Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems

Clean Technologies

Clean Technologies group led by Prof. Olli Dahl develops sustainable industrial processes for treatment of waste water and industrial residues. The group highlights the viewpoint of sustainable development.
AaltoCell project

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 themes:

Research is divided in four main themes:

  1. EPR (Effluent Purification and Reuse);
  2. NPPD (New Processes and Products Development);
  3. SURE (Sustainable Reuse of Solids) and
  4. 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:

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

Past projects:

Research group members:

Clean Technologies Reseach Group

Related content:

Get to know us: Professor Olli Dahl

Saving the environment via businesses.

Olli smiling

Not a drop wasted – AaltoCell™ fibres utilised in a new circular economy project

With funding totalling €240 000, the project aims to make more efficient use of food industry side streams.

Mikrokiteistä selluloosaa

What if the world’s cattle munched on Finnish wood?

A new manufacturing method will open entirely new markets for microcrystalline cellulose. It could be used, for example, to enrich animal fodder.

Stack of wood. Photographer: Eeva Suorlahti.

ANDRITZ Oy and Aalto University bring a new biotechnology product to the global market

AaltoCell™ technology allows ecological and fast production of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC).

Traditional white MCC has been used in pharmaceutical and food industry, and it has potential in textile industry as well. By the technology developed in Aalto University it is possible, for the first time in the world, to produce also brown MCC suitable as a raw material in feed industry. (Photo: Adolfo Vera)

AaltoCell™ concept successful in international biorefinery competition

The most recent innovations in the field of bioeconomy have been applied in the development of the biorefinery project.

Latest publications:

Improving Nickel Recovery in Froth Flotation by Purifying Concentrators Process Water Using Dissolved Air Flotation

Annukka Aaltonen, Thi Minh Khanh Le, Eija Saari, Olli Dahl, Benjamin Musuku, Aleksandra Lang, Sakari Hiidenheimo, Richard Dixon 2023 Minerals

Simulating the Impact of Ore and Water Quality on Flotation Recovery during the Life of a Mine

Annukka Aaltonen, Caroline Izart, Mikko Lyyra, Aleksandra Lang, Eija Saari, Olli Dahl 2023 Minerals

Heavy Metals Decontamination Using a Renewable Source: Biochar

Stefano Caro, Giulia Costamagna, Marco Ginepro, Olli Dahl 2023 Journal of Water Technology and Treatment Methods

Fertiliser Properties of Wastewater Sludge and Sludge Ash - A Case Study from the Finnish Forest Industry

Juha Oksanen, Risto Pöykiö, Olli Dahl 2023 Ecological Chemistry and Engineering S

The role of education in promoting circular economy

Maija Tiippana-Usvasalo, Nani Pajunen, Maria Holuszko 2023 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SUSTAINABLE ENGINEERING

Interfacial catalysis and lignin nanoparticles for strong fire- and water-resistant composite adhesives

K. Alexander Henn, Susanna Forssell, Antti Pietiläinen, Nina Forsman, Ira Smal, Paula Nousiainen, Rahul Prasad Bangalore Ashok, Pekka Oinas, Monika Österberg 2022 Green Chemistry

Thermochemical valorisation of waste: Pyrolytic conversion of horse manure

Stefano Caro, Olli Dahl 2021 Cleaner Engineering and Technology
More information on our research in the Aalto research portal.
Research portal
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