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Sustainable circularity of inorganic materials is a multifaceted challenge that benefits from a multidisciplinary approach. The SCI-MAT platform aims for projects that demonstrate the circulation of inorganic materials on a larger scale than the laboratory and technological perspective. The projects include research on business models and the aspects of economic, environmental and social sustainability. Although there are technological challenges in metals and other inorganic materials circularity, technological solutions are often not the bottleneck, but the chief obstacles tend to relate to creating economically sustainable value chains and profitable business from those solutions. Developing such holistic solutions in an environmentally and socially sustainable way through multidisciplinary projects is in SCI-MAT's core interest.
At a general level the SCI-MAT research topics relate to developing a better understanding of material flows within the economy, the technologies and processes that enable it, the environmental and societal aspects of the related processes, and how business is created around relevant value chains. SCI-MAT brings together a diverse group of researchers and experts to form a multidisciplinary research platform in which researchers from various scientific fields within LUT work in close collaboration to develop solutions for a circular economy.
Research approaches and methods
SCI-MAT applies various research approaches and methods as part of its projects taking place across different technology readiness levels (TRL), combining and aligning the technological perspective closely with business and sustainability considerations. A major part of the technological research is related to chemical engineering and separation of impurities from material streams, following the principles of circular economy and sustainable development towards carbon neutrality.