News: Global related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 14 Dec 2018 16:49:21 +0100 fibres can store energy – listed as breakthrough of the year<p><b>​We have previously reported about a study, led by Chalmers University of Technology, that has shown that carbon fibres can work as battery electrodes, storing energy directly. This research has now been listed by the regarded Physics World Magazine as one of this year’s ten biggest breakthroughs.</b></p><div>​It is a team of expert editors at <a href="">Physics World</a> that each year lists what they regard as the top ten biggest breakthroughs of the year. One out of these ten is then awarded Breakthrough of the Year and the other nine highly commended breakthroughs are listed in no particular order. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Physics World 2018 Breakthrough of the Year went to Pablo Jarillo-Herrero of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US and colleagues for their discoveries in the area of graphene. In 2012 the title went to the discovery of a Higgs-like particle, which the following year was awarded with the Nobel Prize.</div> <br /><div>&quot;I’m very happy that our research on materials here at Chalmers University of Technology gain attention in this context. It is a big thing&quot;, says Leif Asp.</div> <br /><div>Asp headed up a multidisciplinary group of researchers who recently published a study on how the microstructure of carbon fibres affects their electrochemical properties – that is, their ability to operate as electrodes in a lithium-ion battery. So far this has been an unexplored research field.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/MoB/Kolfiber%20kan%20laga%20energi_webb_EN.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><em>Increased energy efficiency with multi-functional carbon fibre in a structural battery</em><br /><em>Illustration: Yen Strandqvist</em><br /><br /></div> <div>What the researchers have shown is that carbon fibres can perform more tasks than simply act as a reinforcing material. They can store energy, for example. This opens up new opportunities for structural batteries, where the carbon fibre becomes part of the energy system. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The use of this type of multifunctional material can contribute to a significant weight-reduction in the aircraft and vehicles of the future – a key challenge for electrification.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Has gained world-wide attention</h2></div> <div>The discovery has also attracted a lot of international interest with over 170 articles in more than 30 countries.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Yes, I have been contacted by a lot of journalists. Among other BBC called me and wanted a live radio interview, which was quite exciting&quot;, says Leif Asp.</div> <br /><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/MoB/EFANX_340x305_viewpoint-2-HD_BSJ_20180201.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The industry has also shown great interest and Airbus has entered an agreement with Chalmers University of Technology, since it chimes with one of Airbus’ own strategic research fields: integrated energy storage. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Peter Linde from Airbus says that one absolutely crucial reason for the collaboration is the cutting-edge research being conducted by Leif Asp’s research team, together with colleagues at KTH Royal Institute of Technology within the field of multifunctional composites for energy storage.
 </div> <br /><div><br /></div> <div><div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><br /></h5> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More information</h2> <div>The research has been funded by <em>Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency, the Swedish Research Council </em>and <em>Alistore European Research Institute.</em><br /></div></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Read the scientific article</h5></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a title="Länk till den vetenskapliga artikeln" href="">Graphitic microstructure and performance of carbon fibre Li-ion structural battery electrodes</a> published in the journal Multifunctional Materials.</p> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Read more about how carbon fibre can store energy<br /></h5> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/carbon-fibre-can-store-energy.aspx">Carbon fibre that can store energy in the body of a vehicle<br /></a></div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More information about the Airbus collaboration</h5></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Airbus-collaboration-on-multifunctional-materials.aspx">Airbus collaboration on multifunctional materials</a><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">For additional information, contact:</h5> <span style="display:inline !important;float:none;background-color:transparent;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:300;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:22px;text-align:left;text-decoration:none;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">Leif Asp, Professor of Material and Computational Mechanics at Chalmers University of Technology</span>, 031-772 15 43, <a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 14 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100 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="">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="">​</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=""></a></div> <div><a href=""></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="">,%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 +0100 fashion can be worn for 50 years<p><b>​A shirt that can gain a new lease of life and be used for 50 years. Clothes made of paper that can be worn for a few days. Fashion designers and researchers from Chalmers have joined forces in an innovative project to test the limits of sustainable garments of the future. The results were recently showcased at an exhibition in London.</b></p><div>​How can we reduce the environmental impact of clothes and create more sustainable fashion? This question is the focus of a recently concluded research project “Circular Design Speeds”, which is a collaboration between researchers, fashion designers and the clothing brand Filippa K. The research findings and the garment prototypes have now been on show at an exhibition in London.</div> <div> </div> <div>“People who work with fashion have sometimes asked me what they can do to make clothes more environmentally friendly. Dialogue and working together with the research world is a good start,” says Greg Peters, Associate Professor in the Division of Environmental Systems Analysis at Chalmers.<br /><br /></div> <div>Together with researchers from RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) he has conducted a life-cycle analysis for two garment prototypes, which were developed at University of the Arts London, and has assessed the environmental impact of the garments throughout their life cycle.<br /><br /></div> <div>Both of the items of clothing are extreme in terms of potential lifespan. One – a polyester shirt – is an example of slow fashion that is designed to be used in various phases for 50 years. </div> <div> </div> <div>“The idea is that the shirt can be altered during its lifetime to keep it interesting for its owner, and so that it can be taken over by additional owners. We have calculated that the garment will have had seven users in eight different life cycles before finally being consigned to disposal through incineration,” Peters says.</div> <div> </div> <div>The transformation of the shirt will initially take place via sublimation dye overprinting, technology that does exist, but is not yet used on a large scale as a recycling technique. Peters explains it as a form of electronic printing on paper that can be transferred onto an item of clothing using heat. The owner can thereby revamp the shirt and change its appearance several times before it reaches the next stage in its life cycle.</div> <div> </div> <div>“When you can no longer create new prints on the shirt, we use the fabric to make lining, in a jacket for example. This is done by mixing the fabric with another material using a laser machine. We thereby extend the intended life cycle of the garment by a further 15 years beyond the lifespan of the shirt,” he says.  </div> <div> </div> <div>After this, the project’s fashion designers suggest that the jacket be redesigned to make jewellery and fashion accessories, which lengthens the lifespan by 20 more years. