NORTHERN RESEARCH INSTITUTE NARVIK AS - Largest Technological Research Institute in Northern Norway
Northern Research Institute Narvik AS (Norut Narvik) is a technological scientific research institute in the Norut Group (Northern Research Institute) with activities within technology, social science and innovation. Norut Narvik is owned by the Norut Group (66 %) and by Narvik University College (34 %).
Areas of Expertise
Norut Narvik has 40 employees with MSc- or Ph.D.-degrees, and has its fields of expertise in:
• Cold climate technology
• Infrastructure, material technology and structural engineering
• Process- and environmental technology
• Maritime technology, oil, gas and minerals
• Renewable energy, solar, hydropower, bioenergy and windpower.
Norut Narvik conducts research for sustainable growth in the north.
Norut Narvik’s strategic ambition is to become “The High North Institute”, which means that Norut will:
• Build networks and partnerships within the knowledge of growth and development in the North
• Be the preferred partner and knowledge arena for growth and development in the North
• Be the preferred institute in the higher education sector in northern Norway
• Have an international focus, and be an international leader in research and development in the North.
A selection of Norut Narvik’s Projects
• ColdTech – Sustainable cold climate technology
The project’s research areas are within weather protection design and performance, ice mechanics and ice forces, atmospheric icing on structures, solutions within arctic technology and implementation of technological research.
• NorJeTS – Norwegian Railway Technology
Center – Norut Narvik cooperates with the railway sector to develop new and improved products/methods for heavy haul railway and railway exposed to arctic/ cold climate conditions (winter operations)
• New solutions for dams
Norut Narvik is performing a project for Statkraft, in which the main goal is to find new solutions and contribute to innovation in relation to management of existing concrete dams.
• Process- and environmental technology
Norut aims to work with industry to find technical solutions to environmental challenges, as opposed to monitoring discharges and mapping the extent of pollution. The research activities combine the department’s competencies within microbiology, chemical & process engineering and computational simulations.
• Gas-mineral processing
• Process optimization and integration
• Biotechnology: production of high value products, biohydrometallurgy, bioremediation of contaminants
The institute is organized into four groups and provides laboratory services, networks, knowledge and assistance in obtaining research funding.
Norut Narvik’s collaboration partners consist of many large institutions and companies. Further collaborations are welcomed.
Some research themes
Process industry related themes
• Gas-mineral processing
Norway currently exports 99% of the natural gas produced. To justify the processing of gas onshore in Norway requires processes with large annual consumption.
In the short term it is planned to investigate the production of high value products based on LNG, in order to develop experience in gas processing. Such high value products can include carbon nanotubes, hydrogen and biodegradable plastic and cosmetic products from methane fermentation. Norut plans to develop technological and business case studies for potential gas-based processing, particularly in conjunction with locally occurring minerals. Two PhD studies were started in 2011.
• Process integration
Process integration has developed as a specialised research topic, where mathematical tools are used to find optimal solutions to the exchange of energy and material streams between processes. Efficient processing can benefit from optimal integration of energy and material streams. Examples of process integration tools include:
· Pinch technology
· Energy effectivisation
· Mixed Integer Linear programming optimisation (reMIND)
· Waste product utilisation
Norut is developing cooperation with researchers in Sweden where development and implementation of process integration is well established.
Microbes can be used in mineral processing, by performing oxidation or reduction of ions to alter chemical properties. Applications include:
· Use of bacteria to release metals from mineral ores.
· Use of bacteria to transform metals to enable separation by flotation or precipitation.
· Use of bacteria to stabilise and immobilise metal contaminants.
Biohydrometallurgy represents an alternative mineral processing strategy for certain ore types.
Material & structure related themes
• Scale management in oil & gas tindustries
A serious problem in the oil and gas industry is formation of inorganic compounds (scales) on the surfaces of production tubes and critical components. The scales are formed where two incompatible waters are mixed, or during pressure decrease of the formation water. The most common scales are sulfate scale and carbonate precipitates of calcium strontium and barium.
Chemical inhibitors are generally used to prevent scale formation and/or further growth of scale in both bulk solution and on metal
surfaces. However, in most cases using of scale inhibitors are not very effective.
Norut is working together with industrial partners to develop new methods for prediction of and protection agains scale.
• Ice pressure against dams
Even though dams have been constructed and operated for many years in cold climate, there is considerable uncertainty in the determination of ice loads on the dams. Norut, NVE and Statkraft is currently carrying out a 4-year research program that aims at developing better models for determining ice loads on dams at hydropower stations. In the program, field measurements are performed and numerical models developed that give a more realistic representation of the ice loads developed.
Environmental related themes
• Oil spill response
Laboratory experiments are perfo rmed on the removal of oil from the environment through encapsulation into growing sea ice. These measurements focus on the development of predictive management tools for spill response, allowing to prioritize strategies for mitigation and remediation. Ground-truthing of ridge data derived from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and satellite sensors is aimed at the development of tools for real-time risk assessment during offshore operations.
Soil or water polluted with petroleum products and heavy metals can be treated with microbes to breakdown or transform the pollutant to harmless components. On a large scale this can be done with rank composting, such as the trial in figure 6. Despite low air temperatures the heat released by biological action kept the heap over 40 deg C.