The responsible use of raw materials and development of Cleantech-processes in harmony with the management and control of industrial environmental load are the most important objectives in the research field we provide. In environmental technology the research focus is on holistic management and control of industrial environmental load to water, air and solids.
Research is divided in four main themes:
- EPR (Effluent Purification and Reuse);
- NPPD (New Processes and Products Development);
- SURE (Sustainable Reuse of Solids) and
- WQOPI (Water Quality Optimisation for Process Industries).
Social aspects of sustainability are taken into consideration through our collaboration in educational development and coordination of joint international projects.
Effluent purification and reuse:
EPR-theme focuses on purification and reuse of wastewaters from industry.
New Processes and Product Development:
NPPD-theme focuses on development of new and sustainable processes and products.
Sustainable Reuse of Solids:
SURE-theme focuses on recycle and reuse of residuals from process industry.
WQOPI (Water Quality Optimisation for Process Industries):
We believe that through water quality optimisation the performance of minerals beneficiation processes can be improved, bringing not only financial benefits to the mining operations, but also lessening of the environmental load. Therefore in our research we focus on the effects of water quality on process performance, testing of water quality monitoring tools, advanced data analysis and development of sustainable water treatment processes.
Examples of ongoing research projects:
KiertoKuja, (2021 – 2023)
The goal of the project is to find out the suitability of side streams from the Lahti area other than compost and wood ash as raw material for “Putretti”. Fractions that contain fast-dissolving nitrogen that can be used by plants are especially needed. In addition, we are also developing completely new circular economy products in the project.
Researcher Hanna Vanhanen. See more about the project here: https://putretti.blogspot.com/
Project funding from the Päijät-Häme Union and it is part of the Finnish structural fund program of the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund "Sustainable growth and work 2014–2020".
AaltoCell™ based fiber development program (2018-2023)
Development of new AaltoCell™ -based fiber applications with Andrtiz Ltd.
Reseacher Annina Lähdeniemi
RaKiKy, Competitiveness of Nutrition Recycling (2018-2020)
This project will invest in pioneering together with the region's leading companies, Lahti Energia and Labio, by creating a value chain of SMEs and research organizations. The value chain will include processes from the development work of organic recycling fertilizer to commercialization of the product. The project will increase the region's know-how, especially of processes in the field of circular economy. At the moment strong knowledge of this field does not exist in the Päijät-Häme region. Aalto-University, lead by professor Dahl, will bring this knowledge for the project. Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) has been researching a lot of ash fertilization of the forests, and the metals possibly dissolving from the fertilization. The role of Lahti Region Development (LADEC) is to strongly involve region's SMEs already at the beginning of the project and to start the preliminary conversations of the investments of the fertilizer plant. This project will increase the value added of compost and ash, and also enhance the circular economy of the Kujala waste center. Ammonia will be recovered from the process. Lahti Energia is able to utilize the recovered ammonia in its own process.
Reseacher: Antti Pietiläinen
ITERAMS - Integrated mineral technologies for more sustainable raw material supply (2017-2020)
Focuses on the isolation of process waters completely from the adjacent water systems. This will require development of new methods for optimising and controlling water qualities at each process step. As a bonus, this will also facilitate the recovery of additional valuable constituents.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730480.
Researchers: Nóra Schreithofer, Ngoni Mhonde, LE Thi, Tapio Friberg, Hannu Sippola, Anne Penttilä
New sustainable products from AaltoCell™
Reseacher Eetu Satosalmi
Aims to improve the mining industry’s water balance management capabilities by providing a new dynamic, predictive water balance solution to the market. This solution helps the mining industry monitor an entire mine site’s water balance in real-time. It provides them with a possibility to create short-term forecasts for a site’s water volumes and water quality in different production and environmental conditions.
The project is financed by EITRawMaterials.
Researchers: Nóra Schreithofer, Tapio Friberg
The “Bridging North to South” project is performed in collaboration with the Centre for Minerals Research (CMR) at the University of Cape Town. Our project aims to outline research protocols for evaluation and implementation of closed water circuits in mineral concentrators, to achieve zero emission plants.
The project is financed by the Academy of Finland.
Researchers: Nóra Schreithofer, Ngoni Mhonde, LE Thi, Tapio Friberg
Saving the environment via businesses.
With funding totalling €240 000, the project aims to make more efficient use of food industry side streams.
A new manufacturing method will open entirely new markets for microcrystalline cellulose. It could be used, for example, to enrich animal fodder.
AaltoCell™ technology allows ecological and fast production of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC).
The most recent innovations in the field of bioeconomy have been applied in the development of the biorefinery project.