods work, are objective and based on science and research. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“We have developed reliable methods for testing two performance characteristics that interest BWF. One is smash resistance or shot resistance which can be described as durability during repeated smashes and tumbling which is about performance in net games” says Valery Chernoray. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>The rig built at Chalmers can simulate smashes up to 200 km / h. A professional racket is mounted on a carbon fibre arm that is driven by springs that are pulled up with a winch. The shuttles are held in place using a thin plastic tube and vacuum. The smashes are then filmed with a high-speed camera.</div> <div> </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="​Shuttlecock and racket" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/M2/Nyheter/badminton%20test.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:304px;height:231px" />&quot;With help from the films, we first check that the shuttle is smashed in a correct way and then we calculate the smashing speed. After each smash, we photograph the ball and measure how far the ball has flown to see if the damage to the ball has affected the performance. After ten smashes, the shuttles are packed and sent to RISE, Sweden’s research institute​, for material testing&quot; says Valery Chernoray. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>For tumbling, they use a stationary ball and an angled racket that moves along an angled path. The test shuttles are filmed with a high-speed camera and the images are processed to calculate how many times the balls tumble. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The manufacturers work in the direction of synthetic shuttlecocks </h2> <div>All major manufacturers such as Yonex and Mizuno are now working intensively towards synthetic shuttles and the synthetic shuttles produced today are much better than a few years ago and are considered very good by both professional players and test teams. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“They are still a bit too fragile and can only handle two to four powerful smashes from the strongest elite players. But they could already be approved for, for example, Junior World Cup games” says Valery Chernoray. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>Christer Forsgren explains the two shortcomings in today's synthetic shuttles. One is smash resistance. The shuttle becomes soft and does not return to its original shape fast enough, which is why it does not brake enough in the air for the smash to be returned. The second limitation is tumbling at nets. If the player hits the impact part, the cork, with the racket a little crooked, the shuttle can start to tumble, which makes it difficult to hit the shuttle towards the baseline with a controlled hit. But Christer Forsgren is hopeful that the synthetic shuttlecocks will be used. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“I'm a little doubtful about if there will be synthetic shuttles for the Olympics in Paris 2024, but I think there will be synthetic shuttles in the Olympics in Los Angeles 2028” says Christer Forsgren.​</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Read more</h2> <div><a href="/en/departments/m2/news/Pages/The-world%27s-fastest-ball-game-to-become-synthetic.aspx">The world's fastest ball game to become synthetic​</a></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/m2/news/Pages/The-world%27s-fastest-ball-game-to-become-synthetic.aspx"></a><a href="/en/departments/m2/simulator-labs/labs/chalmerswindtunnels/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmers Laboratory of Fluids and Thermal Science​</a><br /><a href="/en/centres/sportstechnology/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmers Sports &amp; Technology​</a><br /></div>Tue, 13 Oct 2020 14:00:00 +0200 research into solar energy in EU-project<p><b>​Over the last few years, a specially designed molecule and an energy system with unique abilities for capturing and storing solar power have been developed by a group of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Now, an EU project led by Chalmers will develop prototypes of the new technology for larger scale applications, such as heating systems in residential houses. The project has been granted 4.3 million Euros from the EU.</b></p><div>In order to make full use of solar energy, we need to be able to store and release it on demand. In several scientific articles over the last few years, a group of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated how their specially designed molecule and solar energy system, named MOST (Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage System), can offer a solution to that challenge and become a<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Kasper%20Moth-Poulsen%20MOST/Kasper_Moth_Poulsen_labb-320-x-350-A.gif" alt="" style="height:207px;width:230px;margin:5px" /> vital tool in the conversion to fossil-free energy.<br />The technology has generated great interest worldwide. With the MOST system, solar energy can be captured, stored for up to 18 years, transported without any major losses, and later released as heat when and where it is needed. The results achieved in the lab by the researchers are clear, but now more experience is needed to see how MOST can be used in real applications and at a larger scale.</div> <div>“The goal for this EU-project is to develop prototypes of MOST technology to verify potential for large-scale production, and to improve functionality of the system,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen, coordinator of the project, and Professor and research leader at the Department for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Pushing towards products for real applications</h2> <div>Within the project, the technology will be developed to become more efficient, less expensive and greener, thereby pushing towards products that can be used for real applications. Strong research teams from universities and institutes in Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany will connect and work together.</div> <div>“A very exciting aspect of the project is how we are combining excellent interdisciplinary research in molecule design along with knowledge in hybrid technology for energy capture, heat-release and low-energy building design,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Using the molecule in blinds and windows</h2> <div>Advances in the development of MOST technology have so far exceeded all expectations. The first, very simple – yet successful – demonstrations took place in Chalmers’ laboratories. Among other things, the researchers used the technology in a window film to even out the temperature on sunny and hot days and create a more pleasant indoor climate. Outside the EU project, application of the molecule in blinds and windows has begun, through the spin-off company Solartes AB.  </div> <div> “With this funding, the development we can now do in the MOST project may lead to new solar driven and emissions-free solutions for heating in residential and industrial applications. This project is heading into a very important and exciting stage,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More about: The function of the MOST technology </h2> <div>The technology is based on a specially designed molecule which when hit by sunlight changes shape into an energy-rich isomer – a molecule made up of the same atoms but arranged together in a different way. The isomer can then be stored for later use when needed, such as at night or in winter. The researchers have refined the system to the point that it is now possible to store the energy for up to 18 years. A specially designed catalyst releases the saved energy as heat while returning the molecule to its original shape, so it can then be reused in the heating system.</div> <div>Earlier press releases about MOST:</div> <div>•    <a href="">Window film could even out the indoor temperature using solar energy</a></div> <div>•    <a href="">Emissions-free energy system saves heat from the summer sun for winter</a></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More about: The EU project</h2> <div>The EU project, which is also named Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage Systems, will extend over 3.5 years and has been allocated 4.3 million Euros. Partners in the project Include: Chalmers University of Technology, University of Copenhagen, University of Rioja, Fraunhofer Institute, ZAE Bayern and Johnson Matthey. At Chalmers, researchers from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering will participate.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More about: Great impact and attention globally</h2> <div>As the Chalmers researchers have published their results, interest in MOST has grown all over the world. In the last 18 months, over 400 articles about MOST have been published in international media. CNN, the BBC, and Bloomberg are just a few examples of major news outlets that have published features and interviews with Kasper Moth Poulsen.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Funding from the European Union</h2> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Kasper%20Moth-Poulsen%20MOST/flag_yellow_low_100px.jpg" alt="" style="height:49px;width:70px;margin:0px 5px" />This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 951801.<br /> </div>Mon, 05 Oct 2020 00:00:00 +0200 at Chalmers helped with a new Alfie Atkins book<p><b>​&quot;Alfons Åberg undersöker och experimenterar&quot;, is the Swedish title of a new theme book with very well-known book character Alfie Atkins. It is intended to introduce children of preschool age to chemistry, in a joyful way. Staff at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers have been involved in the books production process.</b></p><p>​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Alfons%20Åberg/Alfonsbok%20350%20x%20350.jpg" alt="" style="height:215px;width:215px;margin:5px 0px" />“To get children curios about chemistry at an early age is in the long run very positive also for the work we do – higher education and research. It was both fun and natural for us to help with this” says Leif Åhman, head of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.</p> <p>Apart from Leif Åhman, Per Thorén, Per Lincoln and Jerker Mårtensson from the Chemistry department, have also been helping in the making of the book. They emphasize that the publisher Josefin Svenske has done the major work, and that they have mostly been a support for her, in among other things a discussion about the basic idea and with their expert knowledge in chemistry. Per Lincoln, has for example been checking the facts.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Sticky and fun experiment book</h2> <div>&quot;Alfons Åberg undersöker och experimenterar&quot; is designed, after Gunilla Bergström's book character Alfons Åberg. It introduces the reader to basic chemical concepts and the experiments in the book can be done with things that most people already have at home. Josefin Svenske, publisher at Rabén &amp; Sjögren describes the idea behind it:</div> <div>“The word 'Why?' is a central word in a child's vocabulary but it is equally important for a chemist and a researcher. We want to pay tribute to this. This is a sticky and fun experiment book. If you want to learn more about density, gas and molecules you can find it too, in this book.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Alfie Atkins and chemistry - a successful partnership for several years</h2> <div>The character Alfie Atkins and chemistry have been a concept for preschool children since 2015, when Chalmers and The Alfie Atkins Cultural Centre in Gothenburg, created the playful chemistry lesson &quot;Kemi med Alfons Åberg&quot; (Chemistry with Alfie Atkins). The activity has since then been an annual recurring activity.</div> <div>  </div> <div>“We have noticed an enormous interest in 'Kemi med Alfons Åberg' since the start and this spring when we had to switch over to a digital event, we reached out even further. Schools from all over Sweden and one from one of our neighboring countries signed up. It was a record-breaking participation” says Per Thorén, chemist and project manager for Chalmers' part in the collaboration.</div> <div> </div> <div>Illustrations, top image and in the article @ Bok-Makaren.</div> <p>  </p> <div><a href="">Mer om den nya boken Alfons Åberg undersöker och experimenterar på förlagets webbplats</a>  (only in Swedish)<br /><a href="">Mer om Kemi med Alfons Åberg på Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus webbplats</a> (only in Swedish)</div> <div> </div>Thu, 20 Aug 2020 00:00:00 +0200 researchers are probing the properties of new green solvents<p><b>​Researchers in the Industrial Materials Recycling unit at Chalmers University of Technology have done experiments, that can provide a key to unlock the innermost secrets of a new class of green and sustainable solvents – Deep eutectic solvents (DES). The new experimental method was recently presented in the scientific journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.</b></p><p>​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Gröna%20lösningsmedel/Mark%20Foreman%20320%20x%20400.jpg" alt="" style="height:253px;width:200px;margin:5px" />“After this work, it feels like we have got special glasses which allow us to see clearly things which previously were blurred shadows”; says Mark Foreman, Associate Professor in Nuclear Chemistry/Industrial Materials Recycling.</p> <p>To move towards a more sustainable society we need to detoxify industrial processes and products, by replacing harmful substances with safer alternatives. The experiments presented in the study can now provide us with a new ability to create these alternatives. For a relatively very small investment, the experiment required for the study, could be done in many university chemistry departments.  </p> <p>“We hope that our experimental method becomes a standard experiment for probing existing green solvents and new ones”, continues Mark Foreman.