Smart materials are the focus of a new Mistra research programme tasked with discovering effective ways of removing hazardous substances from air, water and land. IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute will take part in the initiative, which is led by the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).
– We are proud to be part of this programme and to contribute our experience and expertise in air and water filtration. The goal is to create intelligent, resource-saving and cost-effective solutions that will help improve health and the environment, says Jan-Erik Nordström at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
Clean water and fresh air are important objectives in the government’s environmental work and interest is increasing. The Mistra Terra Clean research programme aims to create sustainable and smart materials for integrated filter systems for industrial and municipal use. IVL is in charge of evaluating and implementing these filters, and provides advice and support in connection with their development.
The research is based on naturally occurring and commercially significant materials found in Sweden and partially developed here, such as porous materials. The smart features are added in a laboratory setting and, in the most promising cases, test run on a larger scale.
Smart materials are considered to possess great potential for solving environmental problems. The initiative will also contribute to long-term national capacity building around interactive environmental technologies and advanced materials, which could increase Swedish competitiveness and strengthen the Swedish export industry.
– It is gratifying that we are able to launch a research programme targeting smart materials. This is both an exciting and crucial field, especially now that there is a pressing need for new and effective methods to cleanse our environment from pollutants. We hope that the programme will be clearly beneficial when it comes to environmental issues, says Christopher Folkeson Welch, program director at Mistra.
The research programme, led by the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), will run for four years, with a budget of SEK 60 million. The consortium also includes Uppsala University, Stockholm University, Swetox, Innventia AB, Acreo Swedish ICTAB, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and Swednanotech, an umbrella organization for Swedish nanotechnology actors. Over ten companies have participated actively in the design of the programme, and other players in the field now want to become involved.