The Department of Chemistry makes up an extensive part of the Center for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, which is the largest organisation for teaching and research in chemistry in Scandinavia. The department includes divisions belonging to both the Faculty of Engineering (LTH) and Faculty of Science. Courses are given for students taking the programmes in Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering.
In Analytical Chemistry, research into and development of, various chemical analysis systems, i.e. methods of determining amounts and concentrations of chemical compounds, are being carried out. This is important for pharmaceutical, medical, biological and chemical research and industry.
Applied Microbiology is concerned with studying and controlling processes in microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts, etc.). One of the aims is to make industrial fermentation processes more efficient and more environmentally safe, e.g. the production of ethanol from energy forests. Other areas of interest are microbiological research in food and biocatalysis of chemicals for the development of pharmaceuticals.
As the name implies, Biophysical Chemistry brings together several different disciplines. Mainly proteins and other biomolecules are studied, including their physical properties, structures, patterns of motion and interactions with other biomolecules. Researchers have a number of methods of analysis at their disposal, for example; nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The results of these studies are of fundamental importance in biomedical and biotechnological applications.
Biotechnology involves the industrial use of living organisms or parts of them, to produce food, pharmaceuticals or other products. Important areas include biogas production from agricultural waste, the development of environmentally adapted chemicals, biological methods of treating environmental toxins, studies of enzymes produced by microorganisms that live under extreme conditions, the separation of biomolecules, genetic engineering, the culture of microorganisms and control of biological processes. Molecular-biological studies are included in many of these areas of research.
Organic Chemistry is a classic area of chemistry, which originally included the chemistry of all living matter. Examples of the research being carried out in Lund are studies of how plants, fungi and other organisms produce so-called secondary metabolites, and how these could be used, for example, in pharmaceuticals; how we can make chemical processes more environmentally friendly through the use of green chemistry; and how small, specially designed molecules can help us understand how proteins and genetic material work, and can be influenced. The Division belongs to both the Engineering and Science faculties.
Polymer Science and Engineering
Polymer Science and Engineering is a result of the combination between previous divisions of Materials Chemistry and Polymer Science and Engineering. In the field of materials chemistry, the relation between the structure and composition of various materials and their properties is being investigated. Research is mainly carried out on inorganic materials, but sometimes in combination with organic and biological materials. The aim is to develop new materials for e.g. nanoelectronics, catalysers and synthetic bone materials.
In Polymer Science and Engineering, research is directed towards the study of relations between polymer structures (long, chain-like molecules), their production, processing and their properties. Examples of this are investigations of new polymer materials for packaging, medical applications, as binders in paint, and for batteries and fuel cells.
Pure and Applied Biochemistry
Pure and Applied Biochemistry involves the study of biochemistry, enzyme technology and genetic engineering. Research groups are engaged in improving the stability and activity of proteins, developing new separation methods for biomolecules and genetic modification of plants for better resistance to drought and frost. Polymer materials (like plastics) with antibody-like properties, bionanotechnology for miniaturized biosensors, and simplified handling of environmentally dangerous waste are other key areas.