Published 2017-11-22

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Mistra TerraClean now running

At the beginning of October, some 30 researchers gathered at the Käppala Association treatment plant on the island of Lidingö.
All those present were researchers active in the newly launched research programme Mistra TerraClean. At the plant, they gained hands-on experience of research challenges and formulated a number of hypotheses ahead of the next few years’ work.

Mistra TerraClean will develop new materials and methods to protect the environment from various pollutants. The purpose of gathering those who will work within the programme at one of the country’s largest wastewater treatment plants was, on the spot, to see and talk about all the challenges that exist in this research field.

‘Together, we were able to do a global analysis based on a practical reality — both about where we are today and about the problems that need solving in the future,’ says Ulrica Edlund, Programme Director for Mistra TerraClean.

‘So the Käppala Association’s treatment plant was the perfect place for the programme kick-off.’

During the visit, research engineers at the wastewater treatment plant responded to a series of questions about what limits the effectiveness of the treatment and what they need to do in the future — even if the constraints are financial or technological.

According to Staffan Erikstam of the Käppala Association, the main challenges are in sludge treatment, microplastics handling removing pharmaceuticals from the wastewater.

‘We’re facing a period of big investments and we’re therefore interested in a close dialogue with the Mistra TerraClean consortium.’

During the afternoon, the discussion about Mistra TerraClean continued at a conference facility. Topics covered there included how the pre-existing programme plan could now be transformed into practical activities.

‘It was about everything from formulating steering documents to deciding who sends which samples to whom,’ says Ulrica Edlund.

FACTS about Mistra TerraClean

The programme now starting has funding up to 2021. The total budget is SEK 60 million, of which 51m is from Mistra. The remaining 9m comes from collaborating partners.

The Programme Director is Ulrica Edlund, Professor of Polymer Technology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.