</p> <p>The study is an important breakthrough for understanding deep eutectic solvents (DES). DES has been known for some time as a promising environmentally friendly alternative, and could, for example, be used to recycle waste such as batteries into valuable products without using hazardous reagents. Up to know DES have not been very well understood. Together with an adjunct professor Kastriot Spahiu from Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB), Mark Foreman and his group has now been able to gain a new deep insight into the new solvents which will greatly increase our ability to understand them and apply them to new problems.</p> <p> </p> <div>Contact: <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/foreman.aspx">Mark Foreman </a>Associate Professor in Nuclear Chemistry/Industrial Materials Recycling </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the scientific paper </h2> <div>The article “<a href="">Metal extraction from a deep eutectic solvent, an insight into activities</a>” was published in </div> <div>the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics is written by Peng Cen, Kastriot Spahiu, Mikhail S. Tyumentsev and Mark R. St. J. Foreman</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Facts: research background step by step </h2> <div>Almost twenty years ago Andrew Abbott in Leicester  published the idea of using mixtures of choline chloride with benign substances such as urea to make new solvents, these are the deep eutectic solvents. The group at Leicester have shown that they can use these new solvents to plate silver  onto copper, chromium  and electropolish stainless steel  without using any of the hazardous reagents such as cyanide and chromates which are often used in the metal finishing industry. Their metal finishing is truly miraculous in terms of greening the metal finishing sector.</div> <p> </p> <p>In 2013 with the COLABATS EU project Mark Foreman at Chalmers started to work both with the Leicester electrochemists and others on the use of DES for the recycling of batteries.  It was recognized during the project that while the DES solvents can be used to recycle waste into valuable products and perform other useful tasks in an environmentally friendly way sadly these solvents were not well understood. We knew they do wonderful things but not how they did these things.</p> <p>While working at Chalmers, in Mark Foreman´s research group the doctoral student Peng Cen was able to develop this work further to allow key parameters for these new liquids to be measured by a relatively simple experiment. This experimental work would has now proved to be able to reduce greatly the number of experiments which would be needed for the rational design of a new process or product using one of the new solvents. The work was also done together with an adjunct professor Kastriot Spahiu from Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB SKB. </p> <div> </div>Thu, 02 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200 material to protect us from various pandemics<p><b>​A new material that can kill bacteria has now shown early promise in de-activation of viruses, including certain coronaviruses. The material, developed by researchers at Chalmers, is now being evaluated against SARS-CoV-2, which causes covid-19.</b></p><div>​The novel material, recently presented in a doctoral thesis, has proven to be very effective in killing common infection causing bacteria, including those that are resistant to antibiotics such as MRSA and a E. coli superbugs.<br /></div> <div>The basis of the research is a unique and patented technology where microbe-killing peptides are combined with a nanostructured material. So far, it has been targeted towards bacteria, but with the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the researchers started a study to <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Amferia/porträtt_martin_320%20x%20400.jpg" alt="" style="height:229px;width:180px;margin:5px" />understand if the material would work against the virus. <br /><br />“Similar peptides that we work with have previously shown to be effective against various other coronaviruses, including those that have caused the outbreaks of SARS and MERS. Our premise is that the antimicrobial effect of our peptides seen on bacteria can be also be used to inactivate the coronavirus, says Martin Andersson”, research leader and professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.<br /> </div> <div>Tests with the new material on another human coronavirus has shown promising early results where the material deactivated 99.9 percent of the virus. The researchers now see great potential for it to work on SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19. They have initiated collaboration with researchers, based in Gothenburg University/ Sahlgrenska Academy, with access to the SARS-Cov-2.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Can be produced in various forms - mimics the body's immune system</h2> <div>The material can be produced in many different forms such as surface treatments and as small particles. When microbes such as bacteria and viruses come in contact with the material surface, they are rapidly killed, and further spread is prevented. The material can easily be adapted for use in personal protective equipment such as face masks and medical devices including respirators and intubation tubes. This way, the material may offer reliable protection against the current and future pandemics. The researchers see it as valuable technology for our efforts towards pandemic preparedness.<br />   </div> <div>“A surface layer of our new material on face masks would not only stop the passage of the virus but also reduce the risk that it can be transported further, for example when the mask is removed and thus reduce the spread of infection”, explains Martin Andersson.<br />  </div> <div>The strategy is to imitate how the body's immune system fights infectious microbes. Immune cells in our body produce different types of peptides that selectively damage the outer shell of bacteria and viruses. The mechanism is similar to the effect that soap and water has on bacteria and viruses, although, the peptides have higher selectivity and are efficient while totally harmless to human cells. A major advantage is that the way the material works provides a high flexibility and gives it a low sensitivity to mutations. Unlike vaccines, the peptides continue to inactivate the virus even if it mutates. The idea behind the research is to make us less vulnerable and better prepared when the next pandemic comes.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Connection between the ongoing pandemic and antibiotic resistance</h2> <div>As covid-19 unfolds, another healthcare threat, what many call the “silent pandemic” caused by antibiotic resistance has been ongoing for decades. According to WHO, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to humanity. Without drastic action, estimates show that more people are likely to die of bacterial infections than cancer by 2050. Unfortunately, there is a worrying link between the ongoing pandemic and antibiotic resistance. Many covid-19 patients develop secondary bacterial infections which must be treated with antibiotics. According to the researchers, the new material may prove efficient for preventing both the viral and bacterial infections. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Meant to protect health care personnel and individuals</h2> <div>To enable societal benefit from the new technology, the researchers started a company, Amferia AB, with support from Chalmers Innovation Office and Chalmers Ventures. Amferia is based at Astrazeneca BioVentureHub in Mölndal, Sweden.</div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Amferia/porträtt_saba_320%20x%20400.jpg" width="320" height="400" alt="" style="height:244px;width:190px;margin:5px" /><br />Earlier this year, Saba Atefyekta defended her PhD at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers. She presented the new material in her doctoral thesis titled &quot;Antibacterial Surfaces for Biomedical Applications&quot;. Saba is one of the founders of Amferia and the company's research manager<br />   </div> <div>“If we are not going to meet a dark future, we must prevent infections from happening. We believe that the materials we develop can help prevent future infections and thus reduce the use of antibiotics, so that we can continue to use these life-protecting medicines in the future”, says Saba Atefyekta</div> <div> </div> <div>When the antiviral effect of the material on the SARS-CoV-2 is confirmed, the next step is to make it rapidly available to protect both healthcare professionals and the general public.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>Text: Jenny Jernberg</div> <div>Portrait photo  Saba Atefyekta: Mats Hulander<span style="display:inline-block"></span></div> <br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Complementary fresh news about Amferia</h2> <div>Tuseday 30 June it was announced that Amferia has been selected as a “one to watch” in this year’s Spinoff Prize, which is organized by Nature Research and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.</div> <div> </div></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div>Mon, 29 Jun 2020 00:00:00 +0200 technology to give more healthcare<p><b>​Major challenges await Swedish healthcare and the need for new technology to solve them is urgent. Diagnostics is one of the pieces of the puzzle. The healthcare system as a whole, as well as individual patients, can benefit from for example AI and precision diagnostics.</b></p><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/health/news/Pages/Working-to-reach-new-diagnostics.aspx"><em>This article is linked to these examples of Chalmers research in the diagnostics area.</em></a><br /><br />Let us begin by emphasising that no, this is not yet another coronavirus article. Even if most every aspect of healthcare and diagnostics in the first half of 2020 has been about Covid-19, naturally there are many other challenges and future development projects for Swedish healthcare, both pre- and post-corona.</span><div><br /></div> <div>There is no question that Swedish healthcare is at the threshold of a major transition. Patient queues, overfilled emergency wards, primary care reforms and lack of staffing flit past our eyes daily in the news flow. Perhaps most of it can be boiled down to one question: Has healthcare become too good?</div> <div> </div> <div>“We can achieve more and more, at ever-increasing ages and with better and better precision,” says Peter Gjertsson, Area Manager at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. He is responsible for Area 4, which includes radiology, clinical physiology and all the laboratories – the majority of the hospital’s diagnostics. </div> <div>“But medical advances and the increasing numbers of elderly people in the population also lead to greater need for medical care. Now we need to turn to technology to help us. We cannot just keep working as we’ve done previously, we need technological solutions that allow us to do more with the same resources.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">AI makes diagnostics accurate and saves resources</h2> <div>A clear example of such a solution is AI and diagnostic imaging. If a computer can interpret images using artificial intelligence, the radiologist gets a pre-sorted selection to review; images in which the computer has already identified potential problems. This makes diagnostics more accurate, faster and more efficient. </div> <div>“We also see a development in which technology allows patients to manage more of their measuring and diagnostics at home,” Gjertsson says. “The patients become experts on their own illness, which is an advantage for the individual and saves healthcare resources.”</div> <div>He makes sure to point out that those who cannot use the new technology for whatever reason will still be taken care of with more traditional means.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Precision medicine is another burgeoning field. When genetic diagnostics can point out disease and diagnostic imaging identifies the problem area, treatments can be tailored to the individual.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Health research nearly all over Chalmers</h2> <div>Chalmers and Sahlgrenska University Hospital have collaborated closely for many years. Researchers from the two institutions have developed advanced medical engineering products, established new knowledge as the basis for better pharmaceuticals and conducted research on environments and architecture in healthcare. In fact, 12 of Chalmers’ 13 departments are conducting health-related research in a wide array of fields.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>It became clear just how multifaceted the research was when Chalmers catalogued all of its research projects in preparation for starting up its new Area of Advance, Health Engineering. The new Area of Advance aims to build a common thread through research at Chalmers, linking it with external partners. It opened its doors in January. <br /><br /></div> <div>“As we did an inventory of our research, we conducted interviews at every department and realised that many issues in the field of health were shared across department boundaries,” says Ann-Sofie Cans, Associate Professor at Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Director of the Health Engineering Area of Advance.</div> <div>“Expertise is in demand, internally and externally, and as it turns out, Chalmers has a lot of it.” </div> <div>Cans thinks Chalmers researchers have developed a habit of working in “silos” for far too long.</div> <div>“Now we’re going to start up activities in which our over 200 health-related researchers at Chalmers can get to know each other, and also increase our external collaborations.