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The North is rich in natural resources, while at the same time being vulnerable to impacts from the exploitation of these resources. Industrial production processes, handling of waste streams and cleaning technologies are topics that are analysed and improved at Northern Research Institute Narvik. Alternative forms for renewable energy are being developed at NORUT Narvik and their implementation studied. This includes bioenergy from forest and short rotation crops, algae, energy recovery and effectivisation and solar energy (heat and electricity). Adaptation of processes to the challenges of spread population and cold climate requires development of tailored solutions, such as biorefining of organic waste for higher value products.

At present our core activities within Process- and Environmental technology are organised under the following headings:

  • Chemical & Process Engineering
  • Material technology
  • Renewable Energy and energy effectivisation.
  • Process optimalisation, intensification and digitalisation

Examples of activities on these topics

Chemical & Process Engineering

Early-phase technical and economic analysis of industrial processes

Proposals for new processes or implementations can benefit from an early review of the feasibility of the concept, from both technical and economic perspectives. NORUT Narvik is asked regularly to provide an assessment of the merits of a new proposal. In many cases there is no existing reference installation for comparison and evaluation proceeds from a review of scientific and patent literature, and calculations from first principles. Rough estimates of the operating costs and market prices can be useful to determine the requirements for profitable operation. Further details here:

Feasibility and due diligence studies of industrial processes

More detailed planning of proposed implementations have also been made for industry and governmental agency customers. These usually are for processes that have been implemented elsewhere and the need is for determining the suitability for local implementation. More details here:

Multiphase Reactive Flows

Within the Process and Environmental Technology group at NORUT Narvik a wide variety of different processes has been worked with. An common thread through many of these studies has been the technical challenges associated with the analysis of multiphase reactive flows – that is processes where there are chemical changes taking place with reactants and products in different phases (solid, liquid, gas or plasma) and the system involving motion (such as movement of gas or liquid relative to a solid phase). More details and examples of applications are here:

Development and delivering of education material

NORUT Narvik was hired in to develop course material for Narvik University College’s Bachelor of Process Technology. The lecturing was performed for 2010-2013, before being taken over by the university’s own staff. Lectures were recorded and streamed and a large proportion of the students were remote.

  • Oil & Gas Design (ITE 1709)
  • Introduction to process technology (ITE 1700)
  • Chemical Engineering (ITE 1704)
  • Environmental technology (ITE 17xx)

More details of the course material is given here:


Material Technology

NORUT Narvik had developed over many years competence within electrochemistry in connection with corrosion of reinforcement steel in concrete. This competence was extended to the electrochemistry of surface etching of silicon for solar cell wafer production, which found application in the photovoltaic industry that was built up in Northern Norway between 2000-2012. Other activities within material technology have come in connection with metallurgy, composites and bioplastics.

Some activities within Material Technology at NORUT Narvik include

  • Cathodic protection of steel reinforcement in concrete structures.
  • Alkaline electrochemical etching of silicon for solar cell wafers
  • Electrochemistry of fuel cells, hydrogen electrolysis, carbon dioxide reduction and electrowinning of metal from waste water.
  • Reduction of iron ore with syngas.
  • Production of composite and bioplastic materials

More details of activities within Material Technology can be found here


Environmental Technology

Environmental Technology is an area of application for the technical competence at Northern Research Institute Narvik, rather than a separate technical discipline. We have worked with pollution remediation, waste valorisation and renewable energy long before these areas found the terms of cleantech, circular economy and low-carbon. Some of the activities at Northern Research Institute Narvik within Environmental Technology are:

  • Renewable Energy
  • Bioremediation
  • Waste valorisation

Renewable Energy

In the last decades there has been a greater appreciation of the impact of Greenhouse Gas emissions, and the need for greater implementation of low carbon alternatives for energy supply. NORUT Narvik is active in the development and promotion of different forms of renewable energy, such as:

  • Bioenergy (Forest and Short Rotation Crops; Organic (food) waste)
  • Energy Effectivisation
  • Solar Energy (heat and photovoltaic/electricity production)
  • Hybrid systems for renewable energy

More details about the activities within Renewable Energy can be found here:

Bioremediation

Microorganisms can break down pollutants, but there are often limitations as to how quickly this happens in nature, especially in cold climate. NORUT Narvik has studied the degradation of petroleum pollutants in lab and field trials, often in collaboration ASCAS.

Waste valorification

Waste streams often contain valuable components, which can be recovered for re-use. NORUT Narvik has worked with different types of waste from industri. Examples

  • Recycling of organic acid from industry wastewater
  • Valorification of wet organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OF-MSW)
  • Alternative uses for mining industry waste.

More details on activities within waste valorification can be found her:


Process optimisation

Process Optimisation is a catch-phrase for a variety of activities relating to the improvement of processes, often with respect to their efficiency, capacity and cost. Some of the activities within this topic at Northern Research Institute Narvik include :

  • Process optimisation
  • Process intensification
  • Digitalisation; Augmented Reality; Machine Learning.

More details of the activities within process optimisation can be found here