Aalto University energy researcher receives 2015 Resonate Award

07/07/2015 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 honored 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.

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/awards-winners2015.php

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:

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

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

The 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.

Aalto University – Towards a better world. Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers in the fields of technology, business, art and design. The university has 6 schools with nearly 20 000 students and 4 700 employees, 390 of which are professors. Our vision is to rank among the top universities in the world. The Aalto University campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland.

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