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><img src="/sv/institutioner/tme/PublishingImages/Nyheter/Andra%20storlekar/GregPeters1_750x320.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4" style="text-align:center"><span>&quot;If we can make our clothes last longer, we can minimise the major environmental impact produced when the clothes are created<span>&quot;</span></span></h4> <div style="text-align:center"> <h6 class="chalmersElement-H6">Greg Peters, Chalmers</h6></div></div> <div> </div> <div>Using all these means to extend the garment lifespan is the main reason we see great environmental gains, because most of the adverse environmental impact caused by clothes is created during their manufacture when fibres and fabrics are made. That’s why it is very beneficial to be able to use our clothes for longer, so that we reduce our need to buy new ones.</div> <div> </div> <div>“This is an important message: we buy too many clothes! If we can make our clothes last longer, we can minimise the major environmental impact produced when the clothes are created,” he says.</div> <div> </div> <div>Another way of creating more sustainable clothes is to develop materials that have a very short life cycle teamed with lower environmental impact during their production. Fast fashion clothing can be recycled or turned into compost, but the substantial environmental benefit is reaped right at the point of purchase, because the buyer thereby avoids conventional garments with all the adverse environmental impact that they involve.</div> <div> </div> <div>In the project, a number of garments made of paper pulp were produced that have an intended lifespan of a few days. Greg Peters states that sustainable production has major advantages, and that the garments are light in weight, but they must be used a sufficient number of times.  </div> <div> </div> <div>“It’s not enough to use a paper garment twice. According to our calculations, you need to use it at least five times for the environmental gains to surpass conventional clothes used normally. However, there may be places where paper garments that are disposed of after use are a smart idea, such as hospitals,” he says.</div> <div> </div> <div>Peters describes the report as an attempt to facilitate fashion designers’ and environmental scientists’ understanding of how environmental performance in clothes can be improved. He primarily has two recommendations for achieving a more sustainable and circular fashion industry:<br /><br /></div> <div><ul><li>Try to reduce the weight of materials in a garment without reducing its quality, for example by using stronger fibres.</li></ul></div> <div><ul><li>Investigate how to increase and create new value in a garment at the point in time when the user would normally throw it away.</li></ul></div> <div> </div> <div>As part of the project, clothing brand Filippa K has chosen to create two pieces based on the research: one commercial, recyclable jacket made of recycled materials, and a concept dress made of paper. Peters hopes that the fashion industry will find ways of creating more sustainable fashion – and ideally with the help of research.</div> <div> </div> <div>“This is the first time that one of my reports has been linked to a fashion exhibition. It’s really exciting that designers are starting to think along these lines,” he says.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Text: Ulrika Ernström</strong></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">About Circular Design Speeds</h4> <div>Circular Design Speeds is a collaborative project involving:</div> <div> </div> <ul><li>Mistra Future Fashion, an interdisciplinary research programme run by RISE</li></ul> <div> </div> <ul><li>Greg Peters, Associate Professor in the Division of Environmental Systems Analysis at Chalmers, who together with researchers from RISE has conducted a life-cycle analysis for the garment prototypes.</li></ul> <div> </div> <ul><li>Centre for Circular Design at University of the Arts London, which produced these garment prototypes.</li></ul> <div> </div> <ul><li>Clothing brand Filippa K, which has created two pieces based on the research: one commercial, recyclable jacket made of recycled materials, and a concept dress made of paper.</li></ul> <div> </div> <div>Read the research report <a href="">“LCA on fast and slow garment prototypes”</a>, by Greg Peters, (principal author), Gustav Sandin, Sandra Roos and <span style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:300;letter-spacing:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;text-decoration:none;display:inline !important;float:none">Björn Spak</span>.</div> <div> </div> <div>At the end of November 2018, the research findings and garment prototypes were showcased at an exhibition at University of the Arts London.</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Tips on sustainable clothing</h4> <div>Greg Peters’ three tips to consumers who want to take a more sustainable approach.</div> <div> </div> <div><ul><li>Buy fewer items of clothing. </li></ul></div> <div><ul><li>When you buy clothes, invest in strong items that will last for more than just a few washes.</li></ul></div> <div><ul><li>Think about how you wash your clothes. Especially in the drying phase – hang your clothes up to dry and avoid tumble dryers, which destroy the garments’ fibres.</li></ul></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">The creators of the clothes </h4> <div>All the garments, shown in the image at the top of the page, were created at University of the Arts London</div> <div> </div> <div>From left:</div> <div>1.    Fast Concept – Paper leather jacket, by Prof. Kay Politowicz and Dr Kate Goldsworthy </div> <div>2.    Fast Concept – Laser Line Mono, by Prof. Kay Politowicz and Dr Kate Goldsworthy </div> <div>3.    Fast Concept – Pulp-It Indigo, by Prof. Kay Politowicz and Dr Kate Goldsworthy </div> <div>4.    Slow Concept – First Step Plain Shirt, by Prof. Rebecca Earley </div> <div>5.    Slow Concept – Jacket by Laetitia Forst</div> <div>6.    Slow Concept – Overprinted Shirt and accessories, by Prof. Rebecca Earley</div>Tue, 11 Dec 2018 16:00:00 +0100 Hughes named ACM Fellow<p><b>Second ACM Fellow at ​Computer Science and Engineering as John Hughes joins the exclusive group. He is recognized for his contributions to software testing and functional programming, which include the development of the programming language Haskell and the test tool QuickCheck.</b></p><div>ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. They are behind, among others, the prestigious <a href="">Turing Award</a>. Each year, after a rigorous nomination process, a number of members are named Fellows. On the recently published list for 2018 was professor John Hughes at Computer Science and Engineering. He is recognized for his contributions to software testing and functional programming, which include the development of the programming language Haskell and the test tool QuickCheck. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>John Hughes participated in the development of Haskell during the years 1988-1998. He joined Chalmers in 1992, and since 2006 runs the company <a href="">Quviq</a> in parallel with research and teaching, to develop and commercialize QuickCheck. The original version of <a href="">QuickCheck</a> for Haskell was developed in 1999, and it remains a popular tool in the community. </div> <div>&quot;We have two new customers in the blockchain domain, and recently provided QuickCheck training for 25 of 50 Haskell developers at <em>Input Output Hong Kong</em>, the company behind the world's eleventh largest crypto currency.&quot; </div> <div><br /></div> <div>During the autumn he has been involved in developing material for contract teaching of high school mathematics teachers, that the department has provided for the municipalities of Kungsbacka and Halmstad.</div> <div>&quot;We have combined parts from Jan Skansholm's book Programmera på riktigt, with materials developed at Brown University in the United States to teach functional programming to high school students.&quot; <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>(If you want to know more about functional programming, John Hughes gives a good overview <a href="">in this movie</a>.) <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>ACM recognizes its new Fellows and award winners at the Awards Banquet, to be held in San Francisco on June 15, 2019. Information about all ACM Fellows (including Per Stenström at Computer Science and Engineering, appointed in 2008) <a href="">is available at ACM's website</a>. </div> <br />Tue, 11 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100 for detection of cancer from blood samples<p><b>​His blood analysis could detect several different cancer types at an early stage, when the sickness may be effectively treated. For this work, Francesco Gatto is now rewarded as an “Innovator Under 35” by MIT Technology Review.