The King visits Luleå University of Technology and businesses in Piteå

The King visits Sunpine which produces diesel from tall oil.

The King visits Sunpine which produces diesel from tall oil. Photo: Maria Fäldt

On Wednesday 9 October, The King visited Luleå University of Technology and businesses in Piteå to find out about new high-tech initiatives that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the long term.

In Piteå, The King visited the company Sunpine which produces diesel from tall oil, a pulp industry by-product. Tall diesel is currently the only Nordic Swan Ecolabelled diesel on the market, and has positive climate effects as it reduces fossil carbon dioxide emissions.

At Markbygden Wind Farm, The King learnt about the 450 km² wind power facility currently being built in the highland areas of Infjärden.

The King visits Markbygden Wind Farm.

The King visits Markbygden Wind Farm. Photo: Anders Westergren

Markbygden Wind Farm has space for more than 1,000 wind turbines, and is expected to become one of Europe's largest wind power facilities.

Markbygden Wind Farm has space for more than 1,000 wind turbines, and is expected to become one of Europe's largest wind power facilities. Photo: The Royal Court of Sweden

Representatives from Vattenfall told The King about Hybrit, a joint initiative by SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall to use fossil-free electricity and hydrogen instead of coal in the production of iron and steel. In this way, emissions from iron and steel production can be water vapour instead of carbon dioxide. The iron and steel industry currently accounts for around ten percent of Sweden's overall carbon dioxide emissions.

The King in Luleå University of Technology’s robotics laboratory.

The King in Luleå University of Technology’s robotics laboratory. Photo: The Royal Court of Sweden

In the afternoon, The King visited Luleå University of Technology where he learnt about various research projects:

  • Assistant Professor of Ore Geology Tobias Bauer demonstrated the university's VR studio and the Hugin drone which is used for both research and education. Hugin can help with mapping Sweden's bedrock in order to understand how the rock and ores have been formed.
  • Johan Casselgren, a researcher in experimental mechanics, explained about digital winter road maintenance and demonstrated a road conditions vehicle that can measure and share information, such as how slippery the roads are. The research project is currently examining how measurements made using vehicles can affect winter road maintenance and ensure safer roads.
  • Professor of Automation George Nikolakopoulos showed The King the university's robotics laboratory.
  • Professor of Atmospheric Science Javier Martin Torres demonstrated the HABIT instrument, which is intended to be used during the ExoMars expedition in 2020 when ESA sends an unmanned spacecraft to Mars. The HABIT instrument was designed and built at Luleå University of Technology in partnership with Omnisys Instruments.