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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2012.3.1-3. | Award Amount: 4.21M | Year: 2012

Comfort plays an increasingly important role in the interior design of airplanes. Comfort comprises many aspects including temperature and lighting in the cabin. In this context, the overall objective of the IN-LIGHT project is to contribute to the improvement of the passengers comfort through the development of a new concept of bifunctional aircraft window combining two technologies: Electrochromism and Transparent OLED lighting (TOLED). Electrochromic technology will allow the passenger to control de amount of heat and sun-light coming through the window, switching from a transparent colourless state to a deeply coloured transparent state. Additionally, a TOLED lighting system, also controllable by the passenger, will be integrated in the window offering a very innovative type of interior ambient lighting in the cabin, with novel aesthetic effects. The technologies to be used will introduce significant breakthroughs compared to the existing smart shading systems such as a low manufacturing cost, compatibility with plastic substrates, low power consumption and improved performance in terms of switching speed and cyclability/lifetime. The new smart aircraft window to be developed within the IN-LIGHT project add significant value to conventional windows and will contribute to the passengers comfort enabling a tailored cabin environment regarding heat and light transmittance as well as ambient lighting according to their individual preferences. The work will be performed by a highly complementary, well-balance consortium of 10 partners from 6 member states plus one partner from a third country, representing the entire value chain. The proposed research, which has been endorsed by EASN, closely addresses main S&T, socio-economic and policy objectives of the TRANSPORT work programme, shows clear environmental benefits and contributes to Sustainable Development.

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.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2011.1.2-3 | Award Amount: 4.97M | Year: 2012

The NANOPUR-project aims at leveraging on promising bottom-up technologies to develop intensified water treatment concepts based on nano-structured and nano-functionalized membranes as well as nanofilm deposition for micropollutants and virus removal. Major research needs targeted include the preparation of membranes with selective properties at the nanoscale able to maintain high permeability with relatively low driving force. The ultimate challenge exists in the creation of artificial membranes able to perform separations with the selectivity of biological membranes while having mechanical strength and productivity of state-of-the-art artificial membranes. The project will advance the knowledge in this area by developing scalable approaches to prepare nano-structured membranes characterized by a selectivity towards pathogens of up to 99.99999 % and towards micropollutants up to 99 %, while retaining a permeability higher than current ultrafiltration membranes in addition to functional stability equal to existing commercial membranes. The envisaged research activities will involve the preparation of polymeric nano-structured membranes characterized by well-controlled architectures and functions for supramolecular recognition for removal of viruses, hormone disruptors, endotoxins and antibiotics from water. For the generation of affinity and catalytic sites on membranes, molecular imprinted polymers and atmospheric pressure plasma treatment will be explored. The technological developments will be carried out along two different technology paths each targeting at a different aspect of the water treatment process. A first research path will focus on the reduction of membrane fouling thereby enhancing the flux while the second research path targets the removal of micro-pollutants and detoxification. Both paths will converge in order to combine the two critical aspects of water purification that are investigated in the proposed work in one single membrane process

The main objective of GUIDEnano is to develop innovative methodologies to evaluate and manage human and environmental health risks of nano-enabled products, considering the whole product life cycle. A strategy to identify hot spots for release of nanomaterials (NMs) will be followed by decision trees to guide on the use of (computational) exposure models and, when necessary, design of cost-effective strategies for experimental exposure assessment. These will include on-site and off-site monitoring of industrial processes, use, accelerated aging, recycling and disposal set-ups. In all cases, there will be a strong emphasis on the transformation of NMs. Similarly, a tiered strategy to evaluate the environmental fate and the hazards for ecosystem and human health of NMs will be developed. The project will consider pristine synthesized NMs, transformed NMs released during the life cycle of the product, and interactions of the NMs with other substances in their host matrices and ubiquitous pollutants. The project will also develop innovative solutions to reduce identified risks. These will include safer-by-design approaches (to reduce NM hazard, reduce migration and release, or accelerate degradation when released), new technological solutions for exposure control measures, and solutions for waste minimization and treatment. These developments will be incorporated into an web-based Guidance Tool, which will guide the nano-enabled product developers (industry) into the design and application of the most appropriate risk assessment & mitigation strategy for a specific product. The correct implementation of this guidance will ensure that the risks associated to a nano-enabled product, throughout its whole life cycle, have been appropriately evaluated and mitigated to an acceptable level. This methodology will set up the basis for the certification (by an independent third party), as a risk communication tool addressed to regulators, insurance companies, and the society.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2009-1.3-1;ENV.2009. | Award Amount: 3.14M | Year: 2010

