Creating economically and environmentally sustainable processes for resource recovery from secondary raw materials is one of the challenges in realizing a circular economy. Activities are on going in our lab with the aim to develop novel processes and techniques for resource recovery. This includes using biochemical tools for resource recovery from wastewater and hydrometallurgy for recovery of valuable elements from consumer products (NiMH batteries) and industrial waste (e.g. apatite, red mud). There has been an increasing demand for rare earth elements (REE) in the last few decades due to their applications in many high-tech products. One of the greatest challenges in the recovery of REE from different sources is their separation from each other, which is very difficult due to their similar properties. We are investigating the separation of REE by various techniques such as supported liquid membrane extraction, adsorption and crystallization. Crystallization and adsorption processes are also of importance for the management of nuclear waste. A deep geological repository must be designed to prevent radionuclide dispersion into the biosphere. We are conducting research to increase the understanding of phenomena of importance for assessing the mobility of radionuclides under deep repository conditions.
Dr. Kerstin Forsberg works as associate professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, since 2015. Forsberg defended her thesis in 2009 on the topic of crystallization of metal fluoride hydrates from mixed acid solutions. After defending her thesis Forsberg worked as a postdoctoral researcher within an EU funded project on solidification of pharmaceutical intermediates. In 2010 she was appointed assistant professor in chemical engineering in natural systems at KTH. Forsberg was awarded the title docent in chemical engineering in 2016. In the same year Forsberg started the Division of Resource recovery at KTH. The research at the division comprises hydrometallurgy and environmental biotechnology for resource recovery and research related to waste management.