News: Space, Earth and Environment, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Energi och miljöhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 14 Dec 2018 09:40:44 +0100http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Organic-food-worse-for-the-climate.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Organic-food-worse-for-the-climate.aspxOrganic food worse for the climate<p><b>​Organically farmed food has a bigger climate impact than conventionally farmed food, due to the greater areas of land required. This is the finding of a new international study involving Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, published in the journal Nature.</b></p>​<span>The researchers developed a new method for assessing the climate impact from land-use, and used this, along with other methods, to compare organic and conventional food production. The results show that organic food can result in much greater emissions. </span> <div><br /></div> <div>“Our study shows that organic peas, farmed in Sweden, have around a 50 percent bigger climate impact than conventionally farmed peas. For some foodstuffs, there is an even bigger difference – for example, with organic Swedish winter wheat the difference is closer to 70 percent,” says Stefan Wirsenius, an associate professor from Chalmers, and one of those responsible for the study. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/ekologisk-mat-Diagram---ENG-450.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The reason why organic food is so much worse for the climate is that the yields per hectare are much lower, primarily because fertilisers are not used. To produce the same amount of organic food, you therefore need a much bigger area of land. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The ground-breaking aspect of the new study is the conclusion that this difference in land usage results in organic food causing a much larger climate impact. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The greater land-use in organic farming leads indirectly to higher carbon dioxide emissions, thanks to deforestation,” explains Stefan Wirsenius. “The world’s food production is governed by international trade, so how we farm in Sweden influences deforestation in the tropics. If we use more land for the same amount of food, we contribute indirectly to bigger deforestation elsewhere in the world.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Even organic meat and dairy products are – from a climate point of view – worse than their conventionally produced equivalents, claims Stefan Wirsenius.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Because organic meat and milk production uses organic feed-stocks, it also requires more land than conventional production. This means that the findings on organic wheat and peas in principle also apply to meat and milk products. We have not done any specific calculations on meat and milk, however, and have no concrete examples of this in the article,” he explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">A new metric: Carbon Opportunity Cost</h5> <div>The researchers used a new metric, which they call “Carbon Opportunity Cost”, to evaluate the effect of greater land-use contributing to higher carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation. This metric takes into account the amount of carbon that is stored in forests, and thus released as carbon dioxide as an effect of deforestation. The study is among the first in the world to make use of this metric. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The fact that more land use leads to greater climate impact has not often been taken into account in earlier comparisons between organic and conventional food,” says Stefan Wirsenius. “This is a big oversight, because, as our study shows, this effect can be many times bigger than the greenhouse gas effects, which are normally included. It is also serious because today in Sweden, we have politicians whoseal goals is to increase production of organic food. If thoseat goals isare implemented, the climate influence from Swedish food production will probably increase a lot.”  </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>So why have earlier studies not taken into account land-use and its relationship to carbon dioxide emissions? </strong></div> <strong></strong><div><span>“There are surely many reasons. An important explanation, I think, is simply an earlier lack of good, easily applicable methods for measuring the effect. Our new method of measurement allows us to make broad environmental comparisons, with relative ease,” says Stefan Wirsenius. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0757-z">The results of the study are published in the article “Assessing the Efficiency of Land Use Changes for Mitigating Climate Change” in the journal Nature​</a>. The article is written by Timothy Searchinger, Stefan Wirsenius, Tim Beringer och Patrice Dumas. </div> <div><br /></div> <h6 class="chalmersElement-H6">For more​ information, contact: </h6><div>Stefan Wirsenius, Associate Professor at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment</div> <div><a href="mailto:%20stefan.wirsenius@chalmers.se">stefan.wirsenius@chalmers.se​</a></div> <div>+46 31 772 31 46</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Photo: Johan Bodell</div> <div>Illustrations: Yen Strandqvist</div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><span>​More on: The consumer perspective</span></h5></div> <div>Stefan Wirsenius notes that the findings do not mean that conscientious consumers should simply switch to buying non-organic food. </div> <div>“The type of food is often much more important. For example, eating organic beans or organic chicken is much better for the climate than to eat conventionally produced beef,” he says. “Organic food does have several advantages compared with food produced by conventional methods,” he continues. “For example, it is better for farm animal welfare. But when it comes to the climate impact, our study shows that organic food is a much worse alternative, in general.” </div> <div><br />For consumers who want to contribute to the positive aspects of organic food production, without increasing their climate impact, an effective way is to focus instead on the different impacts of different types of meat and vegetables in our diet. Replacing beef and lamb, as well as hard cheeses, with vegetable proteins such as beans, has the biggest effect. Pork, chicken, fish and eggs also have a substantially lower climate impact than beef and lamb. </div> More on: The confli​ct between different environmental goals<div><span>In organic farming, no fertilisers are used. The goal is to use resources like energy, land and water in a long-term, sustainable way. Crops are primarily nurtured through nutrients present in the soil. The main aims are greater biological diversity and a balance between animal and plant sustainability. Only naturally derived pesticides are used. </span><br /></div> <div>The arguments for organic food focus on consumers’ health, animal welfare, and different aspects of environmental policy. There is good justification for these arguments, but at the same time, there is a lack of scientific evidence to show that organic food is in general healthier and more environmentally friendly than conventionally farmed food, according to the National Food Administration of Sweden and others. The variation between farms is big, with the interpretation differing depending on what environmental goals one prioritises. At the same time, current analysis methods are unable to fully capture all aspects. </div> <div><strong>Read more: </strong></div> <div><a href="https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/livsmedel-och-innehall/ekologisk-mat1">https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/livsmedel-och-innehall/ekologisk-mat1</a></div> <div><a href="https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/globalassets/publikationsdatabas/rapporter/2016/miljopaverkan-fran-konventionellt-och-ekologiskt-producerade-livsmedel-nr-2-2016.pdf">https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/globalassets/publikationsdatabas/rapporter/2016/miljopaverkan-fran-konventionellt-och-ekologiskt-producerade-livsmedel-nr-2-2016.pdf</a></div> <div> </div> <div>The authors of the study now claim that organically farmed food is worse for the climate, due to bigger land use. For this argument they use statistics from the Swedish Board of Agriculture on the total production in Sweden, and the yields per hectare for organic versus conventional farming for the years 2013-2015. </div> <div><strong>Read more: </strong></div> <div><a href="https://www.jordbruksverket.se/webdav/files/SJV/Amnesomraden/Statistik%2c%20fakta/Vegetabilieproduktion/JO14/JO14SM1801/JO14SM1801_ikortadrag.htm">https://www.jordbruksverket.se/webdav/files/SJV/Amnesomraden/Statistik,%20fakta/Vegetabilieproduktion/JO14/JO14SM1801/JO14SM1801_ikortadrag.htm</a></div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More on biofuels: “More biofuels will also increase carbon dioxide emissions”</h5> <div><br /></div> <div>Today's major investments in biofuels are also harmful to the climate because they require large areas of land suitable for crop cultivation, and thus – according to the same logic –  increase deforestation globally, the researchers in the same study argue.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>For all common biofuels (ethanol from wheat, sugar cane and corn, as well as biodiesel from palm oil, rapeseed and soya), the carbon opportunity cost is greater than the emissions from fossil fuel and diesel, the study shows. Biofuels from waste and by-products do not have this effect, but their potential is small, the researchers say.</div> <div>All biofuels made from arable crops have such high emissions that they cannot be called climate-smart, according to the researchers, who present the results on biofuels in a op-ed article in the Swedish Newspaper Dagens Nyheter.</div> <div>​<br /></div>Wed, 12 Dec 2018 19:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Swedish-forest-can-contribute-to-limit-climate-change-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Swedish-forest-can-contribute-to-limit-climate-change-.aspxThe Swedish forest can contribute to limit climate change<p><b>​​“There is quite a hot scientific debate on the climate effect of using forest bioenergy. Methodological and parameter value choices seem to influence the results significantly. We wanted to contribute to this debate with the Swedish experience”, says Olivia Cintas Sanchez. On October 30 she defended her doctoral thesis: &quot;Land use and climate effect of bioenergy&quot;, at Chalmers University of Technology.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">From Olula del Río in southern Spain to Gothenburg. After her years as a PhD Student at the division of Energy Technology, Olivia is now leaving Chalmers but not Gothenburg. Her next work place will be RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Since bioenergy and land use is a topic in focus all over the world, Energy´s newsletter wanted to ask Olivia Cintas Sanchez some questions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><b><img src="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/PublishingImages/olivia_cintas.jpg" alt="Olivia Cintas Sanchez" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />In your opinion, what role will bioenergy play in the future?