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Collaboration in Chalmers’ AI centre</h2> <div>One field of collaboration that has already taken steps forward is AI. In December 2019, Sahlgrenska University Hospital signed on as a partner in the Chalmers AI Research Centre, CHAIR. In practical terms, the partnership agreement is a commitment of at least five years, with jointly funded research in AI for health and healthcare. The partners have carved out several challenges that take priority. One of them is diagnostics. With AI, computer systems can process huge amounts of data – measurements, text, images – and learn to recognise symptoms.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Fredrik Johansson, Assistant Professor at Chalmers’ Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is the bridge between the Health Engineering Area of Advance, CHAIR and SU. He and his counterpart at SU are developing a joint research agenda. </div> <div>“Although we have worked together previously, we can coordinate our efforts by partnering within the Area of Advance and CHAIR,” he says. “For example, we can see if several researchers are actually working towards the same goal, so we can improve efficiency and find synergies.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Searching for patterns in patient groups</h2> <div>Johansson himself is coordinating a project in which students use collected data about patients with Alzheimer’s disease to have AI search for patterns. Alzheimer’s disease has many different forms of expression and is currently diagnosed using cognitive testing – things like memory tests.</div> <div>“We know that Alzheimer’s patients have plaques that form in the brain. But some patients develop severe symptoms while others don’t, despite having equally extensive plaques. Why is that? We want to develop a tool that can provide a comprehensive look at the patient to determine the cause of the differences. We are looking at factors that can be measured when they are diagnosed, and that can also be monitored over time. The idea is primarily to be able to predict how the disease can be expected to develop, but perhaps in the long term we will also be able to develop a tool that can diagnose subgroups of Alzheimer’s patients.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>There are plans for a shared infrastructure and also for training initiatives. One example is training in ethical review, which has been requested by many Chalmers researchers who have not had to work with this before, and which is of course important in healthcare.</div> <div>“We may need to train our staff in this,” Johansson says. “And vice versa, we are also talking about AI training for researchers at SU.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">“We’re here to support them”</h2> <div>Ann-Sofie Cans points out that Chalmers is also supporting the new innovation training course for clinicians that was recently started at SU.</div> <div>“Sahlgrenska wants doctors to be versed in a variety of technologies. We can help them to find the right people to hold a lecture or arrange a study visit, like the one this spring on AI and 3D printing,“ she says.</div> <div>“The healthcare system is realising more and more that they need the skills of engineers – and we’re here to support them. If no one uses our solutions, then they won’t benefit anyone.”</div> <div><br /> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">ABOUT: Chalmers’ Health Engineering Area of Advance</h2> <div>Chalmers’ new Area of Advance covers 12 departments and is organised in five profile areas:<br /><br /></div> <div>• Digitalisation, big data and AI</div> <div>• Infection, drug delivery and diagnostics</div> <div>• Prevention, lifestyle and ergonomics</div> <div>• Medical engineering</div> <div>• Systems and built environments for health and care</div> <div><br /></div> <div>These profile areas were defined based on the research represented at Chalmers, but they have also proven to serve as valuable access points to the university.</div> <div><br />In addition to Sahlgrenska University Hospital, the external partners include the Faculty of Science and the Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, the Västra Götaland region, the AstraZeneca Bioventure Hub, the University of Borås and Sahlgrenska Science Park.<br /><br /></div> <div>The Area of Advance and the partnerships embrace not only research but also education. Chalmers and SU have started a pilot project with a joint graduate school in biomedical engineering. In the long term, it is possible that doctoral students accepted to the programme will be able to earn double degrees. Chalmers has also created the new Biomedical Engineering bachelor’s programme, in which the first students will start this autumn.<br /><br /></div> <div>The Health Engineering Area of Advance has defined three social challenges of focus, in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: <em>Changed population and new diseases</em>, <em>Increased need for healthcare in a society with limited resources</em> and <em>Health, climate and sustainability.</em></div> <div><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br /><br /></div> <div><em>Caption to the picture of the operating theatre:</em></div> <div><div><em>The operating theatre in the Imaging and Intervention Centre at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, fully equipped with nearly 400 medical engineering products for imaging-supported diagnostics or treatment. This is one of the most high-tech, advanced surgical wards in Sweden. There are several so called hybrid theatres in the building, where surgery and diagnostic imaging can be done in the same room. </em></div> <div><em>This year Chalmers’ MedTech West research centre is establishing a collaborative laboratory in the Imaging and Intervention Centre. Clinical trials in microwave-based diagnostics and magnetoencephalography (MEG) are planned to start in 2021.</em></div></div> <div><br /> </div> <div><a href="">This text is republished from Chalmers Magasin no. 1, 2020​</a> (in Swedish).</div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/health/news/Pages/Working-to-reach-new-diagnostics.aspx">Read related article with examples of Chalmers research in the area of diagnostics here.</a></div> <div>​<br /></div>Wed, 24 Jun 2020 16:00:00 +0200 in leadership attracted Chemistry and Chemical Engineering&#39;s new Head<p><b>​Hanna Härelind is new head of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Development of the workplace culture, increasing internal collaboration and strategies to preserve strong research are important focus that she sees ahead in her new role, which she will assume in September.​</b></p>​​<span style="background-color:initial">When it was decided that the Department’s current head Leif Åhman would retire, it was obvious for Hanna Härelind to apply for the position. Her interest in leadership issues was the main reason for her to apply, and it is also the area where she considers herself to have the greatest potential. She brings a long career at Chalmers into her job. She has gradually entered new roles, collaborations, networks and gained broader and deeper insight and outlook, both internally and externally.