News: Archive 2012
15.02.2012 Cellulose is an important naturally occurring polymer, which humans have utilized for millennia. Today, researchers are chopping cellulose fibres into nanoforms and looking for solutions for industry's sustainable material needs.
Compressing the surface of softened solid wood improves its properties in an environmentally friendly way
17.02.2012 M.Sc. (Tech.) Lauri Rautkari has developed several methods that can be used to improve the properties of for example Finnish tree species, Norway spruce and Scots pine, for the purposes of industrial use. The ecological and inexpensive methods can be compared to mangling or ironing using a steam iron. Compressing the surface of solid wood, such as floor planks, has similar effects as pressing sheets with a mangle.
07.03.2012 Carbon capture and storage is a possible solution in reducing carbon dioxide emissions: for example when carbon dioxide is captured from flue gases emitted from power plants it does not go into the atmosphere. In her doctoral dissertation Claudia Dell’Era, M.Sc., from Aalto University's School of Chemical Technology performed phase equilibrium measurements and developed models which can be exploited in the design of separation processes for carbon dioxide removal.
02.04.2012 Electric cars will only be driving around city streets in Finland after powerful enough batteries have been developed for them. The batteries must be compatible with future charging networks and the cold climate of Finland. Researchers from Aalto University are seeking a solution to the problem and analysing lithium-ion batteries with the aim to find a model suitable for the conditions in Finland.
17.04.2012 In paper machines, breaks always mean financial losses. The better the runnability of a paper machine, the fewer the breaks that occur. Master of Science (Tech.) Markku Ora's doctoral dissertation revealed that the structure of paper affects the runnability of a paper machine. Ora will defend his doctoral dissertation at Aalto University this week.
19.04.2012 Since 2007, the Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology and Neste Oil have been developing a new oil production method. The microbial oil research project has now reached the point where a pilot plant is being built in Porvoo.
25.04.2012 The Department of Materials Science and Engineering has performed research on incremental sheet forming applications. Now all that is needed is the interest of businesses in order for the method to be launched on the international market and the metal objects, almost like artefacts, to become available.
29.05.2012 Optimisation of industrial processes requires the ability to understand and predict the phenomena occurring during the actual processes. Computational models make it easier to understand the physical and chemical phenomena occurring between bubbles, particles and droplets – particularly when substances appear in the processes in several different states.
08.06.2012 The Department of Forest Products Technology has a long history in the study of waste water from the forest industry. In his research for his doctoral dissertation, Sakari Toivakainen, Master of Science (Technology), from the Department of Forest Products Technology examines, among other things, ways to precipitate and recover phosphorus at a waste-water treatment plant in a pulp mill. In January 2012, Toivakainen presented his research at a conference of the International Water Association in Chile, and was presented with the award for best presentation in the conference.
08.06.2012 Professors Sami Franssila and Kyösti Kontturi, Visiting Professor Roman Nowak, Teacher-Researcher Lasse Murtomäki and Academy Research Fellow Maria Sammalkorpi have received research funding of a significant amount from the Academy of Finland in the Programmable Material Research Programme application process.
28.06.2012 When a disorganized group of molecules assembles to form an ordered structure in the absence of external forces, as a result of internal interactions of the molecular system, the material is a self-assembling molecular material. Common examples of self-assembling molecular materials include polymer films, liquid crystals, and various interfacial surfactant films. In biology, the cell membrane (lipid bilayer), protein folding, or DNA double helix result also from molecular self-assembly.
13.08.2012 During the last few decades, a large number of novel materials have been produced, enabling the development of new products and the improvement of the properties of old ones. This development shows no signs of slowing down. Composite materials are produced by combining two or more materials to get a composite with desired properties. Graphene, a one-atom-thick lattice structure formed by carbon molecules is the thinnest possible material, and its discovery in 2004 brought the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2010 to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov. The studies on graphene have multiplied exponentially, one sub-field being the use of graphene as a composite material. This research is also being carried out at the Aalto University Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology.
28.08.2012 A research group led by FiDiPro Leon Lefferts studies catalytic reforming of biomass based alcohols for hydrogen production In Aalto University School of Chemical Technology. The aim of the research is to explore one option of producing renewable and sustainable hydrogen, much needed in processes seeking to produce fuels and chemicals from biomass.
03.10.2012 One of the topics studied currently at the Department of Forest Products Technology of the School of Chemical Technology is the use of nanocellulose as reinforcement of polymers such as thermo-plastics. Nanocellulose, or wood fibre broken down to the nanoscale, mixed with a polymer results in a tough material. This purely natural product may replace synthetic petroleum-based fibres commonly used to reinforce composite materials nowadays.
18.10.2012 In his dissertation to be defended at Aalto University, Mikko Mäkelä, M. Sc. (Tech.), examined the use of by-products from forest and steel industries as soil amendments. Mixtures containing, e.g., slag from the steel industry and ashes and sludge from the forest industry proved to be promising new soil amendments compared to contemporary commercial options.
23.10.2012 Researchers at Aalto University School of Chemical Technology have succeeded in developing a durable and affordable nanofibrillar cellulose film platform to support medical testing. New environmentally friendly, reliable nanofibrillar cellulose (NFC) platforms are more diverse than plastic films.
24.10.2012 Salem Shamekh, D.Sc. (Tech.) and the Director of the Juva Truffle Center has found Finland’s first cultivated truffle mushrooms. They were found at two experimental plots where cultivation tests were started in 2006. The aim of the joint project between Aalto University and the municipality of Juva is to develop a commercially viable method for producing truffles in Finland.
26.10.2012 In his dissertation, Samuli Räsänen, PhD (Tech) replaced existing elements with others in well-known functional oxide materials, successfully making these more resistant to heat and moisture. The new materials could be suited for use in batteries, catalysers and power plants.
30.10.2012 Minna Annala, M.Sc. (Tech.), publicly defending her doctoral dissertation at Aalto University's School of Chemical Technology, prepared in her thesis work three different electrically conductive plastic materials, which are also mechanically strong. Plastic, which is a known insulator, was, with the help of various polymerization techniques and carbon nanotubes, transformed into an electrically conductive form.
13.11.2012 Researchers at Aalto University School of Chemical Technology have developed a method for producing lithium batteries that is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than previously used methods. This new process has succeeded in replacing the harmful methylpyrrolidone (NMP) solvent, which is traditionally used in the manufacturing of electrodes, with water.
21.11.2012 Researchers at Aalto University have developed a simple method for reducing the amount of phosphorus in the wastewater of a pulp mill. The method is called simultaneous precipitation using iron sulphate. A separate treatment stage is not required, as the precipitation takes place simultaneously with the actual biological wastewater treatment.
28.11.2012 In his dissertation for Aalto University and the University of Oulu, Mika Pietilä, M.Sc., discovered new properties in stem cells. He studied human mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs, and found analysis of their metabolism to be helpful in their identification.
05.12.2012 In her doctoral dissertation work, Annukka Santasalo-Aarnio (Licentiate of Science, Technology) developed a new analysis method that provides an excellent tool for direct alcohol fuel cell researchers. The new electrochemical method mimics the operation of a direct alcohol fuel cell electrode and makes it possible to rapidly identify the most promising electrode fuel cell materials for the purpose of further research.