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Resource sufficiency – Prosperity from resource wisdom

VTT Review 2017

Lush river delta landscape as seen from above

Social changes, urbanisation, increasing wealth and consumerism have led to a rapid exploitation of natural resources in excess of the capacity of the earth.

VTT recognises the need for sustainable, resource-efficient solutions, such as renewable raw materials and a circular economy. The challenges can be solved by resource wisdom. Tapping into unutilised reserves and closing the loops will open new economic potential.

Industries will benefit from renewable and unconventional raw materials, such as forest biomass CO2. Design will enable the high performance of consumables produced according to demand. Non-conventionally produced food will help feed the growing population while conserving water and the environment.

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Examples of research results 2017

​​Integrated technologies to recover metal and plastic from electronic waste

VTT has developed a new electronic waste recycling concept that combines a  range of technologies and reduces waste. One of the technologies included in the concept is gasification, which is used to recover not only metals and rareearth elements from the waste but also organic components that can be used to produce energy or products, such as plastic and chemicals. VTT has brought together a group of Finnish partners to promote material-efficient production. Read more about how to recover metal and plastic from electronic waste >>

​​Protein produced with electricity to alleviate world hunger

A batch of single-cell protein has been produced by using electricity and carbon dioxide in a joint study by the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and VTT. Protein produced in this way can be further developed for use as food and animal feed. The method releases food production from restrictions related to the environment. The protein can be produced anywhere renewable energy, such as solar energy, is available. Read more about how single-cell protein was produced by using electricity and carbon dioxide >>

​​Valuable products from carbon dioxide

The utilisation of carbon dioxide could be a major driver for economic growth in Europe. A total of 43 leading industrial and research organisations have joined the CO2 Value Europe association, established on 30 November 2017, to accelerate the conversion of carbon dioxide into valuable products. VTT is one of the founding members of the association. Read more at 'CO2 Value Europe: A new association dedicated to the utilisation of CO2' >>

​​Fabric made from VTT’s recycled fibre feels half way between cotton and viscose

The method developed at VTT involves dissolving worn and discarded cotton and using it as a raw material for new fibre. The first product models demonstrate that recycled fibre can be transformed into a yarn and pleasant fabric. Based on a carbamate dissolution process, the technology has been used to produce the first batch of recycled fibre in a pilot facility. The fabric made from the recycled fibre met the researcher’s expectations: it is smooth with a subdued matt finish and drapes nicely. Read more about how dissolved worn and discarded cotton can be used as a raw material for new fibre >>

 

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