</b></p>​Cancer is mainly diagnosed and monitored using medical imaging techniques such as x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans. The tests are expensive and could cause harm to patients in the long run. Therefore, these techniques are not to be used to often, which in turn leads to the risk of missing out on an opportunity for early diagnosis.<br /><br /><strong>Metabolites reveal sickness</strong><br /><br />Using a blood or urine sample, it is now possible to test for early detection of cancer – or cancer relapse – much more frequently, opening up options for optimal treatment. Tests like these are today in place for a few types of cancer. Francesco Gatto, guest researcher and alumnus at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers, is developing the analysis of blood metabolites – small molecules that reflect a fundamental process of growth in tumour cells – to recognize a larger variety of cancer forms. For this he is now named as an “Innovator Under 35” along with 34 fellow European innovators.<br /><br />&quot;It is a big honor. At first, I did not fully grasp the magnitude of this. But then, when the news went public, the reaction was quite overwhelming&quot;, he says.<br />&quot;The award acknowledges the work of innovators in driving high risk/high impact projects for our society, and is assigned by a distinguished jury assembled by MIT Technology Review.&quot;<br /><br /><strong>Mission: To save lifes</strong><br /><br />In 2017, Francesco Gatto together with Professor Jens Nielsen founded the company Elypta, a spin-off company to Chalmers that is also in close collaboration with the university. Elypta’s mission is to prevent mortality from cancer by developing their liquid biopsy platform for detection as well as monitoring the disease, since the findings also show responses to treatments. The approach is based on the measurement of 19 biomarkers, identified during Francesco Gatto’s doctoral studies at Chalmers, and use of machine learning algorithms to generate a biomarker score, tailored to identify cancer-type specific signatures.<br /><br />&quot;We have now completed over five clinical studies to show exceptional accuracy, not only in our main indication – renal cell carcinoma – but also in multiple other forms of cancer&quot;, Francesco Gatto says, and adds the Elypta is planning to release the diagnostic test for research use in 2019, and activate two multicenter trials in 2020.<br />&quot;There is a lot of evidence to suggest that early detection reduces mortality, which, at the end of the day, is the only thing that matters&quot;, he concludes.<br /><br />Paloma Cabello, member of the jury of “Innovators Under 35” in 2018, comments that Francesco Gatto stands out for his “technical brilliance, creativity, and focus on the transference and implementation capacity”. <br /><br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Martina ButoracThu, 06 Dec 2018 16:00:00 +0100 researcher gets major grant from The Swedish Research Council<p><b>​Åsa Haglund, professor at the Photonics Laboratory at MC2, has been awarded a consolidator grant from The Swedish Research Council (VR). She is funded with 10,4 million SEK for the years 2019-2024. &quot;I had to restrain myself from jumping for joy. It is really a dream come true&quot;, says Åsa Haglund.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/asa_haglund_170112_hsandsjo_350px.jpg" alt="Picture of Åsa Haglund." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />She tells us that she was sitting on the train to Stockholm when she got the announcement.</span><br /></div> <div>&quot;It feels fantastic! Doing the transition from a young researcher to an established professor is a very important step in one’s academic career, but also a big challenge. This generous consolidator grant will be the key enabler to make this happen&quot;, Åsa Haglund continues.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The grant is funding her project &quot;Ultraviolet and blue microcavity lasers&quot;, and will strengthen Åsa Haglund's group and help them establish a creative research environment. </div> <div>&quot;We can now have a long-term perspective that you seldom get with normal grants. We will dare to invest in more high-risk, high-gain research that hopefully will pay off in the end.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project aims to develop the very first electrically driven ultraviolet microcavity laser. Åsa Haglund and her colleagues will make blue microcavity lasers useful for real-world applications by trying to bring the power conversion efficiency above the single digit range.</div> <div>&quot;When these devices are realized, they will be of great use for a myriad of applications such as solid-state lighting, water purification, photolithography, biomedical applications, enhancing health-promoting substances in plants, gas sensing, fluorescence-based sensing and UV curing&quot;, she explains and continues:</div> <div>&quot;The project will get a flying start with two recent breakthroughs by our group; measures against optical anti-guiding and a selective etch technique. The latter will also be a key enabler in many other areas besides microcavity lasers where airgaps or substrate removal is crucial, such as for high-efficiency UV-LEDs.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The grant will also fund a post-doc and a PhD student; an important strengthening of the research group. </div> <div>&quot;We have many challenges ahead of us, but we will do our best to turn our dream of microcavity lasers emitting in the blue and ultraviolet into reality&quot;, says Åsa Haglund.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>She has long Chalmers experience, and got her PhD degree already in 2005, working for Professor Anders Larsson, head of the Photonics Laboratory, where she has stayed since then.</div> <div>&quot;I focused on improving the performance of infrared-emitting vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). The method we developed to boost the single-mode output power in these devices caught a lot of attention and is now used by many VCSEL companies across the world.&quot; </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Åsa Haglund is one of the most talented and sucessful young researchers at MC2. In 2012 she was able to start her own group when she was awarded with a young researcher grant from The Swedish Research Council. The group focused on developing microcavity lasers in GaN-based materials to achieve emission in the blue.</div> <div>&quot;We could strongly benefit from the device knowledge we have acquired over the years on VCSELs. At the same time we had to start from scratch, since many of the concepts used for infrared VCSELs in GaAs-based materials can’t be translated to blue-emitting GaN-based devices&quot;, says Åsa Haglund.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As a researcher it is important to have good networks with other researchers to interact with and share knowledge and experience with. She recalls when she first visited a GaN-based conference:</div> <div>&quot;Out of 900 participants, I only recognized one person. It has taken a few years to build up a network in a community I was completely unknown to. Now we have strong collaborations with some of the best material’s groups in the world. This, together with the dedication from our skilled group members, puts us in a unique position to make state-of-the-art devices. Something I am very thankful for.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The purpose of a consolidator grant is to give the most prominent junior researchers the opportunity to consolidate their research and broaden their activities as independent researchers. Three researchers at Chalmers received funding in this round. Beside Åsa Haglund, also Christoph Langhammer and Ermin Malic at the Department of Physics were awarded. The total grant amount for 2019-2024 is almost 221,5 million SEK. Chalmers gets 33,4 million SEK. 306 researcher from all over Sweden applied for a grant. Only 20 were successful; seven women and 13 men.