</b></div> <div>“When evaluating alternative energy options it is important to recognize that these can both compete with, and be complementary to, each other. In an energy system with large amounts of variable renewable power such as wind and solar cells panels PV, dispatchable biomass power can be a valuable complement to balance power. In addition, electrification of transport systems is considered an important step toward more climate friendly transport. But it takes time to transform the current transport systems, and biofuels can make an important contribution to achieving rapid and deep reduction in fossil fuel use in the transport sector. In the longer-term, biofuels may primarily be used in applications where substitution away from carbon-based fuels is difficult, such as aviation”, says Oliva Cintas Sanchez. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is the main result of your research? </strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">This thesis shows that bioenergy and bio-based products can contribute positively to</span><br /></div> <div>climate change mitigation by providing CO2 savings.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Oliva Cintas Sanchez also hope that her work will clarify how different methodological choices can influences conclusions about the carbon effect associated with forest bioenergy. <br /><br /></div> <div>“Moreover, the thesis shows the relevance of considering supply-side responses to increasing demand for bioenergy and other wood products, e.g., changed silviculture operations and crop choices in agriculture. Different types of management affect ecosystem services differently”.</div> <div>“The work shows the relevance of land management. The findings suggest that shifting attention from an assessment of flows of individual products to an assessment of maintaining carbon stock in the landscape to deliver ecosystem services—including forest and agricultural products—could capture potential impacts associated with bioenergy while also being simpler to perform”, says Olivia Cintas Sanchez.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is your dream scenario for the Swedish bioenergy system?</strong></div> <div>“It´s a scenario with higher prices for fossil fuels that could facilitate investments on both, more productive forest managements and bioenergy technology development”.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Which tools did you use when you did your thesis? </strong></div> <div>“I used forest carbon balance analyses to estimate the climate effect of using Swedish forest bioenergy. Moreover, I also used geographical information system, GIS, analyses to assess and analyze the availability and cost of forest and agricultural residues in relation to localized biomass demand in the European Union. GIS analyses allow to account for land use and site specific environmental and social constraints”, says Olivia Cintas Sanchez.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What did you find most interesting?</strong></div> <div>“Contributing to this scientific debate with conceptual studies but also to get into more real studies to understand how the Sweden forest can contribute to achieve national climate targets. From a methodological perspective, I really enjoyed working with GIS analysis”.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Who is the target group for your work?</strong></div> <div>“It´s mainly other academic colleagues working with similar questions so they can understand the implications associated with methodological choices. The thesis also contributed with data production that could be used as input to the scientific debate about the climate impact of forest-based bioenergy”, says Olivia Cintas Sanchez.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Everything that is fossil-based today can be made from wood in the future”, claimed Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, some years ago. Now Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries are investing in bio-based economies. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Do you agree with Mikael Damberg or are there any downsides with bioenergy?</strong></div> <div>“Yes, in principle almost everything can be made of wood in the future. But wood is a limited resource and it is associated with land use and land use change issues, so it needs to be used in a smart way and may necessitate prioritizing its use for specific applications”, she concludes.<br /><br /></div> <div>By: Ann-Christine Nordin</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>FACTS<br /></strong><span style="background-color:initial">Oliva Cintas Sanchez is from the village</span><span style="background-color:initial"> Olula del Río, in Almeria, Spain</span><span style="background-color:initial">.</span></div> <div><ul><li>Bachelor of Science at the University of Malaga, Spain, 2008. </li> <li>Master of Science at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia ,Spain, 2011.<br /></li> <li>Doctor of Philosophy, PhD, at the division of Division of Energy Technology<br /></li> <li>Chalmers University of Technology, 2018.<br /></li> <li><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/publication/505814"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Olivia´s PhD thesis: &quot;Lan<span style="background-color:initial">d use and climate effect of bioenergy&quot;:</span>​</a><br /></li></ul></div> <div>Carbon balances of Swedish forest bioenergy systems – and – Geospatial biomass supply-and-demand matching for Europe.</div> <div>In order to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, greenhouse gas emissions have to be drastically reduced. Bioenergy can play a role in climate change mitigation by substituting for energy from fossil fuels; however, biomass is a limited resource associated with emissions from land use and land-use change. Climate benefits of using biomass for energy have been called into question, with studies reaching conflicting conclusions. These conflicts can in part be explained by differences in methodological approaches and critical parameters, as well as by differences among the assessed bioenergy systems, e.g., the geographic location and associated land use.</div> <div>This thesis combines five papers to provide a better understanding of the interactions between biomass supply and demand and the implications for land use and for climate change and other environmental impacts at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> ​Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/costellazione-manga-eng.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/costellazione-manga-eng.aspxCosmic comics link science and the public<p><b>​Using comics and animated films, Chalmers astronomer Daria Dall’Olio shares astronomy research with fans of manga and anime. – In our project Costellazione Manga, we using examples from comics and animation to explain physical and astronomical concepts. We’ve found that if we connect science to things people know and love, they are happy to learn more about it, says Daria Dall’Olio, PhD student in Galactic Astrophysics at Chalmers and one of the speakers at the upcoming AHA-festival. ​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Japanese manga and anime culture are now known all over the world. Many Japanese comics and animated films and tv series became popular in Europe and other parts of the world in the 1970s. Today their common imagery and language is shared by three generations of fans, and Daria Dall’Olio is one of them. The stories are often centred on fantasy and science fiction set in space, she explains.</span><div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/RoG/Profilbilder/dallolio-daria.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />– There are lots of examples of comics that use references to our own Solar System, and to what we know about other stars and galaxies. In our presentations we show examples of these references, and then we can explain the real physical and astronomical concepts behind them. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Using comics and animation as a educational tool is not a new concept. Walt Disney produced educational films back in the 1940s, about such diverse topics as health, economy and psychology. Manga and anime are just one of the latest examples. The characters from the popular comic series Galaxy Express 999 has even been used in special educational films, where they guide the audience through the galaxy in planetarium shows in Japan. </div> <div>– The series Galaxy Express 999 revolves around an intergalactic train travelling across space and visiting many new worlds, so you can compare the way different planets are depicted to the knowledge that we have today.  There are plenty of other examples. We use Sailor Moon, which is quite popular in Sweden, to illustrate the planets and other bodies of our Solar System.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project Costellazione Manga was started by Daria Dall’Olio and Piero Ranalli after they spent two years in Japan, with Piero working as a post-doctoral researcher and Daria studying Japanese. When they returned to the University of Bologna they arranged their first public talk on manga and astronomy at the planetarium of Ravenna – and the project was born. </div> <div>– I really enjoy these presentations. Each one is different! Every country – or even every city – has its own common cultural references, so when we prepare a lecture we try to find out which comics are the most popular there.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In Sweden, Sailor Moon and Starzinger are the favourites, Daria explains. But even when she can use references that people are familiar with, the differences between fact and fantasy still has to be addressed – with a generous dose of humour.</div> <div>– Sometimes we have to deliver bad news! Fans of UFO Robot Grendizer might be disappointed to learn that astronomers have found no signs of planets around the star Vega, where their favourite giant robot supposedly comes from, says Daria, who is a PhD student at the Department och Space, Earth and Environment. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Over the last few years Daria has presented the project at several conferences and festivals, mostly in Italy but also elsewhere. A highlight was when she was invited to present at <a href="https://communicatingastronomy.org/old/cap2018/">the large international conference CAP 2018, Communicating Astronomy with the Public</a><span style="background-color:initial"> in Fukuoka, Japan, in March 2018. </span></div> <div></div> <div>The project was also featured in an article in the October 2018 issue of the CAP Journal: <span></span><a href="https://www.capjournal.org/issues/24/24_07.php">Costellazione Manga: Explaining Astronomy Using Japanese Comics and Animation</a>. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project now includes several international scientists, as well as Swedish comic book artist Yvette Gustafsson. Daria and Yvette presented the project together at the Gothenburg Science Festival 2018, and now once more at <a href="http://www.ahafestival.se/">the AHA Festival at Chalmers on 19-21 November​</a>. </div> <div>For Daria, combining her love of astronomy with her love of manga and anime is way of bridging the gap between science and the rest of society.</div> <div>– The public doesn’t always understand what scientists are doing, and I think one of the reasons is that we seem to be far apart from each other. If scientists can find a common ground and find links to people and their everyday lives, we can reach into hearts and minds and start to talk the same language, says Daria. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Christian Löwhagen and Robert Cumming. </em></div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><i>Daria presents Costellazione Manga at<a href="http://www.ahafestival.se/"> the AHA-festival ​</a>on Wednesday 21 November. </i></div> <div><i>Read more about the project at <a href="https://www.costellazionemanga.eu/index_en.html">the Costellazione Manga Website</a>. </i></div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 16 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Brazilian-rainforest-at-risk-of-losing-protection.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Brazilian-rainforest-at-risk-of-losing-protection.aspxLarge areas of the Brazilian rainforest at risk of losing protection<p><b>​​Up to 15 million hectares of the Brazilian Amazon is at risk of losing its legal protection, according to a new study from researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. This is equivalent to more than 4 times the entire forest area of the UK.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">“Brazil has favourable conditions for increasing production on land which is already used for agriculture, in particular lands where low-intensity animal grazing is practised. But if the legal protections for nature are weakened, it could lead to agricultural growth being based more on increasing the amount of agricultural land, rather than increasing the production on lands already in use. This would be at the expense of valuable natural ecosystems, with negative impacts on biodiversity. It would also lead to extensive greenhouse gas emissions, since much of the Amazon is covered by forests,” says Flavio Freitas at the Department for Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Technology at KTH, and leader of the study.</span><div><br /><div>In Brazil, there is a legislative requirement that private landowners designate a certain part of their land for the protection of native vegetation. Private landowners in states that lie in the Amazon region may use up to 20 percent of their land for agriculture, with the rest reserved for nature. But the law contains a paragraph which makes it possible for states to reduce this land use restriction, if more than 65 percent the state’s territory is protected public land.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“Earlier studies concluded that this paragraph probably would never be invoked. But we have now shown that the ongoing land tenure regularisation process of undesignated land in the Amazon could lead to the paragraph being invoked in several states in the Amazon region. If this happens, it would become legal to use a further 30 percent of the privately-owned land for agriculture,” says Göran Berndes, Professor at Chalmers, and one of the authors behind the study. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>This means that between 6.5 and 15.4 million hectares could lose the protections they enjoy today. By way of comparison, the total forest area of the UK is about 3.17 million hectares. The areas that might become legally available for agriculture consist primarily of tropical rainforest, which hold high biodiversity values. Additionally, tropical deforestation causes large carbon dioxide emissions, which contributes to global warming.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“Brazil has pledged that by 2025, its greenhouse gas emissions will be at a level 37 percent lower than in 2025,” says Göran Berndes. “That will be a struggle if deforestation is not kept down.”</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“If this protection disappears, it doesn’t automatically mean that these rainforests would be lost. But it is important to acknowledge the situation, and to consider possible mitigation actions before such development take place. We hope that our study can make an impact in Brazil as well as internationally,” says Flavio Freitas. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>“One possibility is that the law could be revised, with the paragraph adjusted or removed entirely. In addition to legal measures, businesses could help to reduce the risk through non-deforestation commitments. Such measures could be motivated by simple economic reasons – there is a strong international awareness of the downsides of deforestation, and Brazilian agricultural exports will likely be negatively influenced through their association,” he continues.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>The study, “<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-018-0171-4">Potential increase of legal deforestation in Brazilian Amazon after Forest Act revision​</a>”, published in Nature Sustainability, is a collaboration between KTH and Chalmers in Sweden, and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. The collaboration has been ongoing for around 10 years, under the leadership of Göran Berndes from Chalmers, and Professor Gerd Sparovek of the University of Sao Paulo. In the newly published study, further Swedish participants included Ulla Mörtberg, at the same department as Flavio Freitas, and Chalmers researchers Martin Persson and Oskar Englund, who, together with Göran Berndes, are based at the Division for Physical Resource Theory at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment.</div> <div><br /> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><span>​More about: </span>T​he land tenure regularisation <span>process of undesignated land in the Amazon</span></h5> <div>Brazil has developed legal and practical solutions to the land tenure issues in the Amazon region. The most important programme is Terra Legal (legal or ‘good’ land). The aim of Terra Legal is to legalise the use of 55 million hectares of state-owned land by granting land titles to some 160,000 smallholder families.</div></div>Wed, 14 Nov 2018 08:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/CLS/news/Pages/Report-on-Aviation-Climate-Impact-Most-Downloaded-Publication.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/CLS/news/Pages/Report-on-Aviation-Climate-Impact-Most-Downloaded-Publication.aspxReport on aviation climate impact most downloaded publication<p><b>​With more than 400 unique downloads, the report ”Klimatpåverkan från svenska befolkningens internationella flygresor” (&quot;Climate Impact of the Swedish Population&#39;s International air Travelling&quot;) from 2016 was the most downloaded publication from research.chalmers.se in the last year.&quot;It feels meaningful and great that our research is being requested by many people,&quot; says Jörgen Larsson, assistant professor at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment and one of the authors of the report.​</b></p>​<span lang="EN" style="background-color:initial">The climate impact of commercial aviation has been a major environmental issue for several years, but historically there have been no reliable measurements of the actual impact of our international air travelling. </span><span title="De metoder som har använts för att mäta den påverkan som svenskarna gör med sina flygresor har utgått från hur mycket bränsle som tankas i Sverige." style="background-color:initial">The methods used to measure the environmental impact of Swedes’ air travels have been based on how much fuel that is being fueled in Sweden. </span><span title="Om en person till exempel ska resa från Landvetter till USA och mellanlandar i Amsterdam, så mäts i så fall bara utsläppen mellan Sverige och Nederländerna.&#13;&#10;" style="background-color:initial">For example, if a person is to travel from Gothenburg to the US with a stop in Amsterdam, only the emissions between Sweden and the Netherlands will be measured.</span><div><span lang="EN" style="background-color:initial"><br />&quot;What me and my colleagues at Chalmers and KTH did was to develop a method that measures the entire emission to the final destination,&quot; says Jörgen Larsson. </span><span title="På det sättet får vi fram hela bilden av svenskarnas utsläpp." style="background-color:initial">&quot;That way we get the whole picture of Swedes' emissions. </span><span title="Metoden visar att den svenska befolkningens flygande orsakar lika stora växthusgasutsläpp som biltrafiken i Sverige.&#13;&#10;" style="background-color:initial">The method shows that the Swedish population's travelling by air causes the same greenhouse gas emissions as car traffic in Sweden.&quot;</span><div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span lang="EN">Accusations of unscientific research </span></h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN">But pointing out a big industry like commercial aviation as a major polluter isn't somehing that will be done in silence. </span><span title="Branschorganet Svenskt flyg gick i taket, och anklagade Jörgen Larsson och hans kollegor för att bedriva ovetenskaplig forskning.">The Swedish aviation sector accused Jörgen Larsson and his colleagues of conducting unscientific research. </span><span title="Det gick så pass långt att rektorerna på Chalmers och KTH skrev en gemensam debattartikel där de manade till hyfs i debatten om flyget och klimatet, och på ett möte våren 2018 träffade forskarna representanter från Svenskt flyg för att rensa luften.">It went to the point where the presidents at Chalmers and KTH wrote a joint debate article where they called for better manners in the debate about the aviation industry and it’s environmental effects. At a meeting in spring 2018, the researchers met representatives from the industry to clear the air. </span><span title="I dag har forskarna inlett ett samarbete med Swedavia, som äger och driver bland annat Arlanda och Landvetter, och de har fått tillgång till stora mängder data som de kan använda i den fortsatta forskningen.&#13;&#10;">Today, the researchers have initiated cooperation with Swedavia which owns and operates Arlanda and Landvetter, among other airports, and has gained access to large amounts of data that they can use in the ongoing research.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN" style="background-color:initial">Not only the aviation sector has paid attention to the report. </span><span title="Fortfarande drygt två år efter att den publicerades blir Jörgen Larsson kontaktad ett antal gånger i månaden av både privatpersoner och organisationer som vill prata om rapporten eller intervjua honom.&#13;&#10;" style="background-color:initial">Still more than two years after it was published, Jörgen Larsson is contacted several times a month by individuals and organizations who want to talk about the report or interview him.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN" style="background-color:initial">&quot;In those situations it's important to be careful with what one says. </span><span title="I vissa intervjuer vill de gärna att man ska säga ”sluta att flyga”, men det kan även vara andra organisationer med helt andra ingångar som hör av sig." style="background-color:initial">In some interviews they would like me to say &quot;stop flying&quot;, but there are also other organizations with different agendas. </span><span title="Som forskare har man status och auktoritet, och det gäller att inte bli utnyttjad av någon sida i debatten.&#13;&#10;" style="background-color:initial">As a researcher, you have status and authority, and one have to be careful so that one doesn’t get used by any side in the debate.