AEIFORIA srl

Fidenza, Italy

AEIFORIA srl

Fidenza, Italy
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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CIP-EIP-EI-PMRP | Phase: | Award Amount: 988.33K | Year: 2012

The proposed solution lies on getting user friendly LCA-LCC methodology specialized for the wine chain production. Thereby it is to make available a simplified LCA-LCC on-line available tool that enables wine makers (not expert in LCA methodology) to perform a self-assessment of its wine making process, in order to detect environmental charges, impacts and costs, for each process stage. Afterwards, the tool will offer a tailored set of feasible techniques and options for improving the environmental performance of the wine making process in a cost effective way. The proposed solution removes the mayor obstacle to the wide application of environmental friendly practices in wineries. Moreover, the project aims to provide European wine producers an adapted method for measuring their environmental performance, which relies on scientific basis and can be used as a common reference for the definition of labelling rules. The main specific objectives are: - Minimise environmental impacts of wine production: Reduction of natural resources (water, raw materials), energy consumption, input of additives and co-adjuncts, quantity and pollution impact of wastes and wastewater and environment emissions (e.g. GHGs, nitrates) in the wine making process across its whole life cycle chain; - Uptake and wide application of the Life Cycle and Cost Assessment (hereinafter LCA-LCC) methodology, which need incentives to penetrate significantly the market, in the wine making process; - Implement cost-effective measures and technologies for improving, among others, wastewater, energy consumption, solid and gaseous residues and resource management; - Develop a Life Cycle Wine Assessed label; - Reinforce the commercial environmental appeal of the European wine; - Foster compliance with the relevant regulatory framework.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.77M | Year: 2013

Pesticides still constitute an integral part of modern agriculture. Upon their release, pesticides interact with soil microbes in contrasting ways. On the one hand they stimulate microbial activity and proliferation of a specific fraction of the microbial community which could utilize them as energy source resulting in their rapid biodegradation and loss of biological efficacy. On the other hand they induce inhibitory effects on the structure and/or on the function of the microbial community, the latter having detrimental effects on ecosystem functioning. So far pesticide legislation has largely ignored these aspects and pesticide soil ecotoxicity tests relies solely on simple C and N mineralization tests which do not provide a reliable assessment of pesticide impact on soil microbes. The introduction of fingerprinting molecular methods, qPCR, high throughput sequencing analysis, microarrays and omics have substantially advanced our knowledge on soil microbial ecology. However, these dynamic tools have not been utilized yet to shed light into soil microbes - pesticides interactions. This project aims to introduce these highly dynamic tools in combination with chemical analysis of pesticides and their metabolites to shed light into those interactions and the factors deciding which way the balance with go (stimulation or inhibition). This will be achieved via collaboration of two industrial and three academic partners with complementary expertise in molecular microbial ecology, soil microbiology, pesticide metabolism and the establishment of a staff exchange scheme. This apart from the achievement of the scientific and technological goals of the project will facilitate technology transfer between partners and open communication channels between Academia - Industry. Further the project is expected to support increasing communication with standardization foundations (ISO) and EU policy making bodies regarding pesticides (EFSA)


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.2.4-01 | Award Amount: 5.09M | Year: 2013

Seafood has been recognized as a high quality, healthy and safe food item. Yet, some seafood can accumulate environmental contaminants with potential impact on human health. Limited information is available for those without maximum limits set by authorities for seafood, like priority contaminants, biotoxins from harmful algal blooms and marine litter. In order to increase seafood safety to consumers and reduce human health risks, ECsafeSEAFOOD aims to assess safety issues mainly related to non-regulated priority contaminants and evaluate their impact on public health. ECsafeSEAFOOD addresses these objectives with eight work packages (WPs) targeting priority environmental contaminants, including biotoxins from harmful algal blooms and marine litter. WP1 will elaborate a database with relevant information required for risk assessment gathered from literature and national monitoring programmes. WP2 will monitor contaminants in seafood using an ambitious sampling strategy following the recommendations of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (Descriptor 9) and assess the effect of seafood processing/cooking on contaminants. In WP3, risk assessment (with data from WP1-2) and mitigation strategies will be implemented to reduce the impact of risky contaminants on human health. WP4 will develop fast screening/detection methods for relevant contaminants tailored to suit stakeholders needs to promote consumers confidence in seafood. WP5 will carry out the toxicological characterization of contaminated seafood in realistic conditions and will use alternative toxicological methods to provide tools for the risk assessment (WP3). WP6 will assess the links between the level of contaminants in the environment and that in seafood through controlled trials and case-study species, taking into account the effect of climate changes. WP7 details a strategy for education, training with clear and practical dissemination of results. WP8 will ensure efficient project management.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: OCEAN 2013.1 | Award Amount: 7.59M | Year: 2013