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo: Henrik Sandsjö</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more about the consolidator grants and the decision &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></div> <div><a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">​</a></div>Thu, 06 Dec 2018 11:00:00 +0100 in dinosaur collaboration<p><b>​New discoveries regarding the dolphin-like fish lizard Stenopterygius, which lived 180 million years ago have been published in the scientific journal Nature. Chalmers’ research infrastructure Chemical imaging plays an important part in the discoveries.</b></p>​The <a href="">Stenopterygius</a> <span>was around two meters long and lived in the <a href="">Early Jurassic</a> period in an ocean that was situated where southern Germany now is, over a hundred million years before the times of the better known dinosaurs Tyrannusaurus and Triceratops. Now researchers, in a multidisciplinary international collaboration led by a group at the Lund University in Sweden, have investigated a very well preserved fossil which has led to astonishing new knowledge about the dolphin-like creature which they now <a href="">publish in Nature</a>. The fossil’s integumental parts such as blubber, skin and liver have been studied at both cellular and molecular levels. This has led to a clearer image of what the animal looked like and was structured.  One discovery the researchers made was that although 180 million years have passed, there is still some flexibility in parts of the tissue. To be able to perform this in depth analysis the groupe involved Chalmers infrastructure of Chemical imaging.</span><div><br /><span></span> <div>– We have been looking at melanophores, i.e pigment-containing cells, and skin from the fossil. We have been able to confirm that the cells, after millions of years, still contain important organic elements from lipids and proteins, says <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Per-Malmberg.aspx">Per Malmberg</a>, director at Chalmers and University of Gothenburgs open infrastructure <a href="/en/researchinfrastructure/chemicalimaging/Pages/default.aspx">Chemical imaging</a>.<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Dinosaur/Per%20Malmberg-.jpg" width="2741" height="3549" alt="" style="height:220px;width:170px;margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div>The discovery contributes with renewed knowledge regarding convergent evolution, i.e similar characteristics in different species that have developed due to similar living conditions rather than due to heritage. The fish lizard has several similarities with today’s dolphins and porpoises, but also the leatherback sea turtle, even though they are not related. </div> <div>The research has been carried out together by universities all over the world, but has been led by researchers at the Lund University. They choose to engage Chalmers because <span style="background-color:initial">their open infrastructure</span><span style="background-color:initial"> offer access to NanoSIMS-analysis and analytical competence</span><span style="background-color:initial">.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div></div> <div>– Me and my colleague Aurélien Thomen from University of Gothenburg, who also is involved in this work, are proud to be able to contribute with an important piece of the puzzle to understand how Stenopterygius functioned. Our infrastructure offers a unique possibility to get high resolution chemical surface analysis and our contribution to the study shows that our infrastructure is world class, says Per Malmberg.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>NanoSIMS, as part of Chemical imaging, is a technology that makes it possible to create chemical maps of surfaces. Ranging from hard materials such as fossil to soft matter such as cells, all can be analysed by the <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Dinosaur/nanosims.jpg" width="457" height="294" alt="" style="height:223px;width:345px;margin:5px" /><br />NanoSIMS. It is a quite sensitive technology that may analyse substances at a ppm-level and create images of distribution with a resolution down to 50 nanometres. Chemical imaging is an infrastructure co-owned together with the University of Gothenburg and facilitates the only NanoSIMS instrument in the Nordic countries.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read more about the discovery at Lunds University’s web.​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mats Tiborn</div> <div>​<br /></div></div>Wed, 05 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100 were awarded the coveted consolidator grants<p><b></b></p><div><img src="/en/departments/physics/news/PublishingImages/vrkonsilodation.jpg" alt="vrkonsilodation.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />The Swedish Research Council has decided on the applications to be awarded consolidator grants in 2018. The total grant amount for 2019-2024 is almost 221,5 million SEK. </div> <div>The competition has been hard. Of the 306 applications received, 20 have been granted and three of them go to physicists at Chalmers.​<br /></div> <div>Congratulations to <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Christoph-Langhammer.aspx">Christoph Langhammer</a> and <a href="/en/staff/Pages/ermin-malic.aspx">Ermin Malic</a> at the Department of Physics and to <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Åsa-Haglund.aspx">Åsa Haglund</a> at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience. They were the three researchers at Chalmers who managed to get the coveted grant. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Christoph Langhammer’s project” The Sub-10 nm Challenge in Single Particle Catalysis” and has been granted 12 million SEK. </div> <div><a href="/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Portrait-Christoph-Langhammer.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Christoph Langhammer and the research that paves the way for the hydrogen vehicles of the future.</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Ermin Malics’ project ”Microscopic view on exciton dynamics in atomically thin materials” has been granted 12 million SEK. </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Optical-fingerprint-can-reveal-environmental-gases.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Ermin Malic's research on, for example, ultra-thin, fast, efficient and accurate sensors. ​​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Åsa Haglund’s project ”Ultraviolet and blue microcavity lasers” has been granted 10,4 million SEK. </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/MC2-researcher-gets-major-grant-from-The-Swedish-Research-Council.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Åsa Haglund and her research on developing the very first electrically driven ultraviolet microcavity laser. </a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the consolidator grant and the projects (Swedish Research Council)​</a></div> Wed, 05 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100 help LFV to reduce environmental impact from aviation<p><b>​During next year, the Chalmers researcher Olivier Petit will be lent out to the Swedish air transport agency LFV. At LFV he will analyze how aeroplanes fly today. A change in how they fly will save money and reduce environmental impact.</b></p>​Olivier Petit is a researcher in the field of fluid dynamics at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences. His research area for five years back is the development of future aircraft engines. But there is more to do than to improve the aircraft engine itself. It's also important to analyze how the aircraft is flying, he believes. <div><br /></div> <div>There is currently a lot of ongoing research that deals with how aeroplanes fly in and out from airports, tells Olivier Petit. One example is smarter start and landing procedures. Another example is the so-called curved approach landing, which means that the aircraft can land in a shorter distance. It could provide a number of advantages that reduces both noise and environmental impact. At LFV Olivier Petit will work as a performance specialist. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;There is a lot of things you can do if you only optimize how to fly today. I will analyze the radar data that the aircraft sends to LFV. The goal is to improve air traffic from a logistical perspective and thereby reduce environmental impact&quot; says Olivier Petit. </div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">If research could prove better in- and outflows, landing procedures and more, why are the changes not implemented? </h5> <div>Olivier Petit believes that a number of actors must cooperate. The biggest challenge is to convince all parties in the aviation industry that it is important to look at how to fly today from an environmental perspective. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;LFV, airline companies, aircraft manufacturers, airports and more must cooperate and agree with each other. Sometimes there is a reluctance to make changes before you are completely sure that it really works. Therefore, more research is important&quot; says Olivier Petit. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The interaction between Chalmers and LFV brings great benefits to both parties. For Chalmers, cooperation with LFV involves more industrial contacts in air traffic management. A valuable network that can be used for future research projects, which in turn may benefit LFV by bringing them closer to the research community. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;It feels very exciting to start working at LFV. It will give me a more applied view of the aviation industry and I will, as a performance specialist, be able to contribute with an educational dimension that is very relevant for presenting data analysis in a good way&quot; says Olivier Petit.</div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More information</h5> <div><a href="/en/departments/m2/research/fluiddynamics">Research on Fluid dynamics​</a></div> <div><a href=";query=Olivier+Petit">Olivier Petit's publications​</a></div>Wed, 28 Nov 2018 12:00:00 +0100 joint restores wrist-like movements<p><b>​A new artificial joint restores important wrist-like movements to forearm amputees, something which could dramatically improve their quality of life. A group of researchers led by Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have published their research in the journal IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems &amp; Rehabilitation Engineering.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">For patients missing a hand, one of the biggest challenges to regaining a high level of function is the inability to rotate one’s wrist, or to ‘pronate’ and ‘supinate’. When you lay your hand flat on a table, palm down, it is fully pronated. Turn your wrist 180 degrees, so the hand is palm up, and it is fully supinated. </span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span><div>Most of us probably take it for granted, but this is an essential movement that we use every day. Consider using a door handle, a screwdriver, a knob on a cooker, or simply turning over a piece of paper. For those missing their hand, these are much more awkward and uncomfortable tasks, and current prosthetic technologies offer only limited relief to this problem. </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Max Ortiz Catalan" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20teori%20om%20fantomsmärtor%20visar%20vägen%20mot%20effektivare%20behandling/max_ortiz_catalan_250px.jpg" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:middle" /><br /> <span style="background-color:initial">“A person with forearm amputation can use a motorised wrist rotator controlled by electric signals from the remaining muscles. However, those same signals are also used to control the prosthetic hand,” explains Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor at the Department for Electrical Engineering at Chalmers. “This results in a very cumbersome and unnatural control scheme, in which patients can only activate either the prosthetic wrist or the hand at one time and have to switch back and forth. Furthermore, patients get no sensory feedback, so they have no sensation of the hand’s position or movement.” </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>The new artificial joint works instead with an osseointegrated implant system developed by the Sweden-based company, Integrum AB – one of the partners in this project. An implant is placed into each of the two bones of the forearm – the ulnar and radius – and then a wrist-like artificial joint acts as an interface between these two implants and the prosthetic hand. Together, this allows for much more naturalistic movements, with intuitive natural control and sensory feedback. </div> <div> </div> <div><img alt="A collection of images showing the new technology" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Konstgjord%20led%20ger%20underarmsamputerade%20rörelseförmåga%20tillbaka%20i%20handleden/Kollage_konstgjord_led_750px.jpg" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:middle" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Patients who have lost their hand and wrist often still preserve enough musculature to allow them to rotate the radius over the ulnar – the crucial movement in wrist rotation. A conventional socket prosthesis, which is attached to the body by compressing the stump, locks the bones in place, preventing any potential wrist rotation, and thus wastes this useful movement. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“Depending on the level of amputation, you could still have most of the biological actuators and sensors left for wrist rotation. These allow you to feel, for example, when you are turning a key to start a car. You don’t look behind the wheel to see how far to turn – you just feel it. Our new innovation means you don’t have to sacrifice this useful movement because of a poor technological solution, such as a socket prosthesis. You can continue to do it in a natural way,” says Max Ortiz Catalan.</span></div> <div><div> </div> <div>Biomedical Engineers Irene Boni and Jason Millenaar were at Chalmers as visiting international students. They worked with Dr. Ortiz Catalan at his Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Lab at Chalmers, and with Integrum AB on this project. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“In tests designed to measure manual dexterity, we have shown that a patient fitted with our artificial joint scored far higher compared to when using conventional socket technology,” explains Jason Millenaar.</div> <div><br /> <span style="background-color:initial">“Our new device offers a much more natural range of movement, minimising the need for compensatory movements of the shoulder or torso, which could dramatically improve the day to day lives of many forearm amputees,” says Irene Boni. </span></div> <div> </div> <div>Dr. Marco Controzzi at the Biorobotics Institute, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy also participated in the research.</div> <div> </div> <div>Read the paper <a href="" target="_blank">‘Restoring Natural Forearm Rotation in Transradial Osseointegrated Amputees​</a>’ published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems &amp; Rehabilitation Engineering.</div> <div> </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="A closeup of the implants and the artificial joint." src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Konstgjord%20led%20ger%20underarmsamputerade%20rörelseförmåga%20tillbaka%20i%20handleden/Konstgjord_led_hand_750px.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><strong><br /></strong> </div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">More on the research</strong><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan is an Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and head of the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (<a href="">@ChalmersBNL​</a>)</span><strong><br /></strong></div> <div>Irene Boni was a visiting student from the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy, and Jason Millenaar from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.</div> <div> </div> <div>The researchers found that restoring the full range of movement to all degrees of freedom in which the forearm bones can move was not necessary – the key parameter for returning a naturalistic wrist motion is the ‘axial’, or circular, motion of the ulnar and radius bones.</div> <div> </div> <div>“The wrist is a rather complicated joint. Although it is possible to restore full freedom of movement in the ulnar and radial bones, this could result in discomfort for the patient at times. We found that axial rotation is the most important factor to allow for naturalistic wrist movement without this uncomfortable feeling,” explains Max Ortiz Catalan. </div> <div> </div> <div>The development was finalised within the Horizon 2020 framework programme for Research and Innovation under the DeTOP project. </div></div> <div> </div> <div><div><strong>For more information, contact:</strong><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Max Ortiz Catalan, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, <br />+46 70 846 10 65, <a href=""></a></span><br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Joshua Worth</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Images: C</span><span style="background-color:initial">halmers Biomechanics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory/Chalmers University of Technolog and Oscar Mattsson</span><br /></div></div> ​Wed, 28 Nov 2018 07:00:00 +0100 internal combustion engine – a part of the future<p><b>​Many are currently pointing out electric cars as the only solution for us to be able to drive a car in the future. The cars are marketed as cars without emissions but it&#39;s not that simple. Lucien Koopmans is a professor at the Division of Combustion and Propulsion Systems and believes that the internal combustion engine is one part of the solution.