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VTT and LUT intensify cooperation


Significant research centre for separation technology created in Lappeenranta

The Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) Centre for Separation Technology will expand the scope of its cooperation with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland when VTT establishes a new research group in Lappeenranta, focusing on separation technology. This research group will make cooperation between VTT and LUT tighter than ever. The arrangement deepens research expertise in the field and creates a centre of separation research that is internationally significant and unique in Finland.

At the moment, nine professors and 70 researchers are engaged in separation technology research at the Lappeenranta University of Technology.

Separation technology refers to unit operations in chemical engineering, including filtration, membrane filtration, and crystallisation, with which the desired components can be separated and concentrated from diverse processes. Filtration separates solid material from fluids. Separation technologies are used in industrial processes, for example, in the forestry industry, food industry, and chemicals industry, as well as in various water-treatment processes.

“The technological significance of separation is growing,” says Erkki KM Leppävuori, President and CEO of VTT. “A solid foundation of expertise in the field lies behind the success of many Finnish Cleantech companies. I believe that material and energy efficiency can be further improved in many processes, since the role of renewable raw materials in global industry will increase and diversify in the future. Advanced separation technologies will be needed to rise to the challenge.”

“This partnership will be a shot in the arm for research at our university,” says Ilkka Pöyhönen, Rector of the Lappeenranta University of Technology. “The Centre for Separation Technology has played a significant role in the implementation of our strategic goal of being a leading expert in green energy and technology. Research at international level requires a certain critical mass; you need to gather a sufficient amount of top experts under the same roof. The VTT research group will be placed in the Department of Chemistry, LUT Chemistry, at the Lappeenranta University of Technology. I believe that everyday cooperation will start off smoothly, since we have already been cooperating for years in various research projects. I also believe this research partnership will benefit other areas of expertise at our university,” he adds, reflecting on the significance of the partnership.

The VTT research group to be established in Lappeenranta will be announced at the 15th anniversary seminar of the Centre for Separation Technology (CST), held in the auditorium of the Student Union building in the Lappeenranta University of Technology on 28 August 2012, at 11.55 a.m. Representatives of the media are welcome to attend. The representatives of VTT and LUT listed below will also be present to answer any questions.