Early warning systems that can provide extreme sensitivity with exquisite selectivity are required to assess chemical contamination of estuarine and coastal areas. SEA-on-a-CHIP aims to develop a miniaturized, autonomous, remote and flexible immuno-sensor platform based on a fully integrated array of micro/nano-electrodes and a microfluidic system in a lab-on-a-chip configuration combined with electrochemical detection for real time analysis of marine waters in multi-stressor conditions. This system will be developed for a concrete application in aquaculture facilities, including the rapid assessment of 8 selected contaminants from 5 groups of compounds that affect aquaculture production (compounds which are toxic, bioaccumulative, endocrine disruptors) and also those produced by this industry that affect environment and human health (antibiotics and pesticides), but it is easy adaptable to other target compounds or other situations like coastal waters contamination analysis. Each device will be able to perform 8 simultaneous measures in duplicates and it will be build in order to work with one-month autonomy and measuring in real time at least once per hour. As many devices as needed could be connected simultaneously to the same platform resulting in a very flexible and inexpensive system. Sensitivity for Sea-Water analysis is guaranteed thanks to the use of gold microelectrodes arrays with metalocarborane doped functional polypyrrol. Thank to the use of MEMS and microlectrodes in flexible polymeric substrates the costs of production will be reduced. The units will be tested throughout the lifetime of the project and calibrated to state-of-the-art of chemical analytics: first in laboratory studies, second under artificial ecosystems and finally during 3 field experiments in the installation of 2 aquaculture SME facilities. The last test phase will be performed in a way that will include dissemination of the findings with a clear view of commercializing the devices.


The assessment of risks to human health from chemicals is of major concern for policy and industry and ultimately benefits all citizens. In this process, exposure assessment is generally considered to be the weakest point, as currently available tools show major flaws: (a) lack of integrated approach for assessment of combined stressors (i.e. a number of potential pollutants); (b) widespread use of worst-case scenarios leading to over-conservative results; (c) lack of uncertainty/sensitivity tools that allow identifying the important exposure drivers. To overcome these drawbacks, the FP6 project 2-FUN produced prototype software containing a library of models for exposure assessment, coupling environmental multimedia and pharmacokinetic models. The objective of the 4FUN project is to further improve and standardise the 2-FUN tool and guarantee its long term technical and economic viability. Stakeholder requirements will be identified and an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of existing exposure assessment tools (including 2-FUN) will be conducted. The 2-FUN tool will be subject to a rigorous standardisation which includes verification, benchmarking, documentation and demonstration. To demonstrate the reliability of modelling estimations and the feasibility of building complex realistic scenarios, case studies based on actual datasets will be performed. Improved and standardised 2-FUN software will be delivered, together with supporting documentation and training courses. Finally, based on detailed market research a sustainable business model will be developed. Improved exposure assessment due to the project will (a) reinforce competitiveness by avoiding overregulation; (b) prevent excessive adverse human health effects due to underregulation; (c) contribute to the promotion of sustainable products/technologies; (d) lead to homogeneous integration of exposure health concerns across the policy spectrum at the Community level.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-1 | Award Amount: 9.99M | Year: 2014

Water and water-related services are major components of the human wellbeing, and as such are major factors of socio-economic development in Europe; yet freshwater systems are under threat by a variety of stressors (organic and inorganic pollution, geomorphological alterations, land cover change, water abstraction, invasive species and pathogens. Some stressors, such as water scarcity, can be a stressor on its own because of its structural character, and drive the effects of other stressors. The relevance of water scarcity as a stressor is more important in semi-arid regions, such as the Mediterranean basin, which are characterized by highly variable river flows and the occurrence of low flows. This has resulted in increases in frequency and magnitude of extreme flow events. Furthermore, in other European regions such as eastern Germany, western Poland and England, water demand exceeds water availability and water scarcity has become an important management issue. Water scarcity is most commonly associated with inappropriate water management, with resulting river flow reductions. It has become one of the most important drivers of change in freshwater ecosystems. Conjoint occurrence of a myriad of stressors (chemical, geomorphological, biological) under water scarcity will produce novel and unfamiliar synergies and most likely very pronounced effects. Within this context, GLOBAQUA has assembled a multidisciplinary team of leading scientists in the fields of hydrology, chemistry, ecology, ecotoxicology, economy, sociology, engineering and modeling in order to study the interaction of multiple stressors within the frame of strong pressure on water resources. The aim is to achieve a better understanding how current management practices and policies could be improved by identifying the main drawbacks and alternatives.


PubMed | INERIS, Osterreichisches Normungsinstitut Austrian Standards Institute, ARCHE cvba, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2016

MERLIN-Expo merges and integrates advanced exposure assessment methodologies, allowing the building of complex scenarios involving several pollution sources and targets. The assessment of exposure and risks to human health from chemicals is of major concern for policy and ultimately benefits all citizens. The development and operational fusion of the advanced exposure assessment methodologies envisaged in the MERLIN-Expo tool will have a significant impact in the long term on several policies dealing with chemical safety management. There are more than 30 agencies in Europe related to exposure and risk evaluation of chemicals, which have an important role in implementing EU policies, having especially tasks of technical, scientific, operational and/or regulatory nature. The main purpose of the present paper is to introduce MERLIN-Expo and to highlight its potential for being effectively integrated within the group of tools available to assess the risk and exposure of chemicals for EU policy. The main results show that the tool is highly suitable for use in site-specific or local impact assessment, with minor modifications it can also be used for Plant Protection Products (PPPs), biocides and REACH, while major additions would be required for a comprehensive application in the field of consumer and worker exposure assessment.