NanoHOUSE intends to create a holistic and prospective view on the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) impacts of nanoproducts used in house building, namely paints and coatings. The latter are using relatively high amounts of Engineered NanoParticles (ENPs) such as nano-Ag and nano-TiO2 which will be investigated. A new Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) approach will be developed gathering two complementary aspects: Investigation of risks and opportunities during the product life cycle as well as Life Cycle Analysis (ISO 14040). LCT will collect information on EHS impacts throughout all life cycle stages of the nanoproducts, identifying the data gaps which will guide the research work. NanoHOUSE will generate reliable scientific information for the missing data and will develop appropriate methods to analyze the potential EHS impacts of nanoproducts. NanoHOUSE first task will be to quantify the actual sources of ENPs during the use and ageing of actual coatings (weathering, renovation, demolition and final disposal). The project will then characterize the environmental compartments significantly impacted by ENPs released from nanoproducts, measure ENPs concentrations and states in those compartments, and investigate their fate in order to increase the knowledge regarding exposure to ENPs with a view to reducing the risks. NanoHOUSE will study the environmental behaviour and the toxicological effects of actually released ENPs (aged ENPs) and compare them with pristine ENPs. Finally, NanoHOUSE will improve the solutions for end of life treatments regarding ENPs release in the environment. Main outcomes of the project will be a scientific risk evaluation of nanoproducts used in building, solutions to improve their competitive and sustainable development by decreasing their potential to release ENPs, and contributions to standard tests for their certification. The NanoHOUSE consortium involves 5 research/academic partners and 4 industrial manufacturers of which 1 SME.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2010-1.3-1 | Award Amount: 12.48M | Year: 2011

While there are standard procedures for product life cycle analysis, exposure, hazard, and risk assessment for traditional chemicals, is not yet clear how these procedures need to be modified to address all the novel properties of nanomaterials. There is a need to develop specific reference methods for all the main steps in managing the potential risk of ENM. The aim of MARINA is to develop such methods. MARINA will address the four central themes in the risk management paradigm for ENM: Materials, Exposure, Hazard and Risk. The methods developed by MARINA will be (i) based on beyond-state-of-the-art understanding of the properties, interaction and fate of ENM in relation to human health and the quality of the environment and will either (ii) be newly developed or adapted from existing ones but ultimately, they will be compared/validated and harmonised/standardised as reference methods for managing the risk of ENM. MARINA will develop a strategy for Risk Management including monitoring systems and measures for minimising massive exposure via explosion or environmental spillage.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2008. | Award Amount: 2.80M | Year: 2009

The Nametech project harnesses benefits of nanotechnology to bring about improvements in membrane filtration for advanced water treatment. The general objective is to strengthen the European membrane market by making nanotechnology available to large scale European membrane manufacturers. A unique feature of the project is the knowledge transfer between the experienced membrane manufacturer Norit and the coating expert and new-comer to the membrane field Agfa Gevaert. The S&T focus is on the use of nano-structured materials to alter the physical and chemical properties of polymeric ultrafiltration membranes and thereby improving the filtration performance at macroscale installations. The project aims at adapting commercial nanoparticles such as TiO2 and Ag for the modification of UF membranes to reduce fouling, and thus improve its permeability (i.e. Technology Path 1). In Technology Path 2 and 3, the potential of using active nanoparticles, such as bionano-catalysts, in combination with membranes is examined to remove micropollutants such as chlorinated compounds, nitroaromatic compounds or redox active metals, thus improving the water quality. A specific novelty is the development of an integrated permeate channel concept, whereby the nanoparticles are embedded in 3D textiles, functioning as membrane support and permeate channel. The nanoparticles will be deposited on the membrane surface or embedded in the membrane (mixed matrix). The S&T challenges regarding the modification of the nanoparticles, the deposition of the nanoparticles on membrane surface as well as the production of nano-activated membranes (NAMs) will be addressed in WP 1, 2 and 3. The newly developed NAMs will be tested at laboratory scale (WP 4) before selecting the most promising concept for testing at pilot scale (WP 5). The activities will be complemented by a toxicological study and the application of LCA to assess the environmental impacts (WP 6). The high industrial involvement puts a strong focus on the exploitation strategies and handling IPR issues (WP 7).