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN" style="background-color:initial">Jö</span><span lang="EN" style="background-color:initial">rgen Larsson and his colleague's ambition is to broaden the perspectives. </span><span title="Den debatt som har förts om styrmedel för flyget har ofta rört passagerarskatten, och Jörgen Larsson menar att det är vettigt att även diskutera andra kompletterande styrmedel." style="background-color:initial">The debate about the control of the aviation industry has often been centered on passenger taxes, and Jörgen Larsson thinks that we also need to discuss other additional instruments. </span><span title="Han tycker att det är slående vilken brist på handlingsberedskap det finns, både vad det gäller internationella och nationella styrmedel.&#13;&#10;" style="background-color:initial">He thinks there is a striking lack of action preparedness, both in terms of international and national instruments.</span></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span lang="EN">&quot;A sharp increase in emissions&quot;</span></h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN">&quot;The aviation area is a sector with a sharp increase in emissions. </span><span title="Ändå är styrmedlen supersvaga i jämförelse med vad som behövs, och även insatser som skulle minska utsläppen bara lite grann möts med jätteprotester.">Nevertheless, the controls are super weak in comparison to what is needed, and even efforts that would reduce emissions just a little bit are met with protests. </span><span title="Många vill minska klimatpåverkningarna, men när det närmar sig deras egen dörr så blir det motstånd.">A lot of people want to reduce our impact on the climate, but when it gets to close to their reality they become resistant. For me personally, it feels meaningful to conduct this research. </span><span title="Om det finns en vilja att prioritera frågan i framtiden, så är det viktigt att kunskapen finns hos oss forskare.&#13;&#10;">If there is a will to prioritize this issue in the future, it is important that researchers have the knowledge.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN" style="background-color:initial">Kristina Graner is a librarian at the Department of Communication and Learning in Science, and works with Open Access publishing. </span><span title="Hon är inte förvånad att just Jörgens Larssons rapport har fått osedvanligt höga nedladdningssiffror det senaste året.&#13;&#10;" style="background-color:initial">She is not surprised that Jörgens Larsson's report has been downloaded that many times in the past year.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN" style="background-color:initial">&quot;Last year, there was a publication about textiles' life-cycle analysis that was the most downloaded, and it was also very accurate in time,&quot; she says. </span><span title="En slutsats som man kan dra är att det krävs nog att det är något som lite fler människor kan förstå och relatera till, och det var mer så med den här publikationen än vad det är med många andra publikationer som ges ut på Chalmers." style="background-color:initial">“One conclusion that one can make is that the publication needs to have something that people can understand and relate to, and that was more the case with this publication than with many other publications published at Chalmers. </span><span title="Samtidigt är den här rapporten skriven på svenska, vilket gör att den bara är tillgänglig för en begränsad publik.&#13;&#10;" style="background-color:initial">But one also needs to remember that this report is written in Swedish, thus making it available to a limited audience only.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span title="Samtidigt är den här rapporten skriven på svenska, vilket gör att den bara är tillgänglig för en begränsad publik.&#13;&#10;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span class="shorttext"><b><span lang="EN"><br /></span></b></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"></p> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><span><span lang="EN">Publications with the most unique downloads from</span></span><span lang="EN"> </span>research.chalmers.se 2016-2018</h5> <div> <span lang="EN-US">2018 </span><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/publication/240574">”Klimatpåverkan från svenska befolkningens internationella flygresor&quot;</a></div> <div><span lang="EN-US"> 2017 </span><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/publication/246361"><span lang="EN-US">”</span><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:107%;background-image:initial;background-position:initial;background-size:initial;background-repeat:initial;background-attachment:initial;background-origin:initial;background-clip:initial">Advancing life cycle assessment of textile products to include textile chemicals. Inventory data and toxicity impact assessment</span><span lang="EN-US">”</span></a></div> <div><span lang="EN-US"> 2016 </span><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/publication/201129">&quot;Game intelligence in team sports&quot;​</a><span lang="EN-US"></span></div> <p></p> </div></div>Thu, 25 Oct 2018 10:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/We-must-take-action-instead-of-arguing-how-costly-it-might-be.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/We-must-take-action-instead-of-arguing-how-costly-it-might-be.aspxWe must take action instead of arguing how costly it might be<p><b>More than 90 authors from 40 countries have contributed to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC´s, newest report on global warming. Over 6,000 scientific references are cited, and a total of 42,000 comments from inspecting experts and governments are included in the report. One of the cited scientists is Sonia Yeh, Professor of energy and transport systems at Chalmers.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">In </span><span style="background-color:initial">2014, Sonia Yeh co-founded and co-led the International Transportation Energy Modeling (<a href="https://transportenergy.org/">ITEM</a>) </span><span style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;;font-size:10.5pt;background-color:initial">comparison project in collaboration with four internationally prominent transportation modeling groups (University of California, Davis, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and MIT Joint Program on the Science &amp; Policy of Global Change). <br /></span><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt;line-height:normal"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10.5pt;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;">&quot;The members of ITEM include universities and research organizations, national government agencies, international government organizations (IGOs), non-government organizations (NGOs), energy firms, and consultancies. “It’s an exciting group to work with,” says Sonia Yeh.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt;line-height:normal"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10.5pt;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt;line-height:normal"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10.5pt;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;">Sonia continues: ”Our paper, &quot;<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1361920916301651">Detailed assessment of global transport-energy models'structures and projections​</a>​&quot;, was cited in the IPCC report because it summarizes important work from a team of prominent transport modeling groups with researchers from around the world. They are particularly important since they develop global transportation scenarios and projections that inform and influence public opinions, industry response and policy formulation in transport planning, energy supply, and services.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt;line-height:normal"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10.5pt;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:0.0001pt;line-height:normal"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10.5pt;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;">IPCCs Special Report on Global Warming will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December 2018, when the world's countries are meeting to go through the Paris Agreement.</span></p> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is your article about?</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“In the paper, we compare the projections of transportation demand, fuel use, technology, and emissions by mode, for example aviation, rail, shipping, cars, trucks, given various “business-as-usual” and “low-carbon pathway” scenarios. We try to be “descriptive” rather than “prescriptive” and the models consider demand changes, technological changes, and changes in emissions. These aspects are extremely important, because it helps us reflect on what are likely to happen, and how to get to very low-carbon futures. Just as important, we also identify important research gaps to better understand where the uncertainties are and provide guidance for future research and policy discussions. </span><br /></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>”We are really proud of Sonia Yeh. When science contributes to policy making, it´s an important part the utilization of Chalmers research,” says, Maria Grahn, Director of Energy Area of Advance</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The conclusion of the IPCC report</strong></div> <div>The IPCC report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require &quot;rapid and far-reaching&quot; transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching 'net zero' around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.</div> <div> </div> <div>Sonia Yeh thinks our best hope to achieve the 1.5 degree goal is to better understand the trends for demand growth, behavior changes, technological change, and to identify policy tools to help us get to where we want to go, either through carbon tax, cap-and-trade, market-based policy instruments, or technology standards. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>”But we must take action instead of arguing how costly it might be because taking no action is extremely expensive too! We have already seen, in the past few years, the damages likely caused by climate change.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>When do you think fossil-free transports will get a real breakthrough?</strong></div> <div>”I think we are already experiencing lots of breakthroughs: electrification of cars, trucks, shipping or even aviation; new mobility services such as car/bike/ride/scooter sharing; and autonomous cars. The so-called three revolutions in the transport space. These are exciting times and scary times. Exciting because these technology advancements may prove to significantly reduce transport emissions and further improve the quality of lives.<br />The times are scary because, if unchecked, the emissions could also drastically increase if consumers take advantages of the convenience of new services and technologies without understanding the bad consequences of increased fuel usage. Therefore, researchers and policymakers are watching these growths very closely. We are both optimistic and cautious at the same time and will continue to work with all stakeholders to improve our understanding and help to provide better policy solutions,&quot; says Sonia Yeh. <br /><br /></div> <div>By: Ann-Christine Nordin, Photo: U.S. Embassy Vienna.