<br /><br /></span><div>“I think that my experience from many different parts of the department's activities - education, teaching and research - is a big advantage in this job. Especially now when Chalmers is in a special position, with both covid-19 and Finances in balance”.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Culture in a workplace – important to work on </h2> <div>Hanna Härelind thinks that the fact that she will be the first woman to be head of Chemistry is important primarily as a role model to others. She does not believe that gender makes a difference for the leadership of the department. She does not, however, hide the fact that gender equality and equal treatment are issues very close to her and that developing and to make place for it at the department is one of her drives. Very appropriately, she became responsible for the department’s gender equality group in the beginning of this year. But her thoughts on how culture in the workplace can and should be developed extend further.<br /><br /></div> <div>“Responsiveness, tearing down walls and being open to good ideas and different skills, must never stop at words and require continued work on many levels. To continue being attractive as both a workplace and a research environment, it is necessary to work on these issues. Not least in relation to the generation shift that has both begun and which we are facing”.<br /><br /></div> <div>She intends to live as she teaches.</div> <div>“As Head of the Department, I intend to keep as open doors as I have had as Head of Division for the past two years, and to my doctoral students”.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Necessary to find new strategies for the research</h2> <div>The direction of the department's research is set and developed together with the Department Faculty Assembly and the Management Group. With all the challenges ahead Hanna Härelind believes that it is extra important to find strategies to continue the work on world-class level and maintain the strong research fields that have been built up, also to maintain high levels of utilization and teaching. Environment, climate issues and sustainable development are areas where chemistry research plays an important role she says, and where the department has extra big opportunities to conduct good research.<br /><br /></div> <div>She also wants to work out new ways to increase collaboration internally.</div> <div>“The whole chain from basic research to groundbreaking results with big impact are important, most people can agree on that. Competition may have positive sides, but I believe in getting rid of it internally and instead creating forms to cross-fertilize this chain more. Now, when we get a bigger assignment for education, time may also be more mature for it – I think it will become most necessary for us”.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on Hanna Härelind, new Head of Department</h2> <div>Hanna Härelind will start her job as Head of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering on September 1, 2020. She is a professor in technical surface chemistry, has worked at Chalmers since 1998, the last two years as Head of Division at Applied Chemistry. The ordinance is for a three-year period (a common arrangement when someone already has a professorship / position at Chalmers)</div> <div>Hanna Härelind is new head of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Find out more about her and what she sees ahead in her new role. </div> <div>​<br /></div> Wed, 10 Jun 2020 00:00:00 +0200 research area receives large, new grant<p><b>​The maximum limit was 5 million, then 7.1 million was granted. The project &quot; Digitalizing corrosion predictions - More efficient and flexible waste/biomass power production&quot;, is receiving a large grant from the Swedish Energy Agency&#39;s program Biokraft. A strong industrial consortium is also backing up the research project, which is a collaboration between Chalmers university of Technology and the Royal Institute for Technology.</b></p><p><strong>​</strong><strong>Torbjörn Jonsson, project manager at the department for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers. What does this grant and support mean?</strong><br />We can continue to develop modeling and prediction of corrosion in complex environments, here at Chalmers. This is a unique research area where we, by using a fundamental research approach, take advantage of corrosion mechanisms. Through modeling, we then translate this into corrosion predictions in harsh, complex environments.<br /><br /><strong>What do you aim for this project to lead to?</strong><br />The overall goal of the project is to increase the efficiency and flexibility/predictability of heat and power generation from combustion of biomass/waste. The method we will use is to develop digital tools to predict the corrosion rate of key components. The project is a research collaboration with the Royal Institute of Technology, Henrik Larsson (additional facts about the project is found further down on this page).<br /><br /><strong>According to the announcement by the Swedish Energy Agency, the project should strengthen Biopower's role and competitiveness in the sustainable transformation of the energy system. Can you describe how the project meets this goal?</strong><br />Corrosion is one of the major challenges for biopower. A successful project would improve efficiency and economy and thereby increase the use of biomass or waste as energy source instead of, for example, coal, which is the dominant fuel in a global perspective. This would strengthen Biopower's role and competitiveness in the transformation of the energy system, since biomass or waste is a resource that is carbon neutral or partially carbon neutral and has a great potential to play an important role in the transformation to a completely renewable energy system.<br /><br /><strong>The project is also supported by an industrial consortium with a corresponding sum. Today, when many are forced to tighten costs, it seems rather remarkable. What are your thoughts on that aspect?</strong><br />Thanks to our competence center, HTC, we have good relationships with several companies that are interested in this type of issue. Since the corrosion attacks in these plants are very complex and difficult to predict, the industry is very motivated to work with researchers to try to solve these challenges. One of the more important components in these plants, are superheater tubes, which there are miles of inside the plant. It is not uncommon that replacement caused by corrosion of one subset of these tubes, cost 10-20 million SEK. With better predictability, we can extend the entire lifespan or avoid costly (unplanned) stops, which will save a lot of money for the companies.