Zabeo A.,Consorzio Venezia Ricerche | Pizzol L.,Consorzio Venezia Ricerche | Agostini P.,Consorzio Venezia Ricerche | Critto A.,University of Venice | And 2 more authors.
Environment International | Year: 2011

As highlighted in the EU Soil Communication, local contamination is one of the main soil threats and it is often related to present and past industrial activities which left a legacy of a high number of contaminated sites in Europe. These contaminated sites can be harmful to many different receptors according to their sensitivity/susceptibility to contamination, and specific vulnerability evaluations are needed in order to manage this widely spread environmental issue. In this paper a novel comprehensive vulnerability assessment framework to assess regional receptor susceptibility to contaminated site is presented. The developed methodology, which combines multi criteria decision analysis (MCDA) techniques and spatial analysis, can be applied to different receptors recognized as relevant for regional assessment. In order to characterize each receptor, picked parameters significant for the estimation of the vulnerability to contaminated sites have been selected, normalized and aggregated by means of multi criteria decision analysis (MCDA) techniques. The developed MCDA methodology, based on the Choquet integral, allows to include expert judgments for the elicitation of synergic and conflicting effects between involved criteria and is applied to all the geographical objects representing the identified receptors. To test the potential of the vulnerability methodology, it has been applied to a specific case study area in the upper Silesia region of Poland where it proved to be reliable and consistent with the environmental experts' expected results. The vulnerability assessment results indicate that groundwater is the most vulnerable receptor characterized by a wide area with vulnerability scores belonging to the highest vulnerability class. As far as the other receptors are concerned, human health and surface water are characterized by quite homogeneous vulnerability scores falling in the medium-high vulnerability classes, while protected areas resulted to be the less vulnerable receptor with only one protected area falling in the medium vulnerability class. The vulnerability assessment results will support the regional risk assessment for the ranking of potentially contaminated sites at regional scale. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Pizzol L.,Consorzio Venezia Ricerche | Critto A.,University of Venice | Agostini P.,Consorzio Venezia Ricerche | Marcomini A.,University of Venice
Environment International | Year: 2011

Environmental risks are traditionally assessed and presented in non spatial ways although the heterogeneity of the contaminants spatial distributions, the spatial positions and relations between receptors and stressors, as well as the spatial distribution of the variables involved in the risk assessment, strongly influence exposure estimations and hence risks. Taking into account spatial variability is increasingly being recognized as a further and essential step in sound exposure and risk assessment. To address this issue an innovative methodology which integrates spatial analysis and a relative risk approach was developed. The purpose of this methodology is to prioritize sites at regional scale where a preliminary site investigation may be required. The methodology aimed at supporting the inventory of contaminated sites was implemented within the spatial decision support sYstem for Regional rIsk Assessment of DEgraded land, SYRIADE, and was applied to the case-study of the Upper Silesia region (Poland).The developed methodology and tool are both flexible and easy to adapt to different regional contexts, allowing the user to introduce the regional relevant parameters identified on the basis of user expertise and regional data availability. Moreover, the used GIS functionalities, integrated with mathematical approaches, allow to take into consideration, all at once, the multiplicity of sources and impacted receptors within the region of concern, to assess the risks posed by all contaminated sites in the region and, finally, to provide a risk-based ranking of the potentially contaminated sites. © 2011.

Martucci G.,Consorzio Venezia Ricerche | Martucci G.,National University of Ireland | Carniel S.,CNR Marine Science Institute | Chiggiato J.,CNR Marine Science Institute | And 3 more authors.
Ocean Science | Year: 2010

The study is a statistical analysis of sea states timeseries derived using the wave model WAM forced by the ERA-40 dataset in selected areas near the Italian coasts. For the period 1 January 1958 to 31 December 1999 the analysis yields: (i) the existence of a negative trend in the annual- and winter-averaged sea state heights; (ii) the existence of a turning-point in late 80's in the annual-averaged trend of sea state heights at a site in the Northern Adriatic Sea; (iii) the overall absence of a significant trend in the annual-averaged mean durations of sea states over thresholds; (iv) the assessment of the extreme values on a time-scale of thousand years. The analysis uses two methods to obtain samples of extremes from the independent sea states: the r-largest annual maxima and the peak-over-threshold. The two methods show statistical differences in retrieving the return values and more generally in describing the significant wave field. The r-largest annual maxima method provides more reliable predictions of the extreme values especially for small return periods (<100 years). Finally, the study statistically proves the existence of decadal negative trends in the significant wave heights and by this it conveys useful information on the wave climatology of the Italian seas during the second half of the 20th century. © 2010 Author(S).

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