</b></p>On November 29, AVL will organize the conference <a href="">Product Development in Motion 2018 </a> at Chalmers. A conference for the engineers of tomorrow where they can get insights into today's rapidly evolving engineering industry and the trends that they need to know to support the development of future mobility. <div><br /></div> <div>Lucien Koopmans, Professor and Head of Division for Combustion and Propulsion Systems at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, is one of the speakers and launches a series of workshops with his presentation <em>The end of the combustion engine – or a new life?</em> Spoiler Alert! He is convinced that the internal combustion engine will be a part of the future solutions. The field of application is too wide and the potential of making it climate neutral is too big for the internal combustion engine to go away. The best thing would be to combine the benefits of the two technology solutions to achieve a climate-friendly and sustainable solution for the future, he believes. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;I think that a system-based internal combustion engine can enable a sustainable transport system, but only through electrification, renewable fuels and online controls of the system,&quot; says Lucien Koopmans. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>One important aspect is that since the combustion engine will be an integral part of a connected electrified propulsion system, it should be developed with that in mind, but increased efficiency, renewable fuels, unconventional control strategies and near-zero emissions require research. </div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">But what is the most climate-friendly today, a car with an electric motor or a car with an internal combustion engine? </h5> <div>The answer to the question is, of course, that it depends. A small electric car with a small battery recharged with renewable energy such as solar energy is very climate-friendly but as soon as you want to drive long distances that require a bigger battery and start charging the battery with electricity produced through combustion of fossil fuels, significant amounts of CO2 are produced over a lifecycle; from the manufacturing of the battery to the propulsion of the vehicle. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Compared with the latter, for example, a new diesel car fueled with 50% renewable fuel can be a lot more climate-friendly. The car, engine, driving style, driving conditions and electricity mix are part of a complex system and therefore the answers are never easy, says Lucien Koopmans. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>However, something that Lucien Koopmans easily states is that more research is needed on both electric cars and combustion engines. A hybrid that uses a large proportion of renewable fuel is the most attractive, cost-effective and climate-friendly transport solution for most vehicle users in a foreseeable future, both for passenger cars and freight transport on the road. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Regardless of future scenario, several generations of internal combustion engines will be manufactured and they have a great potential to reach a zero emission scenario with unexplored technologies,&quot; says Lucien Koopmans.</div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More information</h5> <div><a href=""> Product Development in Motion 2018</a><br /><a href="/en/departments/m2/research/combustion">Research at the Division of Combustion and Propulsion Systems</a></div>Fri, 23 Nov 2018 08:00:00 +0100 a possible source for future products<p><b>​How can we use the seaweed growing along our coastlines? Researchers at BIO have now found a new tool for making nutrients and sugars available, to be used for pharmaceutical production, as well as foods or in chemical production.</b></p>​Seaweeds grow abundantly, and are relatively little affected by harmful environmental impact, along Swedish coasts. At the same time, there is a huge demand for sustainable foods, alternative food sources and new sources for a biological production of fuels and chemicals.<br /><br />As part of a larger project, funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, researchers at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering took a closer look at the green seaweed <em>Ulva lactuca</em>, also known as sea lettuce.<div><br /></div> <div><strong>Suitable for foods and pharmaceuticals</strong><br /><br />“<em>Ulva </em>biomass consists of a full range of various biomolecules. The quality of <em>Ulva </em>and its subsequent applications greatly depend on the waters in which it is grown. As the western Swedish coastline is to a large extent free of toxic metals and pollutants, the <em>Ulva </em>biomass that we obtain from these sea waters is suitable for food and medical applications,” says Venkat Rao Konasani, a postdoc at the division of Industrial Biotechnology, and continues:<br /><br />“<em>Ulva </em>biomass from the algal blooms that are found in eutrophicated waters, rich in phosphorous, pollutants and toxic metals, is not suitable for food. However, this algal bloom biomass would be a good choice for bio-energy applications.”<br /><br />In <em>Ulva</em>, there’s a carbohydrate and polysaccharide called ulvan, which is rather different to anything found on land. Ulvan has features that make it relatively easy to dissolve, compared to most other polysaccharides.<br /><br />“We also find more unusual and interesting sugars. They could be used as building blocks in a chemical synthesis to make heparin, a drug used to treat blood clots, thereby providing an alternative to heparin produced from animal sources. They could also, for example, be used as a starter molecule for flavors, or for the production of sustainable materials,” says Associate Professor Eva Albers.</div> <div><br /><strong>Enzymes to open up the cell wall</strong><br /><br />To use the nutrients and sugars found in seaweed, they must first be recovered. Seaweed consist of cells, with cell walls containing – among other things – the ulvan. The researchers aim to find ways of opening up the cell wall structure, as mildly as possible. Using enzymes has proved both efficient and environmentally friendly. Recently, the research group at BIO identified a completely new and promising subgroup of the enzyme group ulvan lyase, which cleaves the ulvan.<br /><br />“Two subgroups are earlier described, and we have found a third. We have also been able to describe yet another enzyme of one of the other subgroups, which comes from the same bacteria. Our findings give us new ways of processing biomass for industrial purposes,” Eva Albers says.<br /><br />The new enzyme subgroup is also shown to have an unexpected advantage; it is naturally present in two groups of bacteria, found in our gastric/intestinal tract.</div> <div><br /><strong>Possible to digest</strong><br /><br />“Researchers ask the question: Could we eat seaweed? Is it possible for us to take advantage of seaweed’s nutritional value? Our findings indicate that we can probably digest and absorb nutrients from seaweed, with help of our own intestinal bacteria breaking the cell walls. In other words, seaweed could possibly serve as a new, future source of nutrition,” Eva Albers says, and Venkat Rao Konasani concludes:<br /><br />“This finding brings forward the potential of <em>Ulva </em>and opens for new commercial high-value applications of the algae biomass which is abundant in Swedish coastal waters, and otherwise unused.”