VTT’s Green Material Technology provides sustainable technological approaches that ensure effective material flows throughout society. These approaches facilitate the production of products, services and energy in resource effective ways and with minimised environmental impacts. VTT has a long tradition in developing recycling technologies, and the use of secondary and waste materials. The overall goal is to keep the material resources within the economic system for long periods, and therefore to minimise the quantities of valuable materials that permanently leave the economic system.

Sustainable material technology is needed to overcome the continuous growth of resource and material consumption and overuse, to mitigate climate change, and to increase the sustainable environment impact. Sustainable production patterns, innovative technologies and high level of know-how all improve resource efficiency. The product planning phase is critical for material use throughout product life cycles, for products´ overall sustainability.

VTT’s scientific and technological focus on green material technology
VTT promotes efficient energy and material use, exploitation of new raw material sources and utilisation of waste flows by creating new substitute materials and processes. Sustainable production chains of new materials and their raw materials as well as environmentally friendly, ethical and efficient production of raw materials for biomaterials are in the focus of VTT’s research activities. Overall life cycle thinking and resource efficiency is a leading idea of VTT’s research activities directed towards sustainable production and product design and finally to sustainable community and industry.

VTT’s key offering
Utilisation of wastes - waste refinery concepts

The research area of effective utilisation of wastes and production of nearly passive products targets aspects including performance, recyclable and cost-balanced intelligent and interactive production of eco-efficient materials, processes and concepts. These demands are met by designing almost 100% recyclable modular products having all the information needed included into the product. Interactivity is exploited in all the stages of product life cycle and advanced solutions are integrating production concepts and plants (e.g. bio- and waste refineries and industrial ecosystems).

Closed cycles and zero waste concepts
The VTT closed cycles and zero waste concepts cover the emission treatments and removal of impurities and components not used in the process in the most optimal production stage. Materials technology provides excellent tools for optimising and reorganizing production processes and operation chains by smart integration of processes and systems needing new membrane materials, absorbents and/or ion exchanging materials.

Advanced recycling processes and concepts
Efficient return of the resources to the economic system requires simultaneous development of recyclable or reusable materials and products as well as systems for improved recycling. This is enabled by VTT’s multi-technological competence base. The potential to improve recyclability or reusability by using non-hazardous raw materials, modular and dismantling-friendly solutions, automatic identification systems enabling interactive recycling systems, etc. is assessed already in the product design stage. Increased recycling rates are enabled by developing advanced recycling processes for complex and new products and materials, new higher value products from recycled and waste materials, integrated systems for energy and material recycling of waste and by-products and by optimising recycling systems.