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  3. [2024-06-28] Impressive achievements of Mistra SafeChem in phase 1
News | 2024-06-28
Hands holding soil and a plant. A biochemistry structure is placed into the green background.Händer som håller jord och en grön växt. En biokemistruktur är placerad i den gröna bakgrunden.

Impressive achievements of Mistra SafeChem in phase 1

At the end of June 2024, Mistra SafeChem will have completed its first phase.
– We are proud of what the programme's researchers have achieved during these intense years. We are now looking forward to phase 2, says programme director John Munthe.

Mistra SafeChem had some start-up problems, caused by the covid pandemic. After receiving the go-ahead from the financier Mistra in the summer of 2019, work couldn’t really begin until 2020.

A key achievement of the first years was to create a multidisciplinary research community.

– We have succeeded: Mistra SafeChem is well on the way to become a lively collaborative arena for more than 100 experts on toxicology, ecotoxicology, catalytic and biocatalytic synthesis, advanced analytical chemistry, life cycle assessment, exposure assessment, machine learning and programming, all contributing to enabling a safe, green and sustainable chemical industry, says John Munthe.

A well filled – but not full – toolbox

One of the programme's main outputs is the Mistra SafeChem toolbox External link. where all major results are compiled. To date, it describes 38 different methods and processes that can be used to further develop new chemicals, materials and products in a safe, sustainable and green chemical industry.

The toolbox includes descriptions of new chemical processes, analytical methods, methods for predicting and testing human toxicity and ecotoxicity, and methods for life cycle assessment including process safety and chemical footprint. Some tools are only available for internal use within the programme, but many are open to all.

In phase 2 of Mistra SafeChem, the toolbox will grow and become even more accessible to practitioners in the chemical industry.

Case studies to evaluate the tools

Case studies External link. are an important part of the Mistra SafeChem programme.

– Using a transdisciplinary approach, we explore issues relevant to the programme’s vision “to enable and promote the development of a safe, sustainable and green chemical industry”, says John Munthe.

The case studies bring together the tools and workflows developed in the programme and evaluate them in real scenario challenges. This gives answers on how the tools work, how they meet the needs of the industry and how they can be further developed. Seven case studies have been conducted to date.

A steady stream of articles and reports

Mistra SafeChem researchers have been producing scientific articles External link. at an impressive rate. So far, 85 articles have been published during phase 1.

Six external reports and briefs External link. from the programme present some of the research and case studies in more detail – with more to come.

Active dissemination and collaboration

As the aim is to disseminate the knowledge, Mistra SafeChem has organised several conferences and webinars (recordings can be found here). In the spring of 2024, a dissemination tour to the Swedish chemical industry met the needs and questions of the people working there.

The programme partners have also been actively involved in the ongoing work on the implementation of the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, in particular on the definition and development of the concept of Safe and Sustainable by Design (SSbD).

More news after the summer

– We are now looking forward to continuing this work in phase 2, says John Munthe.

– After the summer, keep an eye on our website which we will update with information on both final deliverables from phase 1 and news on the start-up of phase 2. But first, a well-deserved holiday!