<br /><br /><strong>Releated:<br /><a href="/en/staff/Pages/sonia-yeh.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Sonia Yeh, Chalmers</a></strong></div> <a href="https://chalmersprofessional.se/en/news/she-creates-common-base-energy-issues-california"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="https://chalmersprofessional.se/en/news/she-creates-common-base-energy-issues-california"><div style="display:inline !important">She creates a common base for energy issues with California</div></a><br /><div><a href="http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />IPCC Special Report</a><br /><a href="https://unfccc.int/katowice"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Katowice Climate Change Conference – December 2018​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <strong></strong>Sun, 21 Oct 2018 00:30:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Crude-oil-carbon-footprint.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Crude-oil-carbon-footprint.aspxNew study reveals real size of crude oil’s carbon footprint<p><b>​Emissions from crude oil extraction are a significant part of the total emissions of fossil fuels. A new comprehensive study recently published in Science also shows that emissions are far higher than the industry&#39;s own estimates.&quot;Knowledge of greenhouse gases emissions associated with the extraction of crude oil makes us more aware of the full lifecycle climate impacts of using oil and it will also be helpful when it comes to evaluating which measures would be most cost effective to reduce emissions,&quot; says Sonia Yeh, Professor of energy and transport systems at Chalmers.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The extraction, transport and refining of crude oil account for between 15 and 40 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions from transport fuels such as gasoline and diesel. Different crude oils can have very different physical properties that require more energy to extract and refine than others. But the major difference in the climate impacts of different oil extract is actually how much methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, being released or burned in large quantities at extraction, activities known as flaring, venting, and fugitive emissions. </span><div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Sonia_Yeh_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />– Although fossil free sources for energy are on the rise for the electricity sector, our demands for crude oil still continue to rise and it is unlikely to peak anytime soon. So reducing transport emissions or at least preventing oil extraction to become more and more carbon intensive is crucial, says Sonia Yeh, at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the recently published study <a href="http://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6405/851.summary">“Global carbon intensity of crude oil production&quot; (<em>Masnadi et al, Science</em>)</a> the total petroleum well-to-refinery emissions is estimated to be 1,7 Gt CO2 eq, which is 42 per cent higher than the estimations made by the industry and constitute 5 percent of global total emissions. In comparison, total global emissions from aviation is roughly 2.7 percent.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The study, which sums up 10 years of research from a global research network, also highlights several ways to reduce these emissions. On the one hand, it suggests leaving the densest and most energy-consuming oil in the ground and focusing on other less carbon intensive sources. On the other hand, it is about reducing the flaring, venting and fugitive emissions of methane.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The study shows that if the amount of methane released into the atmosphere is reduced to the same levels that have been achieved in Norway, there is a potential to reduce 40% of total emissions from oil production. But both changes require political leadership and economic and policy instruments, according to Sonia.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/flaring-200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />– Don’t forget that methane is a product that can be captured and used, but in many countries it is considered not worthwhile or uneconomical to capture and put methane into pipelines. But if it would cost significantly more to let it out in the atmosphere the industry might reconsider. Unfortunately, the Trump administration is instead considering making it even easier to release methane into the air, which would be a step in the wrong direction”. (Read more in the New York Times article: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/10/climate/methane-emissions-epa.html">Trump Administration Wants to Make It Easier to Release Methane Into Air​</a>​). </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Sonia thinks that research can be even better at measuring and characterizing sources of emissions, and if society want to address these emissions, then politicians must create new rules and guidelines, and monitor how they are managed. Oil companies can also be much better at following up on these things themselves to show their environmental commitments and leaderships.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– This important analysis gives both our politicians and the oil companies greater access to information to fully measure and compare the effects of oil emissions. if you don’t measure it you can’t control it.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Christian Löwhagen. </em></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Read more: </h5> <div>The full article in Science Magazine: <a href="http://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6405/851.summary">“Global carbon intensity of crude oil production&quot; (<em>Masnadi et al, Science</em>)</a> <em><br /></em></div> <div><a href="https://news.stanford.edu/2018/08/30/measuring-crude-oils-carbon-footprint/">Press release from Stanford University: Measuring Crude Oils Carbon Footprint​</a>. <br /></div>Wed, 26 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Electric-vehicles-a-game-changer-for-cities-and-transport.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Electric-vehicles-a-game-changer-for-cities-and-transport.aspxElectric vehicles a game changer for cities and transport<p><b>​The rapid development of electric vehicles affects all types of traffic, but also brings new challenges. How do we design our cities with even more types of vehicles in motion? Electric aircraft, when will it become reality? At the initiative seminar “Electromobility – Back to the Future”, on 13 September, these questions will be raised.</b></p><div>​Electric vehicles are nothing new. They have been around for more than a hundred years. Back then however, the battery technology was immature, with short range and big batteries.</div> <div> </div> <div>“At first, electric vehicles were overtaken by cheaper vehicles with combustion engines. Today, we see that very efficient batteries are emerging. The climate question also accelerates the development. There is a will among politicians, industry and the public, which probably will lead to the replacement of conventional combustion engine vehicles in the long term”, says Sinisa Krajnovic, leader of Transport Area of Advance at Chalmers.</div> <div> </div> <div>By looking into the rear view mirror at electric vehicles’ century long history, the Transport and Energy Areas of Advance want to highlight the fact that understanding and knowledge now has caught up with technology – along with environmental problems such as greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact from for e.g. battery production.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">From electric aircraft to urban planning</h4> <div> “The seminar is a great opportunity for knowledge sharing, mingling and networking for all participants. For my part, I look forward to the many different presentations”, says Maria Grahn, leader of Energy Area of Advance.</div> <div> </div> <div>The day offers several interesting sessions, including visions for the future such as electric aircraft, technology development and security aspects, strategic decision making and urban planning for electromobility. We will also learn more about what to expect from the national test lab for electromobility (SEEL) and why Norway has the highest number of electric cars per capita.</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Prospects good for the 2030 goals</h4> <div>In media, the debate on climate issues has been high since the heat wave this summer, linking to aircraft and other highly energy consuming types of transportation. What, then, is required for Sweden to reach the target and have a fossil-independent fleet by 2030. </div> <div> </div> <div>“The combination of the two policy instruments introduced this year, Reduction Obligation and Bonus Malus, provides very good conditions for success”, says Maria Grahn.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Reduction obligation means that fuel sold in Sweden must contain a certain amount of fuel from renewable sources to reduce fossil carbon dioxide emissions. Bonus Malus gives incentives for car buyers to choose a more energy-efficient car.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Most researchers agree that electrification of vehicles is not enough”, says Sinisa Krajnovic. “You have to combine several different propulsion technologies. But above all, we need to change our behaviour.”</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">An overall picture of electromobility</h4> <div>“Electromobility – Back to the Future” is aimed primarily at research and development professionals in academia and industry, as well as authorities, municipalities, regions, business organizations and special interest groups. </div> <div> </div> <div>“We welcome everyone, but the programme is planned for those who want to grasp the overall picture of electromobility,” says Maria Grahn.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><em>Text: Ann-Christine Nordin, Emilia Lundgren</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>Photo: Emilia Lundgren</em></div> <div> </div> <div>The initiative seminar “Electromobility – Back to the Future” will be held 13 September in RunAn, Chalmersplatsen 1, Gothenburg. Sign up at the latest 3 September.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/calendar/Initiative-seminar-2018/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Programme and registration</a><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>FURTHER READING</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/news/Pages/Sweden-invests-1-billion-SEK-in-testbed-for-electromobility.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Sweden invests 1 billion SEK in testbed for electromobility<br /></a></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Electric-freight-transport-grows-despite-extreme-competition.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Electric freight transport grows despite extreme competition</a><br /></div>Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/researchinfrastructure/oso/news/Pages/Swedish-receiver-to-capture-cosmic-waves-in-the-worlds-largest-radio-telescope.