</p> <p><br /><strong>For more information, contact: </strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/torbjorn-jonsson.aspx">Torbjörn Jonsson</a></p> <p> </p> <div><strong>More on the project &quot; Digitalizing corrosion predictions - More efficient and flexible waste/biomass power production&quot;</strong><br />For Chalmers part, Torbjörn Jonsson, will work with colleagues, such as the researchers Sedigheh Bigdeli and Loli Paz and the doctoral student Amanda Persdotter, to implement the modeling and characterization of what the corrosion looks like from a modeling perspective. Henrik Larsson, from The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) who is an expert in modeling will develop from a corrosion perspective, a unique type of modeling. The academic collaboration within the project is complemented by a very strong industrial consortium, including the entire value chain, i.e. Öresundskraft AB, Vattenfall AB, Thermo-Calc Software AB, MEC - BioHeat &amp; Power, Kanthal AB, E.ON Sverige AB, B&amp;W Völund and Sandvik Materials Technology.</div> <div><br /><strong>More on Torbjörn Jonsson</strong><br />Torbjörn Jonsson is a project manager and works as a specialist in the Department of Energy &amp; Materials, in the unit Organic Environmental Chemistry 1. His research is focused on better understanding and preventing high temperature corrosion. He works within the Competence Center in High Temperature Corrosion (HTC), the project that has now been awarded is connected to HTC.</div> <div><br />More on <a href="">Competence Center in High Temperature Corrosion (HTC) </a></div>Wed, 03 Jun 2020 00:00:00 +0200 chemistry - a new perspective on porous materials<p><b>​A research group at Chalmers University of Technology presents the concept of foldable networks. The scientific paper, in which mechanics and chemistry meets, is of importance for how we understand and construct a new class of materials, so-called metal-organic frameworks and was recently published in Journal of the American Chemical Society.</b></p>​We are used to solid materials behaving in a certain way. If you heat them, they expand, if you put them under pressure, they decrease slightly in volume, and if you pull an elastic material such as a rubber band, it becomes narrower. However, some materials with channels and voids at the molecular level have proved to be more complex. If you heat them, they can shrink in one or more directions, if you pull them, they can increase in volume, if you put pressure on them, they can expand. These properties are found, for example, in metal-organic frameworks that are built up, not as densely packed atoms and molecules, but as regular networks in three dimensions. These networks have nodes of metal ions linked by longer organic molecules. <div> </div> <div>The Chalmers study now shows that in some of these networks the nodes are linked in a unique way that allows them to collapse without affecting neither the geometry around the nodes, nor the links between them. In practice, this means that the material can change shape, volume and density without breaking or distorting the molecular components. A bit like a foldable bottle rack. The discovery is expected to be useful in different MOF areas such as harvesting of water from desert air, storage of hydrogen and biogas in renewable energy technology, catalysis and drug development.</div> <div> <img width="320" height="171" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Vikbar%20kemi/Francoise%20Mystere%20Amombo%20Noa_320%20x%20340.jpg" alt="" style="width:161px;margin:5px" /></div> <div>&quot;We found this group of networks when using a classic molecular-model construction kit, with plastic tubes and balls, solving the problem of how to join nodes with triangular geometry and hexagonal geometry to an infinitely repeating pattern in three dimensions.&quot; says Françoise Noa, PhD in chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Then we simply discovered that the model we had built could be fo<img width="319" height="173" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Vikbar%20kemi/Lars%20Öhrström%20320%20x%20340.jpg" alt="" style="width:173px;margin:5px" />lded flat&quot; continues Lars Öhrström, professor of inorganic chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, research leader of the study.<br /><br />The researchers have also been able to identify several other such network topologies (the description of the pattern by which the various nodes are interconnected). These now become possible synthesis targets for new metal-organic framework compounds with unique properties, such as expanding when placed under gas pressure or increasing in volume of stretched in one direction but not in another.</div> <div> </div> <div>Characterization of the new MOF materials that were also included in the study were a collaboration with researchers at the universities of Southern Denmark, Stockholm University and Uppsala University. The principal method used was single-crystal diffraction, using X-ray radiation to determine the exact atomic positions in a solid material. An indispensable way to study everything from proteins to drug molecules and materials. In addition, a mass spectrometry technique, ToF-SIMS, was used to look inside some of these framework crystals.</div> <div> </div> <div>”A very nice study, beautiful MOFs and expert topological analysis. An enjoyable read!” comments Professor Neil Champness, well known researcher in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) at the University of Nottingham, England, the research on twitter</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Contact:</strong><br /><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/ohrstrom.aspx">Lars Öhrström,</a> professor of inorganic chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology <br />+ 46 703 941 442, <a href=""></a></div> <div><br /><strong>More on the scientific paper </strong></div> <div>The article ”<a href="">Metal–Organic Frameworks with Hexakis(4-carboxyphenyl)benzene: Extensions to Reticular Chemistry and Introducing Foldable Nets</a> “ was published in Journal of the American Chemical Society<br />It is written by Francoise M. Amombo Noa, Erik Svensson Grape, Steffen M. Brülls, Ocean Cheung, Per Malmberg, A. Ken Inge, Christine J. McKenzie, Jerker Mårtensson, and Lars Öhrström </div> <div> </div> <div>A 6 minute talk accompanying the article highlighting the most important points is found here: <a href=""></a><br /></div> <div><strong>Facts: Crystallography – Single Crystal Diffraction</strong><br />Single crystal diffraction is based on a deceptively simple equation that tells us about how X-ray light bounces between two planes, the Bragg equation. In this context, this simple formula gives rise to very complicated mathematics with links to, among other things, the abstract field of group theory. The solution of the equation in the form of precise atomic positions in a crystal also requires sophisticated coding, advanced X-ray detector materials and incredible precise mechanics in the many moving parts of the instrument.</div> <div> </div> <div>Also a skilled crystallographer is essential, since traps lurk around every corner and the possibilities of taking a wrong turn are many, from the laborious work of selecting crystals under a microscope, to the last mathematical modelling in the computer.</div> <div> </div> <div>The UN announced 2014 as the International Crystallography Year and more information is available on the international website <a href=""></a>.