<br /><br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Martina Butorac</div>Thu, 22 Nov 2018 17:00:00 +0100 toxic mercury from contaminated water<p><b>Water which has been contaminated with mercury and other toxic heavy metals is a major cause of environmental damage and health problems worldwide. Now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, present a totally new way to clean contaminated water, through an electrochemical process. The results are published in the scientific journal Nature Communications. ​​​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">“Our results have really exceeded the expectations we had when we started with the technique,” says the research leader Björn Wickman, from Chalmers’ Department of Physics. “Our new method makes it possible to reduce the mercury content in a liquid by more than 99%. This can bring the water well within the margins for safe human consumption.” </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mercury is one the most harmful substances for human health. It can influence the nervous system, the development of the brain, and more. It is particularly harmful for children and can also be transmitted from a mother to a child during pregnancy. Furthermore, mercury spreads very easily through nature, and can enter the food chain. Freshwater fish, for example, often contain high levels of mercury. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the last two years, Björn Wickman and Cristian Tunsu, researcher at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers, have studied an electrochemical process for cleaning mercury from water. Their method works via extracting the heavy metal ions from water by encouraging them to form an alloy with another metal. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Today, removing low, yet harmful, levels of mercury from large amounts of water is a major challenge. Industries need better methods to reduce the risk of mercury being released in nature,” says Björn Wickman. </div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Vattenrening_labbsetup1_webb.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;background-color:initial" /><div>Their new method involves a metal plate – an electrode – that binds specific heavy metals to it. The electrode is made of the noble metal platinum, and through an electrochemical process it draws the toxic mercury out of the water to form an alloy of the two. In this way, the water is cleaned of the mercury contamination. The alloy formed by the two metals is very stable, so there is no risk of the mercury re-entering the water. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“An alloy of this type has been made before, but with a totally different purpose in mind. This is the first time the technique with electrochemical alloying has been used for decontamination purposes,” says Cristian Tunsu.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>One strength of the new cleaning technique is that the electrode has a very high capacity. Each platinum atom can bond with four mercury atoms. Furthermore, the mercury atoms do not only bond on the surface, but also penetrate deeper into the material, creating thick layers. This means the electrode can be used for a long time. After use, it can be emptied in a controlled way. Thereby, the electrode can be recycled, and the mercury disposed of in a safe way. A further positive for this process is that it is very energy efficient.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Another great thing with our technique is that it is very selective. Even though there may be many different types of substance in the water, it just removes the mercury. Therefore, the electrode doesn’t waste capacity by unnecessarily taking away harmless substances from the water,” says Björn Wickman. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Patenting for the new method is being sought, and in order to commercialise the discovery, the company Atium has been setup. The new innovation has already been bestowed with a number of prizes and awards, both in Sweden and internationally. The research and the colleagues in the company have also had a strong response from industry. ​ </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We have already had positive interactions with a number of interested parties, who are keen to test the method. Right now, we are working on a prototype which can be tested outside the lab under real-world conditions.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="">​</a> </div> <div>and Joshua Worth, <a href=""> ​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read the article, <a href="">“Effective removal of mercury from aqueous streams via electrochemical alloy formation on platinum”​</a> in Nature Communications.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and download high-resolution images. ​​</a><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Vattenrening_Bjorn_Wickman_Cristian_Tunsu_portratt_750x340_NY.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />​<span style="background-color:initial">Björn Wickman and Cristian Tunsu</span><span style="background-color:initial"> ​are pr</span><span style="background-color:initial">esenting a new and effective way of cleaning mercury from water. With the help of new technology, contaminated water can become clean enough to be well within the safe limits for drinkability. The results are now published in the scientific journal Nature Communications. ​</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Image: Mia Halleröd Palmgren</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Potential uses for the new method</h3> <div><ul><li>T<span style="background-color:initial">he technique could be used to reduce the amount of waste and increase the purity of waste and process water in the chemical and mining industries, and in metal production. </span></li></ul></div> <div><ul><li>It can contribute to better environmental cleaning of places with contaminated land and water sources.<br /></li></ul></div> <div><ul><li>​It <span style="background-color:initial">can even be used to clean drinking water in badly affected environments because, thanks to its low energy use, it can be powered totally by solar cells. Therefore, it can be developed into a mobile and reusable water cleaning technology. </span></li></ul></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More on heavy metals in our environment</h3> <div>Heavy metals in water sources create enormous environmental problems and influence the health of millions of people around the world. Heavy metals are toxic for all living organisms in the food chain. According to the WHO, mercury is one of the most dangerous substances for human health, influencing our nervous system, brain development and more. The substance is especially dangerous for children and unborn babies. </div> <div>Today there are strict regulations concerning the management of toxic heavy metals to hinder their spread in nature. But there are many places worldwide which are already contaminated, and they can be transported in rain or in the air. This results in certain environments where heavy metals can become abundant, for example fish in freshwater sources. In industries where heavy metals are used, there is a need for better methods of recycling, cleaning and decontamination of the affected water. <span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif">For more information</h3> <div><span style="font-weight:700"><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Björn-Wickman.aspx">Björn Wickman​</a></span>, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 51 79, <a href="">​</a></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700"><a href="/en/staff/Pages/tunsu.aspx">Cristian Tunsu</a></span>,  Post Doc, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering​, <span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers University of Technology, +46 </span><span style="background-color:initial">31 772 29 45, <a href=""></a></span></div></div> <div><div><div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div></div></div>Wed, 21 Nov 2018 07:00:00 +0100 celebrations at the autumn graduation ceremony<p><b>​What started with singing and dancing an early morning at Götaplatsen ended in a traditional manner in the auditorium at Chalmersplatsen. Nearly 250 newly graduated students received their diploma during the autumn graduation ceremony on November 17.</b></p><div>​After three, four or maybe even five academic years, it was time for the graduating students to receive their diplomas. The auditorium Runan was filled with students together with friends and family on Saturday. With the graduation cap on their head or on their shoulder, the students were ready to receive their diploma, showing that they had completed their education.