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/researchinfrastructure/oso/news/Pages/Swedish-receiver-to-capture-cosmic-waves-in-the-worlds-largest-radio-telescope.aspxSwedish receiver to catch cosmic waves in the world&#39;s largest radio telescope<p><b>​Just arrived in South Africa, Chalmers’ most advanced radio receiver is Sweden&#39;s main contribution to the record-breaking telescope SKA (Square Kilometre Array). The advanced prototype, now being tested in the Karoo Desert, is not only shiny and new. It’s also an important step towards a radio telescope that will challenge our ideas of time and space.</b></p><div><div><span style="background-color:initial">Onsala Space Observatory has delivered its largest technology contribution to the SKA (Square Kilometre Array) project. A metre (3 ft) across, the 180 kg (400 lb) instrument is the first in place of over a hundred to be mounted on dish antennas in the Karoo Desert, today home to the 64-dish-strong new MeerKAT telescope.</span><br /></div> <div>The Band 1 receiver, as it is called, allows the dish to measure radio waves with a frequency between 0.35 and 1.05 Gigahertz (wavelength 30-85 cm).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/MeerKATBand1_SARAO_glint_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The receiver is being tested on one of the 64 antennas in MeerKAT, one of today's largest radio telescopes and is in the same location in the Karoo desert where the SKA's antennas will be located. The instrument is a prototype manufactured in Sweden by Chalmers University of Technology in collaboration with Swedish industry, and it is designed to be mass-produced.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Sweden is one of 11 countries in the international SKA project, which will build the world's largest radio telescope at radio-quiet sites in Africa and Australia. The project is approaching the end of its design phase and construction is expected to start in the early 2020s.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As part of the SKA, Swedish receivers will participate in measurements of radio waves from many different sources in space. Scientists expect to make most sensitive radio measurements ever. They plan to test Einstein's theories to their limits and to explore the history of the universe by measuring millions of galaxies at distances of millions of light years.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Band1_lab_Bodell_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />&quot;This is a proud moment for us, getting a first glimpse of what the world's biggest radio telescope will be like. We work with developing the world's best receiver technology and hope that our contribution to the telescope will make it possible for humanity to see things we have never seen before&quot;, says Miroslav Pantaleev, project manager for SKA at Onsala Space Observatory.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The receiver’s journey to Africa has been preceded by intensive collaboration between researchers and engineers at Onsala Space Observatory together with industrial partners, to ensure both performance and resilience. Before its trip, the instrument underwent tough environmental tests in Sweden, both in Onsala and at Saab Bofors Test Centre in Karlskoga.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Band1_team_72dpi_340x218.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />John Conway, professor of observational radio astronomy at Chalmers and director of Onsala Space Observatory, looks forward beyond MeerKAT to the future dish array, SKA-mid.</div> <div>&quot;When the dishes in SKA-mid are operational, the world's astronomers will be able to access the world's most sensitive radio telescope and many exciting projects will be possible. We hope, among other things, to find new pulsars to test Einstein's theories, to study in detail how galaxies like the Milky Way were built during the history of the universe – and, of course, to make unexpected discoveries”, he says.</div> <div><strong><br /></strong></div> <div><strong>Contacts</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Cumming, communications officer, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, +46 31-772 5500, +46 70-493 31 14, robert.cumming@chalmers.se</div> <div>Miroslav Pantaleev, head of electronics laboratory, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, +46 31 772 5555, miroslav.pantaleev@chalmers.se</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Related press releases:</strong></div> <strong> </strong><div><br /></div> <div>Sweden’s biggest contribution yet to the world’s largest radio telescope,  <span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/researchinfrastructure/oso/news/Pages/Swedens-biggest-contribution-yet-to-the-worlds-largest-radio-telescope.aspx">https://www.chalmers.se/en/researchinfrastructure/oso/news/Pages/Swedens-biggest-contribution-yet-to-the-worlds-largest-radio-telescope.aspx​</a></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Images:</strong></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>High-resolution images are available at </em><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/onsala/albums/72157696496569481"><em>https://www.flickr.com/photos/onsala/albums/72157696496569481</em></a></span></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Band1_vibration_Helldner_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />1a (top). The Band 1 receiver has been installed on one of MeerKAT’s antennas. Out in the Karoo Desert in South Africa, 64 dishes today constitute the MeerKAT telescope. Later, these will be incorporated into the world's largest radio telescope, the SKA. On one of these antennas, Swedish technology is now being tested which will make the telescope the world’s most sensitive yet. In this image, the Swedish-built Band 1 receiver can be seen mounted underneath the dish's round white secondary mirror.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>(Credit: SARAO)</em></div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial">  </em><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em>1b. The Band 1 receiver’s protective cover reflects the desert Sun. To the right is the MeerKAT antenna’s secondary mirror.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>(Credit: SARAO)</em></div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial"> </em><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em>2. The Band 1 receiver captures a wide range of radio waves. A radio telescope with a dish antenna needs one or more feeds to guide radio waves with a wide range of frequencies up to the receiver equipment.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>The Band 1 feed has a curved profile with four ridges on the inside. This Quadridge design was be adapted to SKA project requirements using mathematics, physics and optimisation algorithms, explains Jonas Flygare, PhD student at Chalmers.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>“We determined the feed’s curved lines using algorithms that stochastically search for those shapes that best receive the radio waves, given our specifications. To find the optimum design you need to simulate a great number of different shapes of the antenna. The feed’s performance on the telescope has been evaluated together with EMSS Antennas in South Africa, and with a system simulator developed by Marianna Ivashina and colleagues at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers&quot; says Jonas Flygare.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>(Credit: Chalmers / Johan Bodell)</em></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Band1_LNA_Bodell_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />3. The engineers in the Band 1 project at Onsala Space Observatory. From left: Lars Wennerbäck, Miroslav Pantaleev, Jan Karaskuru, Per Björklund, Christer Hermansson, Leif Helldner, Bo Wästberg, Jonas Flygare, Lars Pettersson, Ronny Wingdén, Magnus Dahlgren and Ulf Kylenfall.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>(Credit: Chalmers / Johan Bodell)</em></div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial">  </em><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em>4. Vibration tests in Karlskoga. The receiver is subjected to tough vibration tests at Bofors Test Centre in Karlskoga. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/onsala/42864712112/in/album-72157696496569481/">Video (10 sec) available</a>.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>Credit: Chalmers / Leif Helldner</em></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial">5. Low noise amplifiers in the Band 1 feed for SKA. The Gothenburg company Low Noise Factory developed the unique low noise amplifiers (LNA) for SKA Band 1 that are visible in the middle of this image. They are specially designed for optimal performance without the need for cooling the feed.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>(Credit: Chalmers / Johan Bodell)</em></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><strong style="background-color:initial">More about the SKA project</strong><br /></div> <strong> </strong><div><br /></div> <div>The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, led by SKA Organisation. The SKA will conduct transformational science to improve our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics, monitoring the sky in unprecedented detail and mapping it hundreds of times faster than any current facility.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The SKA is not a single telescope, but a collection of telescopes or instruments, called an array, to be spread over long distances. The SKA is to be constructed in two phases: Phase 1 (called SKA1) in South Africa and Australia; Phase 2 (called SKA2) expanding into other African countries, with the component in Australia also being expanded.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The SKA Organization is supported by 11 member countries - Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom - and has brought together some of the world’s finest scientists, engineers and policy makers and more than 100 companies and research institutions across 20 countries in the design and development of the telescope. </div> <div>Sweden is represented in the SKA Organisation by Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology. Onsala Space Observatory is Sweden’s national facility for radio astronomy. The observatory is hosted by the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology, and is operated on behalf of the Swedish Research Council.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>SKA's Dish Consortium is responsible for the design and testing of the dish that will be SKA-mid, one of two instruments in SKA. Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory represent the Sweden Consortium, led by China and consisting of engineers and researchers at research institutes and companies in France, Italy, Canada, China, Great Britain, Sweden, South Africa and Germany.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>More about SKA is available at <a href="http://www.skatelescope.org/">http://www.skatelescope.org</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the Band 1 receiver and Swedish industry in the SKA project</strong></div> <strong> </strong><div><br /></div> <div>The receiver has been developed to capture the longest radio waves for which SKA's dish antennas are sensitive. The frequency range is called Band 1 and extends between 350 and 1050 MHz (wavelength 30-85 cm).</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project was led by Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers. The design and system design of the feed was performed by Onsala Space Observatory and funded by the Swedish Research Council.