</div> <div><br /><strong>More reading</strong></div> <div>About storing hydrogen and biogas in metal-organic frameworks, Omar K Farha and co-workers in Science 2020.<br />”<a href="">Balancing volumetric and gravimetric uptake in highly porous materials for clean energy</a>”<br /></div> <div>On harvesting water from desert air using metal-organic frameworks, Omar Yaghi and co-workers in Nature Nanotechnology 2020. <br />”<a href="">MOF water harvesters</a>”</div>Wed, 20 May 2020 00:00:00 +0200 can become a tool for biofuel extraction<p><b>At Chalmers 2D-Tech center researchers utilize graphene to extract the biofuels from cell factories and try to optimize a method for extraction of biofuels in larger scale. What could we in the energy field learn from this new technique? We had an email chat with Dr Santosh Pandit, at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering. He is an expert in energy transitions. His research focuses on graphene antibacterial coatings for biomedical as well as industrial applications.​​</b></p><span></span><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What is your research about</strong>?<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Currently many biotechnologists are trying to produce Biofuel and many pharmaceutical compounds from genetically engineered cell factories such as bacteria and yeasts. These cell factories can produce such biofuel, chemical compounds for example by using sugar but could not excrete to external environment by themselves. Hence, we need to extract them from cells. Current extraction method needs toxic chemicals to damage such cells to extract the intracellular compound produced by these cell factories. Here we are planning to use nanoparticles containing vertical graphene spikes which could partly tear the cell membrane to leak-out such intracellular compounds without totally damaging the cells in cell factories. This approach will be doubly beneficial, which gives the re-utilization of graphene coated nanomaterials several times and microbial cells after interaction with graphene will leak out the biofuels and possibly reach back to normal metabolic stage and start producing biofuels again. This will make this process more sustainable and reduce the use of toxic chemical in biotech industries”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px">Your research on graphen and biofuels a part of the new center for research on two-dimensional materials, 2D-Tech. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong><img src="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/PublishingImages/Santosh_Pandit1.jpg" alt="Santosh Pandit PhD" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />Can you tell us something about this?</strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">In the 2D-Tech consortium we are jointly working with Bio-Petrolia, which is startup company, having various cell factories with potential to produce biofuels and pharmaceuticals in large scale. We will utilize graphene to extract the biofuels from these cell factories and try to optimize our method for online extraction of biofuels in larger scale which could be useful for larger biotech as well as Pharma industries”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What has your research found? </strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Now we are at the primary stage. However, our preliminary results are exiting and driving us forward to utilize this nanotechnological method for the biofuels extraction from microbial cell factories”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px">With your results, you highlight new opportunities for biofuel production. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>Who could benefit from your research?</strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Since our approach will be sustainable and ecofriendly, primary beneficiaries will be biotech and pharmaceutical industries who are using cell factories to produce such chemicals. We believe that our approach will be cost effective by decreasing the extraction time and cost that needs in current methods. That will probably reduce the overall price of such biofuels and chemical compounds for end users, which are general public”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>How can these materials be used in the production of biofuels? </strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Gr</span><span style="background-color:initial">aphene is lipophilic material and are known to interact with the microbial cell membrane. We have already seen the evidence of the interaction between graphene nanoflakes and microbial cell membrane and protrude intracellular materials. These excellent behaviors of graphene will help us to extract the intracellular biofuels or chemicals from microbial cell factories”. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What are you and your colleagues hoping for? </strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">I</span><span style="background-color:initial">n long term we are hoping to develop facile and strategic methods which can be used to extract intracellular biofuels from cell factories in larger industrial scale replacing the currently used toxic chemicals to completely damage microbial cells to extract the intracellular chemicals”. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>Do you have any insights that might be interesting to tell us in the energy field?</strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“Currently biofuels are getting much more attention due to the raising concern in environmental sustainability. Here microbial cell factories are providing the excellent platform to produce such energy associated chemicals. With the advancement in the science and technology, there is lots of improvement in the large-scale production of biofuels by using microbial cells, that is quite exciting and give us hope to replace the non-sustainable energy sources with bio-based energy in near future”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>What is the next step?</strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Next step is the optimization of graphene coatings which could efficiently extract the intracellular biofuels while being minimally harmful to cells and design online biofuel extraction system which can be useful for biotech industries”, Santosh Pandit concludes. <br /><br /><strong>Read More:</strong><br /><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/The-major-investment-that-will-take-the-2D-materials-into-society.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />​Major investment to take the 2D materials into the society</a><br /></span><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/pandit.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Santosh Pandit</a></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt">By: Ann-Christien Nordin</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><br /></p> <div><br /></div>Mon, 27 Apr 2020 09:00:00 +0200