</div> <br /><div>During the ceremony, President Stefan Bengtsson, Vice President Maria Knutson Wedel, and President of the Student Union, Gustav Eriksson, spoke to the students, wishing them, in different ways, good luck for what awaits after Chalmers. The students also listened to alumnus Tingting Li who graduated from Chalmers master’s program Supply Chain Management in 2013 and now works as a customs compliance manager at Rolls-Royce in Bristol. She talked about how Chalmers has helped her get where she is today.</div> <br /><div>“I am proud of what I have achieved so far, and I am particularly grateful for what Chalmers has prepared me for. Chalmers has enabled me to start my career and has also provided a solid foundation for me to quickly accelerate the ladder. I am sure it will be the same for you.&quot;</div> <br /><div>During the graduation ceremony, Chalmers educational prize was also distributed. This year's award winners are Mia Bondelind, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Risat Pathan, Computer Engineering division and Christian Sandström, Technology Management and Economics. The educational prize is awarded each year to encourage teachers to improve and develop the conditions for student learning. This year’s prize winners have in various ways managed to engage and motivate their students in their respective courses.</div> <br /><div>The Saturday continued with a graduation dinner and entertainment for the graduated students and their families.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Sophia Kristensson<br /></div> Tue, 20 Nov 2018 15:00:00 +0100 to melt gold at room temperature<p><b>​When the tension rises, unexpected things can happen – not least when it comes to gold atoms. Researchers from, among others, Chalmers University of Technology, have now managed, for the first time, to make the surface of a gold object melt at room temperature.​</b></p><div><div><div>​<span style="background-color:initial">Ludvig de Knoop, from Chalmers’ Department of Physics, placed a small piece of gold in an electron microscope. Observing it at the highest level of magnification and increasing the electric field step-by-step to extremely high levels, he was interested to see how it influenced the gold atoms.</span></div> <div>It was when he studied the atoms in the recordings from the microscope, that he saw something exciting. The surface layers of gold had actually melted – at room temperature.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;I was really stunned by the discovery. This is an extraordinary phenomenon, and it gives us new, foundational knowledge of gold,” says Ludvig de Knoop.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>What happened was that the gold atoms became excited. Under the influence of the electric field, they suddenly lost their ordered structure and released almost all their connections to each other.</div> <div>Upon further experimentation, the researchers discovered that it was also possible to switch between a solid and a molten structure.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The discovery of how gold atoms can lose their structure in this way is not just spectacular, but also groundbreaking scientifically. Together with the theoretician Mikael Juhani Kuisma, from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, Ludvig de Knoop and colleagues have opened up new avenues in materials science. The results are now published in the journal Physical Review Materials. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Thanks to theoretical calculations, the researchers are able to suggest why gold can melt at room temperature, which has to do with the formation of defects in the surface layers. <br /><br />Possibly, the surface melting can also be seen as a so-called low-dimensional phase transition. In that case, the discovery is connected to the research field of topology, where pioneers David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz received the Nobel Prize in Physics 2016. With Mikael Juhani Kuisma in the lead, the researchers are now looking into that possibility. In any case, the ability to melt surface layers of gold in this manner enables various novel practical applications in the future.<br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Because we can control and change the properties of the surface atom layers, it opens doors for different kinds of applications. For example, the technology could be used in different types of sensors, catalysts and transistors. There could also be opportunities for new concepts for contactless components,&quot; says Eva Olsson, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>But for now, for those who want to melt gold without an electron microscope, a trip to the goldsmith is still in order.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Text: </span><span style="background-color:initial"> Joshua Worth,</span><a href="">  </a>and <span style="background-color:initial">M</span><span style="background-color:initial">ia </span><span style="background-color:initial">Hall</span><span style="background-color:initial">eröd</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"> Palmgren, </span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""> </a></span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif;font-size:24px;background-color:initial">About the scientific article</span><br /></div> <div><div><span style="background-color:initial">The article </span><a href="">“Electric-field-controlled reversible order-disorder switching of a metal tip surface </a><span style="background-color:initial">” has been published in the journal Physical Review Materials. It was written by Ludvig de Knoop, Mikael Juhani Kuisma, Joakim Löfgren, Kristof Lodewijks, Mattias Thuvander, Paul Erhart, Alexandre Dmitriev and Eva Olsson. The researchers behind the results are active at Chalmers, the University of Gothenburg,  the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, and Stanford University in the United States.</span></div> <span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><br /></div></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/GuldSmalterIRumstemperatur_181116_01_750x340px.jpg" alt="" style="font-size:24px;margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Joakim Löfgren, Eva Olsson, Ludvig de Knoop,  Mattias Thuvander, Alexandre Dmitriev and Paul Erhart are some of the researchers behind the discovery. Not pictured are Mikael Juhani Kuisma and Kristof Lodewijks.</span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Image: Johan Bodell</span></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research infrastructure at Chalmers<br /></h3> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/researchinfrastructure/CMAL/Pages/default.aspx">The Chalmers Material Analysis Laboratory (CMAL) </a> has advanced instruments for material research. The laboratory formally belongs to the Department of Physics, but is open to all researchers from universities, institutes and industry. The experiments in this study have been carried out using advanced and high-resolution electron microscopes - in this case, transmission electron microscopes (TEM). Major investments have recently been made, to further push the laboratory to the forefront of material research. In total, the investments are about 66 million Swedish kronor, of which the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has contributed half.<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More about electron microscopy</h4> <div> </div> <div>Electron microscopy is a collective name for different types of microscopy, using electrons instead of electromagnetic radiation to produce images of very small objects. Using this technique makes it possible to study individual atoms. <span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact: </h3></div> <div><div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/f00lude.aspx"><span>Ludvig de Knoop</span>, </a>Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31 772 <span style="background-color:initial">51 80, </span><a href="" style="font-family:calibri, sans-serif;font-size:12pt"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></a></div></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> <br /></span></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Eva-Olsson.aspx"><span>Eva Olsson</span><span style="background-color:initial">,</span></a><span style="background-color:initial"> Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31 772 32 47, </span><a href="" target="_blank"> </a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and download high-resolution images. </a></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Watch a <span style="background-color:initial">short video clip with researcher Ludvig de Knoop explaining the discovery.</span>​</a></div> </div></div> ​Tue, 20 Nov 2018 07:00:00 +0100