Who We Are?

 ValueBioMat is a project funded by the Strategic Research Council (SRC) at the Academy of Finland.

Our Solutions

to transform from fossil petro-chemistry based polymeric materials to more sustainable, renewable and carbon-binding materials. 

The project is organized in to six interdisciplinary work packages (WPs) that are presented below:

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WP1 : Bio-based and CO2 capturing polymers for 3D printing

 

One of the major global challenges we face in the materials science is the transformation from fossil petro-chemistry based polymeric materials to more sustainable, renewable and carbon-binding materials. The ValueBioMat-project offers solutions to this challenge based on the utilization of bio-based raw materials. This WP focuses on material development and on how we can combine additive manufacturing (AM) with the materials’ build up, to develop bio-polymeric composites optimized on every structural level. Research on the polymer synthesis, polymer structure / property correlations and optimization for fiber-reinforced composites in situ manufactured in AM are the key subjects here. Today, fiber reinforcements in AM are rare and challenging.  Therefore, interfacial chemical coupling in the composites, i.e. compatibilization, will also be in focus.

WP1 is led by Professor Jukka Seppälä from Aalto University.

WP 1 Researchers:

Jukka Seppälä
Professor
Aalto University

Bas van Bochove
Postdoctoral Researcher
Aalto University

Kasper Dienel
Project Coordinator
Aalto University

Laura Äkräs
Researcher
Aalto University

Hossein Bani Asadi
Postdoctoral Researcher
Aalto University

Anton Ranta
Master Thesis Researcher
Aalto University

Sedigheh Borandeh
Postdoctoral Researcher
Aalto University

 

WP2 : 3D Printing biomaterials for sustainable manufacturing

WP2 takes the biomaterials developed in laboratories and uses innovative 3D Printing methods to turn them into products. The goal of the work package is to replace traditional fossil-based materials with biomaterials to improve sustainability of manufactured goods and to and to produce parts with superior properties by using natural fibers.

Biomaterials, such as nylon sourced from fully renewable raw materials, will be used to manufacture parts with material extrusion and powder bed fusion. Two-component extrusion of resins and biological fillers, such as lignin and wood flour, will be used to create large parts that have not been viable to create with traditional 3D Printing. The project also investigates layerless 3D printing to create optimally oriented parts with continuous fibers.

WP2 is led by Professor Jouni Partanen from Aalto University.

WP 2 Researchers:

Jouni Partanen
Professor
Aalto University

Mika Salmi
Staff Scientist
Aalto University

Sergei Chekurov
Postdoctoral Researcher
Aalto University

Niklas Kretzschmar
Doctoral Candidate
Aalto University

 

Siddharth Jayaprakash
Doctoral Candidate
Aalto University

WP3 : Transforming the plastics ecosystem through new business models

 
Taking the innovative bio-based plastics from the research lab to market calls for new business models. The ValueBioMat project seeks to develop pioneering solutions and business models that speed up the uptake of bio-based plastics in new applications, and facilitate change in the plastics production, use and recycling ecosystem.

In particular, we investigate the opportunities afforded by the distributed production model connected with additive manufacturing. Producing bio-based materials in smaller scale can open new opportunities for the on-demand production of plastic parts, as well as for the more efficient circulation of plastics at the end of their life cycle.

We also develop new understanding about the ecosystem level changes needed for the shift to bio-based plastics. Integrating insights regarding the business logics of the diverse actors in the value chain, the technological opportunities and constraints, as well as the related societal and political processes enables us to outline trajectories for a system-wide change.

WP3 is led by Professor Jan Holmström from Aalto University.

WP 3 Researchers:

Jan Holmström
Professor
Aalto University

Lars Vilen
Master Thesis Researcher 
Aalto University

 

Jaakko Siltaloppi
Postdoctoral Researcher
Aalto University

Pyry Päivölä
Master Thesis Researcher 
Aalto University

Alireza Jaribion
Doctoral Candidate
Aalto University

Satu Salminen
Master Thesis Researcher 
Aalto University

WP4 : Environmental and societal impact assessment

Based on an holistic life cycle approach, WP4 will study what is the environmental sustainability of current practice compared to the new materials and methods for 3D printing our bio-materials. For the new type of materials, the methods to be applied are not fully standardized and the generation and selection of reliable data is critical.

We will conduct environmental assessment analysis of the entire value chain of bio-based composites and their use, starting from the production of agriculture inputs, and all the way up to covering agricultural production of the most promising alternative plant products, whether the production takes place in Europe or worldwide. The research will compare the environmental effects of the new bio-based components with existing fossil based plastic materials, focusing also on micro-plastic load.

WP4 is led by Professor Hannu Ilvesniemi from Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

WP 4 Researchers:

Hannu Ilvesniemi
Professor
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Jyri Maunuksela
Senior Scientist
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Frans Silvenius
Research Scientist
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

WP5 : FOSTERING RESOURCE WISDOM THROUGH LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY ACTIONS


The objective of WP5 is to identify missing or ill-defined regulatory frameworks in the context of the ValueBioMat value chain and to propose more workable solutions for promoting the development and diffusion of sustainable innovations. The research focuses on private law, as environmental sustainability and related ethical values are not currently adequately reflected in this regime in Europe. Yet, private law plays a crucial role in fostering sustainable innovations and business models, especially in a market economy. By placing the study into the specific techno-economic context of ValueBioMat, the research tackles these gaps in the private law framework by developing theoretically sound solutions that offer considerable practical and societal impact.  

WP5 is led by Associate Professor Rosa Maria Ballardini from University of Lapland.

WP 5 Researchers:

Rosa Maria Ballardini
Associate Professor
University of Lapland

Juha Vesala
Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Lapland

Anette Alén-Savikko
Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Lapland

Corinna Casi
Doctoral Candidate
University of Lapland

WP6 : INteraction

The interaction WP6 serves as a living framework for coordinating the horizontal and vertical interaction between different WPs and collaboration with stakeholders. Through system dynamic tools for group model building (GMB) the WP6 integrates the outcomes of research work of different disciplines to a joint vision and scope.  WP6 assesses the impacts of new materials (WP1), production methods (WP2), LCA scenarios (WP4), legislation (WP5) and business models (WP3) developed with key stakeholders. It aims promoting agility, resilience and systemic view at organizational and societal levels of the circular economy ecosystems. The methodology of the WP6 is an iterative process of multidisciplinary learning, in which we bring together key work streams and stakeholders. The framework is combined to agile methodological fusion in order to achieve methodological integration and development. The impact assessment framework integrates foresight, societal embedding and group modelling.

WP6  Interaction is led by VTT (Principal Scientist, Peter Ylen and ValueBioMat Communication Manager Katri Valkokari).

WP 6 Researchers:

Peter Ylen
Professor
VTT

Markus Jähi 
Research Scientist
VTT

 

Katri Valkokari
Communication Manager
VTT

Sini Metsä-Kortelainen
Senior Scientist
VTT

Henri Wiman
Research Scientist
VTT

Kirsi Immonen
Senior Scientist
VTT

Anna Leinonen
Research Scientist
VTT

Stefania Fortino
Senior Scientist
VTT

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