Suciu N.A.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Ferrari T.,AEIFORIA srl | Ferrari F.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Ferrari F.,AEIFORIA srl | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2011

Purpose: The main objective of this work was to develop and test a pilot scheme for decontaminating pesticide-containing water derived from pesticide mixtures used to protect vineyards, in which the scheme comprises adsorption by an organoclay and includes a system where an enhanced or rapid microbial degradation of the adsorbed residues can occur. Methods: In laboratory experiments, the Freundlich adsorption coefficients of formulations of two fungicides, penconazole and cyazofamid, onto the organoclay Cloisite 20 A were measured in order to predict the efficiency of this organoclay in removing these fungicides from the waste spray-tank water. Subsequently, the adsorption tests were repeated in the pilot system in order to test the practical operation of the depuration scheme. Results: The adsorption tests with the pilot system show 96% removal of both fungicides over a few hours, similar to the efficiency of removal predicted from the laboratory adsorption tests. The formulation type may influence the efficiency of clay recovered after adsorption. Regarding the waste disposal, for instance, the organoclay composted after the treatment, cyazofamid showed significant dissipation after 90 days, whereas the dissipation of penconazole was negligible. Conclusion: The depuration scheme developed showed to be efficient for decontaminating pesticide-containing water derived from vineyards, but additional treatments for the adsorbed residues still appear to be necessary for persistent pesticides. However, future decontamination research should be attempted for water contaminated with pesticides containing antifoaming agents in their formulations, in which case the present pilot system could not be applied. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Suciu N.A.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Ferrari T.,AEIFORIA srl | Ferrari F.,AEIFORIA srl | Trevisan M.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Capri E.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2012

Purpose: Many reports on purification of water containing pesticides are based on studies using unformulated active ingredients. However, most commercial formulations contain additives/adjuvants or are manufactured using microencapsulation which may influence the purification process. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to develop and test a pilot scheme for decontaminating water containing pesticides formulated with antifoaming/defoaming agents. Methods: The Freundlich adsorption coefficients of formulation of cyprodinil, a new-generation fungicide, onto the organoclay Cloisite 20A have been determined in the laboratory in order to predict the efficiency of this organoclay in removing the fungicide from waste spray-tank water. Subsequently, the adsorption tests were repeated in the pilot system in order to test the practical operation of the purification scheme. Results: The laboratory adsorption tests successfully predicted the efficiency of the pilot purification system, which removed more than 96% cyprodinil over a few hours. The passing of the organoclay-cyprodinil suspension through a layer of biomass gave 100% recovery of the organoclay at the surface of the biomass after 1 week. The organoclay was composted after the treatment to try to break down the fungicide so as to allow safe disposal of the waste, but cyprodinil was not significantly dissipated after 90 days. Conclusion: The purification scheme proved to be efficient for decontaminating water containing cyprodinil formulated with antifoaming/defoaming agents, but additional treatments for the adsorbed residues still appear to be necessary even for a moderately persistent pesticide such as cyprodinil. Furthermore, a significant conclusion of this study concerns the high influence of pesticide formulations on the process of purification of water containing these compounds, which should be taken into account when developing innovative decontamination schemes, especially for practical applications. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


PubMed | Opera Educational and Training and Aeiforia Srl
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2016

In the Horizon 2020 work programme 2016-17 it is stated that in 2010, 71% of European farm managers were operating on the basis of practical experience only. Education levels greatly vary depending on country, farm managers age and gender, or farm structures, and this can hamper innovation. Transition towards a more sustainable agriculture requires a renewal and strengthening of the technical skills of all the actors involved and - as a consequence - of the educational system. The EU Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides (EU, 128/2009/EC) requires European Member States to develop training activities targeting occupational exposure to pesticides. The objective of this study is to develop new training tools for operators, addressing the new legal requirements and taking into account what is already available. For this reason, the outcomes of different European and national research projects developed by the Opera Research Centre were used, involving stakeholders in the decision making process, but also considering the real behaviours and perceptions of the final users. As a result, an e-learning tool able to build personalized training programmes, by collecting and integrating existing training material on Plant Protection Products use was developed, together with an e-learning course, with the aim to help operators, advisors and distributors to get prepared for their national certificate test. This work highlights the opportunity to create long-term added value through enhanced collaboration between educators and researchers, and identifies a common set of priorities that has to be taken into account in order to nudge the changes required to achieve a more sustainable use of pesticide and, more in general, sustainable development.

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