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In industrial liaison for the project Chalmers has worked together with Big Science Sweden and Vinnova.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Several companies from both Sweden and abroad have also contributed to the project. Leax Arkivator, Gothenburg, Sweden, was responsible for the mechanical design of the feed. The metal parts were manufactured at Ventana Group in Hackås, Sweden, and at MegaMeta, in Kaunas, Lithuania. South Africa’s EMSS has delivered control electronics. System engineering work was coordinated by EMSS Antennas in South Africa and the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO). The receiver’s amplifiers are developed by Low Noise Factory in Gothenburg, and were built in the clean room of Chalmers Nanofabrication Laboratory in Gothenburg. Industrial partners for the SKA project also include Omnisys, Gothenburg, Sweden, who developed design concepts early in the project. The overall project work was managed by CSIRO (Australia), CETC54 (China) and the SKA Organisation project office (UK).</div> <div>​<br /></div></div> Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/IEW-2018.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/IEW-2018.aspxThe latest and greatest in energy systems modeling<p><b>​Chalmers is hosting the 37th Edition of IEW – the International Energy Workshop – on June 19-21. The IEW is one of the leading conferences for the international energy modeling research community. - I’ve been attending IEW for more than 15 years. The reason that it attracts me to attend every year is that it’s a community conference that brings the leading figures and young researchers together presenting very high-quality research in energy system modeling, says Sonia Yeh, professor of Transport and Energy Systems and head of the organizing committee for IEW 2018. ​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><span style="background-color:initial">Energy systems modeling is a growing field of research and an increasingly important tool for addressing the complexity of planning and policy making relating to energy. There are many moving parts that interact in an energy system, and many constraints – concerning economy and environment – to take into consideration when choosing a route forward. </span></div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Sonia_Yeh_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:150px;height:150px" /><div>– We try to take a systems perspective and look at the interactions and dynamics within an energy system. In recent years we have focused on how to best incorporate energy from renewable sources or increase the use of electric vehicles in current or future systems. How does supply and demand interact with each other? How will different policy solutions impact the system? It’s really important to look at how different components influence each other, so you don’t focus on one problem and miss other aspects, says Sonia Yeh professor at the division of Physical Resource Theory at Chalmers' department of Space, Earth and Environment. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>An energy system has typically social, technical and economic aspects, and the research is usually focused on long term models, from 10 up to a 100 years.  </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div>– Most people have the misconception that energy models can predict the future. But that is not the case. The future is impossible to predict given all the knowable and unknowable uncertainty. The science (or art) of energy modeling is about simplifying really complicated realities into problems that are manageable and solvable and to extract useful insights for policymakers and for the society. It is not about making projections or forecasts.</div> <div><br /></div> <h6 class="chalmersElement-H6">Three days - three subject areas​</h6> <div>At this year’s conference 116 research papers will be presented, and six keynote speakers will provide high level overviews and summarize the latest research frontiers in three subject areas – climate policy, renewable energy technologies and consumer behaviour. (<a href="https://iew2018.org/program/">Read the full program for IEW 2018 here​</a>). </div> <div><br /></div> <div>– All keynote speakers will be really interesting, but I am especially looking forward to the first day, with keynotes Reyer Gerlagh from Tilburg School of Economics and Management and Thomas Sterner from the School of business, economics and law at the University of Gothenburg. They will be speaking on lessons learned from historical and more recent international climate and energy policy making. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Two of the departments at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment – Physical Resource Theory and Energy Technology whose research complement each other when it comes to the field of energy systems modeling – are working together organizing the conference. Not only the faculty and senior researchers devoted their time organizing, reviewed over 250 high-quality submitted abstracts and planned the program, 10 PhD students will volunteer at the conference. The conference receives sponsorships from many international organizations and Chalmers Energy Area of Advance. </div> <div><br /></div> <h6 class="chalmersElement-H6">Gender balanced conference​ </h6> <div>– One of the goals for this year is to bring the gender balance and diversity to this traditionally male-dominated field. This year the conference program has a perfect gender balance of 50-50 in keynote speakers, program committee, session chairs and volunteers. Gender balance and diversity are not the ends by themselves, but the means to an end where everyone’s work and contributions are being appreciated and recognized equally, says Sonia. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>IEW will also connect back to another high-level conference held at Chalmers last month – <a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/First-ever-conference-on-Negative-CO2-Emissions.aspx">the International Negative CO2 Emissions conference</a> – via a side event. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/EoM/Profilbilder/Mariliis_Lehtveer170x220.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:150px;height:194px" />– Hosting two eminent conferences in one year has significantly raised the profile of Chalmers in the international stage”, says Mariliis Lehtveer, organiser of the negative emissions side event, conference coordinator and also a postdoctoral researcher at the Division of Energy Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– The contributions from our faculty, senior researchers, and PhD students, are the best tool we have to put Chalmers on the map, says Sonia Yeh.   </div> <div><br /></div> <a href="https://iew2018.org/"><div>Visit the web site for the International Energy Wiorkshop, IEW 2018 for more information and a full program. </div></a><div><br /></div> <i>Text and photos: Christian Löwhagen</i>Thu, 07 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/First-ever-conference-on-Negative-CO2-Emissions.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/First-ever-conference-on-Negative-CO2-Emissions.aspxFirst ever conference on Negative CO2 Emissions<p><b>​To save the planet, it is not enough that we simply reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere in future. We need to actually lower the current overall level, by removing the man-made carbon dioxide that we have already produced. The challenges and possibilities of doing this are the focus of the first international ‘Negative CO2 Emissions’ conference, May 22-24 at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Anders_Lyngfelt170x170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />​<span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers Professor Anders Lyngfelt is one of the leaders behind the conference. Since 1998, his work has focused on developing methods for carbon dioxide capture, an endeavour which has seen him become one of the most respected and highly cited academics in his field. </span><div><br /></div> <div>– I'm worried about the climate. If we are to achieve the goals, we need big negative emissions and it is obvious to us that, apart from eliminating carbon dioxide, we need to clean up after us, says Anders Lyngfelt.</div> <div>The conference will feature oral and poster presentations from around 180 international experts in the field, including from USA, UK, Germany, China, Japan, and more. Attendees and speakers will be researchers, politicians and figures from industry. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Among the keynote speakers will be the so-called ‘father of climate change awareness’, James Hansen. A former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, now Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, New York, James Hansen will open the conference with his talk ‘Negative CO2 emissions – why, when, and how much?’ </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Also of particular interest will be Tuesday’s session on ‘Bio Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) in Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries’. BECCS has been suggested as a potentially major technology in the efforts to reduce overall CO2 levels, and the Nordic countries are well placed to make widespread use of this technology. Representatives from Chalmers, KTH, and other Swedish universities, as well as figures from industry and government will discuss the implications and role of BECCS in Swedish climate change policy. </div> <div>Chalmers researchers will also be joined by representatives from the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the Norwegian environmental organisation Bellona, and the University of Copenhagen, to discuss the potential for BECCS technologies throughout the whole Nordic region. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>This session starts with an invited lecture by State Secretary for Climate Policy Eva Svedling, who will also open the conference together with the president and CEO of Chalmers, Stefan Bengtsson. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="http://negativeco2emissions2018.com/">More info and full programme can be found at the conference web site</a>. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></div> Mon, 21 May 2018 08:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Advanced-biofuels-can-be-produced-extremely-efficiently.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Advanced-biofuels-can-be-produced-extremely-efficiently.aspxAdvanced 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="http://www.chalmers.se/SiteCollectionDocuments/SEE/News/Popularreport_GoBiGas_results_highres.pdf" 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="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D2sWiGkcFg">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="http://goteborgenergi.streamingbolaget.se/video/156153/link"><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="http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/chalmers/pressreleases/advanced-biofuels-can-be-produced-extremely-efficiently-confirms-industrial-demonstration-2511833">Read more in the international press release. ​</a></div> <div>​<br /></div></div>Mon, 21 May 2018 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Flares-in-the-universe-can-now-be-studied-on-earth.