News

Bacterial bandages and recycled fibres: Aalto brings a materials revolution to Slush

New materials play an important role in sustainable development and combatting climate change. New uses for old materials can also be a major industrial opportunity: for example, the value of biomass from forests in Finland can be doubled if used for manufacturing products of higher added value.
Ioncell

Ioncell. Photo: Aalto University / Aleksi Poutanen

Aalto University will introduce ten fascinating projects in materials research at Slush. The projects we’re presenting include long-term novel research and projects nearing commercialisation.

The use of biomass is a unifying factor for many projects. Biomaterials research has long been one of the strengths of Aalto University, and the FinnCERES innovation ecosystem accelerates research even further. The objective of FinnCERES, launched with partner VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, is to generate 300 inventions in the bioeconomy sector, 80 new products or services, and 8 startups in the next eight years.

Calculations by VTT show that the value of forest and agricultural biomass in Finland can be doubled by 2050 if it is used to manufacture products of high added value. For example, the global demand for textile fibres is growing at an annual rate of 3%, and companies are fervently looking for new, ecological alternatives for cotton and polyester.

At Slush, Aalto researchers are presenting a technology called Ioncell, which can be used for manufacturing high-quality textile fibres from wood as well as recycled materials. Aalto’s stand will also introduce environmentally friendly coatings made from lignin, which is a by-product of pulp and paper production. These lignin coatings make metals a hundred times more resistant to rust. 

Bakteeriselluloosa
Bacterial cellulose. Photo: Aalto University / Aleksi Poutanen

3D printed bone implants

Demand for solar energy is growing fast, spurring the development of a wide range of new materials.  Many of these new materials are, however, either rare and expensive or harmful to the environment, restricting their use on a larger scale. Researchers at Aalto have already succeeded in replacing the platinum used in solar cells with charred biomass produced from industrial side streams. The research continues: in addition to wood, could other organic waste, such as fish scales, be used in manufacturing efficient cells?

Bacteria are some of the world's most durable organisms, and they can be harnessed to produce a variety of materials. One such material is bacterial cellulose: resistant to heat and chemicals, it is extremely durable.Bacterial cellulose is not harmful for living tissues, which makes it a promising material for various medical applications, such as wound-care products or for growing implants.

At Aalto’s stand you can also learn about natural dyes, 3D printed bone implants, the idea of a computer mimicking the human brain, and much more. At the same time, you can find out about startups at Aalto and our entrepreneurship activities.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at Aalto's stand at Slush! 

Read more about our amazing projects at https://www.whatif.aalto.fi/

Enquiries:

Heidi Henrickson
Materials Platform Manager
[email protected]

More information

Aalto Materials Platform

FinnCERES

 

  • Published:
  • Updated:
Share
URL copied!

Read more news

Kerrostalo ja kallioita
Cooperation, Press releases, Research & Art Published:

The SUBURBAN PRIDE project examines the relationship between mental images of suburbs and the built environment

The multidisciplinary project combines history of architecture, sociology, and research in critical cultural heritage and landscape architecture. The purpose of the project, based on research and workshops, is to build a sustainable future for suburbs.
The low-temperature plate inside of the refrigerator. The team attaches their bolometers here. Credit: Aalto University.
Press releases Published:

Finnish Quantum Institute announced

InstituteQ will coordinate research, teaching and commercialisation across Finland
Battery recycling_photo Valeria Azovskaya
Press releases, Research & Art Published:

Is battery recycling environmentally friendly?

Researchers conduct life-cycle assessment to determine the actual carbon footprint of battery recycling
A view of the M87 supermassive black hole in polarised light, © EHT Collaboration
Press releases Published:

Astronomers image magnetic fields at the edge of M87’s black hole

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration, who produced the first ever image of a black hole, has revealed today a new view of the massive object at the centre of the M87 galaxy: how it looks in polarised light.