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News | 2022-10-17
Dashboard in a car with instruments for examining the indoor air.

Photo: Volvo Cars

Tools and workflows are evaluated in challenging scenarios

In work package 6 of Mistra SafeChem, the tools and workflows developed in the different work packages are brought together and evaluated with the use of real scenario challenges. Feedback is collected on how they perform, how they match the needs of the industry and how they can be developed further. Overall, the goal is to offer a platform for collaboration for both existing and new partners.

Work package 6 includes both larger case studies with Volvo Cars and H&M planned since the start of the programme, as well as a series of smaller case studies developed during 2021.

Air and material samples from a car cabin

In the case study with Volvo Cars, air and material samples were taken from a car cabin for targeted analysis. Also, a mapping was made to enable assessments of alternative plasticizers.

Work has also started on the generation of toxicological and ecotoxicological data using the in silico toolbox in work package 3 and an evaluation of how the LCIA (life cycle impact assessment) toxicity impact assessment models could best be used within the case study.

Alternatives to silicones in personal care products

In the case study with H&M, a life cycle based impact mapping of silicones in personal care products has been performed to identify possible concerns with silicones in the production, use and end-of-life phase. A modelling approach was used to approximate the extent of silicone emissions and environmental accumulation for the European population.

In addition, a list of 120 possible alternatives to the targeted silicones has been compiled. A first screening has been done regarding human and ecotoxicity using in silico models from work package 3. A small perception study has investigated perceptual differences between commercial foundations with and without silicones.

Four new case studies

Four new case studies were launched in 2021 in collaboration with other work packages in Mistra SafeChem.

One of them aims to compare conventional synthesis with bio-catalysis for the production of amide containing substances.

Another of the case studies is working on a sustainability assessment of a novel hydrogenation reaction process. In this case study hazard and exposure assessment, material flow analysis and life cycle assessment are combined to explore the environmental and human health performance of the novel process.

The third is focusing on engine oils, in which an assessment is performed of reference values with respect to toxicity and biodegradability to subsequently apply biobased substitutes. This will be done using green chemistry metrics.

And in the fourth case study, the different raw materials and process routes in making nanocellulose from recycled textiles will be compared in terms of toxicity and environmental impacts estimated using a screening LCA from cradle-to-gate.

A study on using green chemistry principles in early development

Progress has also been made on the planning of the third of the larger case studies in collaboration with Perstorp which will focus on including green chemistry principles early in the development of a new chemical process, covering the modelling of chemical processes for upscaling, the generation of toxicological and ecotoxicological parameters for the chemical of interest and potential breakdown products and prospective LCA under different scenarios.

Interaction is essential

Interaction with the other work packages is essential for work package 6. Each of the case studies has a core team in which representatives from the involved work packages ensure input from all.

The interaction with work package 4 has increased significantly in 2021 with the launch of the four new case studies. Here, work packages 3 and 5 use their toolbox to help analyse the sustainability of the processes and new scenarios developed in work package 4. This enables work packages 3 and 5 to use and develop their tools and workflows further in new scenarios. Work package 6 plays a coordinating role in this work.

This is a slightly edited version of a text from the Mistra SafeChem annual report for 2021.
Read the full annual report here. Pdf, 8.9 MB, opens in new window.