Sustainability in scientific research
LUT is an important research actor in Europe and is renewing business and society. Our Trailblazers 2030 strategy focuses on research to renew business involving three basic elements – energy, water and air – that are linked to each other.
The interlinked elements in our strategy are:
- Energy: Transition to carbon-neutral world
- Air: Turning emissions into opportunities
- Water: Refining sidestreams into value
- Business: Sustainable renewal of business and industry
We produce solutions for these by means of technical and economic expertise in three Schools:
- the School of Energy Systems
- the School of Engineering Science
- the School of Business and Management
Our research activities have acted as a springboard for many global best-selling products and new companies. One of the aims is to prevent climate change and safeguard the prerequisites for activities that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable for future generations.
Our researchers also cooperate with our partners in LUT's multidisciplinary research platforms:
- SCI-MAT - Sustainable Circularity of Inorganic Materials
- MORE SIM - Modeling Reality through Simulation,
- GREENRENEW - Green Hydrogen and CO2 for Industry Renewal
- AMBI - Analytics-based Management for Business and Manufacturing Industry
- INERCOM - Integrated Energy Conversion Machinery
Examples of scientific solutions
We are involved in research cooperation with companies to develop an energy system that is 100% based on renewable energy. Science-based solutions are being used in an effort to limit climate warming to 1.5 °C. We're studying power-to-x technologies and processes that will revolutionise energy and food production. Our sustainability research examines topics that include the limits of natural resources and energy consumption.
Examples of our solutions:
- Renewable energy: renewable fuels
- P2X is applicable to the production of synthetic fuels, chemicals and edible proteins. Raw materials for these products include carbon dioxide captured from the air.
- Renewable energy: power electronics in wind power generators
- Energy system based on 100% renewable energy
- Food from air: production of single-cell protein using electricity and carbon dioxide
- Food security within planetary boundaries: Valumics project identifies policies that leverage sustainable, fair and resilient food value chains
- Exoskeletons can reduce strain also in health care
- Satellite images and computational models combat invasive species
- Personal carbon trading: The CitiCAP project concentrates on enabling and promoting sustainable urban mobility
- Solar photovoltaic capacity demand for a sustainable transport sector
- Computer vision and pattern recognition expertise utilised in plankton research
- Better packaging solutions to mitigate plastic pollution
- Carbon handprint: Potential climate benefits of a novel liquid-cooled base station with waste heat reuse
- Fusion Grid - providing network connections and electricity in developing countries
- The water-energy nexus resolved as a consequence of the energy transition
- Robots and the future of welfare services
We're also working for a sustainable future by resolving problems related to natural resources, availability of clean water, responds to complex water treatment needs and resource recovery from wastewater, material use and the environment. For example, based on Finland's most comprehensive water purification expertise, micro-plastics and pharmaceuticals could already be removed from wastewater.
Our circular economy research optimises the overall sustainability of the environment, production and consumption. Replacing plastic with fibre-based materials, environmentally friendly refining of battery metals and developing a construction material to replace concrete are examples of research outcomes that help us influence positive environmental development in different industrial sectors.
To solve the corona pandemic LUT's researcher eg. proposed the use of hydrogen peroxide vapour to decontaminate face masks. In the future, the personal protective equipment used to prevent the spread of infection may be bio-based and biodegradable products made from forestry or agricultural side streams.
Sustainable value creation in School of Business and Management
Another of our research strengths is approaching sustainable value creation in a manner that allows companies to be successful in international competition while simultaneously operating in an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable way. One example is the handbook we produced to help cleantech companies internationalise: Internationalization Handbook for Cleantech SMEs (2018).
Research in figures
In its key sustainable development goals, SDGs 6, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13, LUT produces nationally significant research and academic publications.
Research in figures, source: SciVal 03/2021
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