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Gröna molekyler mot en grön bakgrund

About the programme

Mistra SafeChem is a research programme that aims to create a sustainable chemical industry and reduce exposure to hazardous substances. It is financed by Mistra, The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, was granted in 2019 and runs from 2020 to 2024.

The vision and overarching aim of the Mistra SafeChem programme will be fulfilled by a broad research programme focusing on the development of tools, processes and methods with the specific objectives to:

  1. Develop, test and evaluate innovative industrial production processes for non-hazardous molecules involving enzyme catalysis, and minimal waste processes.
  2. Develop and apply a robust framework for early prediction and verification of hazardous properties of new molecules or materials using in-silico predictive models, in-vitro tools and advanced chemical/biological analytical methods.
  3. Develop and apply improved methods for life cycle assessment incorporating hazardous properties of molecules and materials and risks for exposure along the full value chain.
  4. Conduct a series of case studies where specific design, production and recycling processes, in different levels of the value chain and representing a range of applications, will be evaluated.
  5. Develop a vision and agenda for expansion and implementation of the Mistra SafeChem concepts into Swedish chemical industry.
  6. Initiate the establishment of a permanent platform for Green Chemistry Sweden – where research, innovations and collaborative efforts on safe and sustainable chemical industry can be further developed involving industry, authorities, academia and institutes.

Work packages in Mistra SafeChem

Hanna Holmquist, Monika Witala, John Munthe and Ragnhild Berglund, IVL

  • Programme coordination
    Administration, coordination, planning, organise and chair meetings, follow-up work in the WP:s, contact with Mistra
  • Communication
    Website, newsletters, social media, press releases, annual report

John Munthe, IVL, and Lennart Bergström, SU
  • Define green and sustainable chemistry
  • Markets and policy making – opportunities and obstacles
  • Legal framework – novel evaluation criteria
  • Compilation of programme results vs state-of-the-art
  • Develop an agenda for green chemistry
  • Competence development and education

Ian Cotgreave, RISE, and Jonathan Martin, SU

To provide a fit for purpose screening framework (risk assessment) by combination of

  • In-silico (computational)
  • In-vitro (cells and organisms)
  • Bioanalytical methods
  • ”Exposome” - Evaluate (multiple) exposures
  • Environmental fate (biodegradation, bioaccumulation, adsorption/desorption, etc)

Belén Martin-Matute, SU, and Per-Olof Syrén, KTH
  • Develop cutting-edge green chemistry processes
  • Design catalytic processes towards zero waste
  • Immobilize metal catalysts to crystalline nanocellulose (CNC) and study reactions
  • Study synthesis of organic building blocks using heterogeneous metal-catalysts
  • Study enzyme-catalysis for functionalization of cellulose to reduce byproducts
  • Tailor-make green chemical processes for fine particle recovery and reuse
  • Catalytic fractionation of forest residues and recycled textiles to generate materials and chemicals

Hanna Holmquist, IVL, and Anna-Karin Hellström, RISE IVF

  • Develop and provide a life cycle-based tool for high throughput Alternatives Assessment
  • Develop a model fit-for-LCA-purpose for estimation of near-field human exposure for different product application contexts
  • Provide ProScale/EcoScale and UseTox LCIA characterization factors for human toxicity and ecotoxicity for all case study relevant chemicals (WP6)
  • Build a database compiling relevant information from case studies (WP6)
  • Deliver guidelines and training o application of life cycle approaches

Anneli Julander, IVL, and Lisa Skedung, RISE

  • Transform industrial challenges into cases fit for the programme and evaluation of the tools
  • Apply to different contexts:
    • Different value chains, different parts e.g: design/production, use in industry or products, waste/recyling
    • Identification of potentially hazardous substances
    • Risks for exposure during product use
    • Identification of candidates for substitution
    • Identification of by-products from processes in waste streams and recipients
  • Open for inclusion of more case studies and/or new industry partners.