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Student's at Luleå University of Technology are arranging a sustainability week between September 19-22. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

How long can we compromise on the Earth's ecosystems?

Published: 20 October 2015

Ecological sustainability includes everything that relates to the earth's ecosystems. Production of goods and services must not compromise with the carrying capacity of ecosystems, that is, nature must have time to rebuild the extracted resources. Luleå University of Technology is involved in numerous research projects relating to sustainability. October 23 at Vetenskapens hus, we listen to how to make plastics from trees, about the research on stormwater management and forest that could be the key raw material for green transportation.

Research in environmental sustainability has only in recent decades has gone from an "interesting" research topic that today there is a strong demand for fully workable solutions.

Godecke Blecken, researchers at Luleå University of Technology, study how stormwater management in urban areas can be enhanced with green infrastructure. Godecke began back in 2005 as a graduate student studying the treatment of stormwater. He feels that his research was considered a "fun thing" ten years ago but today is highly topical, and that research results are in demand and are about to be implemented in today's societies. Slowly, through awareness increases, the research on water issues becomes more central.

Ulrika Rova,  professor of biochemical process technology, research into how to use the forest and forest waste to produce plastics from trees. Ulrika has studied how, with the aid of microorganisms such as bacteria can convert the sugars contained in our trees, a variety of chemicals that can then be further processed, for example, to various plastic materials.

And it sure feels tempting to be able to replace today's gasoline and diesel, complete with some green alternatives. Elisabeth Wetterlund, researchers in energy technology at Luleå University of Technology, believes that perhaps forest industry can become a key player.

- The forestry industry could become the key players, as forestry companies pulp mills and sawmills are well suited to integrate facilities that enable companies to use waste products to produce biofuels. It requires, however, also significant reduction of total transport energy use, otherwise there are not enough forest to.

In the future, we need a variety of solutions to achieve ecologically sustainable objectives. Sweden has a good point, in that we have plenty of renewable resources. The research conducted at Luleå University of Technology is very timely. It will also be interesting to see how the results later possibly implemented in society and also to research recognized internationally.

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