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Flares-in-the-universe-can-now-be-studied-on-earth.aspxFlares in the universe can now be studied on earth<p><b>Solar flares, cosmic radiation, and the northern lights are well-known phenomena. But exactly how their enormous energy arises is not as well understood. Now, physicists at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a new way to study these spectacular space plasma phenomena in a laboratory environment. The results have been published in the renowned journal Nature Communications.</b></p><div><span><span><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/LongqingYi_170327_01_beskuren_270x.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></span>“Scientists have been trying to bring these space phenomena down to earth for a decade. With our new method we can enter a new era, and investigate what was previously impossible to study. It will tell us more about how these events occur,” says Longqing Yi, researcher at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.<p></p> <p>The research concerns so-called ‘magnetic reconnection’ – the process which gives rise to these phenomena. Magnetic reconnection causes sudden conversion of energy stored in the magnetic field into heat and kinetic energy. This happens when two plasmas with anti-parallel magnetic fields are pushed together, and the magnetic field lines converge and reconnect. This interaction leads to violently accelerated plasma particles that can sometimes be seen with the naked eye – for example, during the northern lights.</p> <p>Magnetic reconnection in space can also influence us on earth. The creation of solar flares can interfere with communications satellites, and thus affect power grids, air traffic and telephony.</p> <p>In order to imitate and study these spectacular space plasma phenomena in the laboratory, you need a high-power laser, to create magnetic fields around a million times stronger than those found on the surface of the sun. In the new scientific article, Longqing Yi, along with Professor Tünde Fülöp from the Department of Physics, proposed an experiment in which magnetic reconnection can be studied in a new, more precise way. Through the use of 'grazing incidence' of ultra-short laser pulses, the effect can be achieved without overheating the plasma. The process can thus be studied very cleanly, without the laser directly affecting the internal energy of the plasma. The proposed experiment would therefore allow us to seek answers to some of the most fundamental questions in astrophysics.<span><span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></span></p> <p>“<span><span><span><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Tunde270x.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></span></span></span>We hope that this can inspire many research groups to use our results. This is a great opportunity to look for knowledge that could be useful in a number of areas. For example, we need to better understand solar flares, which can interfere with important communication systems. We also need to be able to control the instabilities caused by magnetic reconnection in fusion devices,” says Tünde Fülöp.</p> <p>The study on which the new results are based was financed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation, through the framework of the project ‘Plasma-based Compact Ion Sources’, and the ERC project ‘<span>Running away and radiating<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>'.</p> <p>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se">mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se</a></p></div> <div>Translation: Joshua Worth, <a href="mailto:joshua.worth@chalmers.se">joshua.worth@chalmers.se</a></div> <div>Portrait pictures: Peter Widing (Tünde Fülöp) and Mia Halleröd Palmgren (Longqing Yi) <span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/reconnection_LongqingYi750x340.jpg" height="340" width="750" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><strong>A new way of studying magnetic reconnection. </strong>The picture shows the experiment setup. The laser (the red triangle on the right) hits the micro-scale film (the grey slab), which splits the beam like a knife. Electrons accelerate on both sides of the ‘knife’ and produce strong currents, along with extremely strong, anti-parallel magnetic fields. Magnetic reconnection occurs beyond the end of the film (the blue frame). The magnetic field is illustrated with black arrows. The boomerang-like structures illustrate the electrons in the different stages of the simulation. The rainbow colours represent the electron transverse momenta.</div> <div>Illustration: Longqing Yi</div> <div> <div>The scientific article was published in the journal Nature Communications.</div> <div><a href="https://rdcu.be/MkzQ">'Relativistic magnetic reconnection driven by a laser interacting with a micro-scale plasma slab'</a></div></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More Information:</h5> <strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Tünde-Fülöp.aspx">Tünde Fülöp,</a></strong> <span>Professor, <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 72 986 74 40, <a href="mailto:tunde.fulop@chalmers.se">tunde.fulop@chalmers.se</a><div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Longqing-Yi.aspx"><strong>Longqing Yi</strong></a>, Postdoctoral researcher,Department of Physics,Chalmers University of Technology,+46 31 772 68 82, <a href="mailto:longqing@chalmers.se">longqing@chalmers.se</a><br /><br /><a href="http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/chalmers/pressreleases/flares-in-the-universe-can-now-be-studied-on-earth-2488716"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and download high-resolution images. </a><br /></div> Wed, 02 May 2018 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Ida-Klappevik-and-Johan-Bremer-awarded-for-best-masters-theses.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Ida-Klappevik-and-Johan-Bremer-awarded-for-best-masters-theses.aspxIda Kläppevik and Johan Bremer awarded for best master&#39;s theses<p><b>​Ida Kläppevik and Johan Bremer have been awarded with the Microwave Road Scholarship for best master&#39;s thesis 2017, in the area of antenna and microwave engineering.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Ida Kläppevik gets the award of 10 000 SEK and a diploma for her thesis “Analysis, construction and evaluation of radial power divider/combiner”. Johan Bremer is awarded for his thesis “Compensation of thermal effects by dynamic bias in low noise amplifiers”. The winners got their scholarships at the Microwave Road seminar on Space and Satellite on 25 April, handed over to them by Johan Carlert, chairman of Microwave Road.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Microwave Road is a national cluster focusing on international technology and market development uniting industry, universities, research institutes and regional and national public authorities.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>Read Ida Kläppevik's thesis &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div>http://studentarbeten.chalmers.se/publication/252937-analysis-construction-and-evaluation-of-a-radial-power-dividercombiner</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read Johan Bremer's thesis &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div>http://studentarbeten.chalmers.se/publication/252233-compensation-of-thermal-effects-by-dynamic-bias-in-low-noise-amplifiers</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more about the scholarship &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div>http://www.microwaveroad.se/microwave-road-stipendiet.html</div></div>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Two-ERC-Advanced-Grants-to-astronomy-research.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Two-ERC-Advanced-Grants-to-astronomy-research.aspxConsolidates Chalmers place in the astronomy world&#39;s elite<p><b>​For the first time, two researchers at the same division and department at Chalmers has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant, each of 2.5 million euros. Susanne Aalto and Jonathan Tan, professors at Astronomy and Plasma Physics, have been awarded funding from the European Research Council ERC for two five-year research projects that deal with super massive black holes and massive stars, respectively.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;The ERC grants give us the resources that make it possible to work on large scale research questions. This means that Chalmers can consolidate its place in the world’s elite in mm, submm and radio astronomy&quot;, says Susanne Aalto, professor and Head of the division Astronomy and Plasma Physics in the Department of Space, Earth and Environment. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​<br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">​Exploring the hidden nuclei of galaxies</h5> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/saalto.aspx">Susanne Aalto</a>, professor in radio astronomy och head of the division Astronomy and Plasma Physics, is one of two astronomers at Chalmers University of Technology who received an ERC Advanced Grant. She is also the first woman at Chalmers with an ERC Advanced Grant. In the HIDDeN project, her research team will explore how supermassive black holes - like the one in the middle of the Milky Way - grow together with their host galaxies.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;If you want to understand how the universe develops, you must understand the development of galaxies. We have discovered extremely dust-embedded galaxy nuclei that are invisible, both in normal light and in infrared radiation. We believe that they hide a thus-far unknown, compact and very transient phase of growth,&quot; says Susanne Aalto.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/hidden-galaxy-evolution.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read the whole interview with Susanne Aalto​</a></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><span>A star is born – but how?</span></h5> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/jonathan-tan.aspx">Jonathan Tan</a><span style="background-color:initial">, professor in Astrophysics, also received an ERC Advanced Grant. </span><span style="background-color:initial">Massive Star Formation Through the Universe, </span><span style="background-color:initial">his research group </span><span style="background-color:initial">will </span><span style="background-color:initial">focus on massive star formation - in current times, as well as in the very early </span><span style="background-color:initial">times after the Big Bang. </span><span style="background-color:initial">He hopes to be able to use their results to better understand the complete life cycle of stars, star clusters and the interstellar medium in galaxies. </span><br /></div></div></span> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;Without massive stars, life as we know it would not be possible, since many important chemical elements are created in massive stars and released into the universe when they ultimately explode in supernovae. We hope to answer some of the numerous open questions about the birth of massive stars in this project,&quot; says Jonathan Tan</span>.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Massive-star-formation.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read the whole interview with Jonathan Tan​</a></div></div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200