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Aalto University energy researchers receive 2015 Resonate Award

Professor Mika Järvinen with his team was honoured for innovation that converts a steel-manufacturing by-product into Precipitated calcium carbonate.
Professor Harry Atwater (left), the founder of the Resonate Awards program at Caltech’s Resnick Sustainability Institute, Professor Mika Järvinen and Arshe Said, postgraduate researcher from Aalto University.

Professor Mika Järvinen with his team composed of researchers Arshe Said and Sanni Eloneva from the Aalto University Department of Energy Technology has received the Resonate Award 2015 from Caltech’s Resnick Sustainability Institute.  He was honoured for pioneering a CO2 sequestration process that converts a low-value steel-manufacturing by-product into Precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), a valuable resource for industry.

Precipitated calcium carbonate is a valuable mineral product used in e.g. plastics, papers, rubbers and paints. However, its conventional production method involves large mining activities and has high CO2 emissions. The innovative new process actually consumes CO2 and acts as a CO2 sink, which greatly benefits the environment. It makes use of an industrial solid by-product and turns it into a product that is 50 times more valuable.

The potential economic and environmental benefits of this new technology are significant.

- The pilot plant is first of its kind and represents the next stage prior to the commercialization of a new process. It is currently actively used to study how this technology can effectively and most sustainably brought up to an industrial scale, says Professor Mika Järvinen. Our objective is to have a bigger demonstration-scale plant built next to a steel plant in Finland within the next 2–4 years, he continues.

Caltech's Resnick Sustainability Institute's Resonate Awards were created in 2013 to honour breakthrough achievements in energy science and sustainability.

The 2015 Resonate Awards were presented by Resnick Sustainability Institute at the Aspen Ideas Festival, held in Aspen Colorado, 1–4 July. Recipients of the 2015 Resonate Award: Yi Cui, Joel L. Dawson, Tsutomu Ioroi, Mika Järvinen and Delia J. Milliron. More information on page http://resnick.caltech.edu/programs/past-programs/resonate-awards/Resonate-2015

The pilot PCC plant was opened in Finland at the Otaniemi campus of Aalto University in January 2014. The method used in the pilot is based on the patent owned by the Aalto University Foundation, Åbo Akademi University and steel maker SSAB.

Link to the Resonate Award 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival press photos:

http://materialbank.aalto.fi:80/public/0092777fc8B0.aspx

Pilot Plant photos:

http://materialbank.aalto.fi:80/public/24229e15c8BA.aspx 

Link to the PCC Pilot Plant news (2014): 

http://eng.aalto.fi/en/current/current_archive/news/2014-09-16/

Link to the PCC Pilot Plant video (2014):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqkeYyWGHO8

Contact information:

Mika Järvinen, Associate Professor
[email protected], tel. +358 50 414 2593
Aalto People

Arshe Said, postgraduate researcher
[email protected], tel. +358 50 571 8886
Aalto People

Sanni Eloneva, Post-doc researcher
[email protected], tel. +358 50 448 9666

The Resonate Awards seek to draw attention to significant strides innovators are making in the grand challenges facing humanity, within the context of achieving global sustainability. These challenges include meeting the world's energy needs sustainably, providing water and food for a growing world population, providing a healthy environment, and improving people's access to the resources they need to live a productive life.

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