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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: ENV.2010.3.1.7-1 | Award Amount: 1.37M | Year: 2010

With increasing requirements for air pollution monitoring in Europe, and a rising number and complexity of available instruments, harmonisation and innovation of air pollution monitoring in Europe is of vital importance. In the short term, harmonisation is needed to ensure comparability of measured concentrations, and their estimated measurement uncertainties, provided by European air pollution monitoring networks. To achieve harmonised air quality data, detailed recommendations on equipment evaluation and selection, standard operating procedures (SOPs) for set-up, operation and calibration, and proofs of equivalence to reference methods are needed. The necessity for harmonisation is especially important for particles (PM2.5 and PM10). Demonstration of equivalence to the reference methods, and QA/QC procedures for widely used automated PM monitors, are key current issues. In the longer term, the regulatory requirements for both metrics and methods need to be re-examined in the light of improved scientific knowledge (for example relating to health effects) and advances in monitoring technologies. The aim of AirMonTech is to compile the knowledge and information needed to harmonise current air pollution measurements and to guide research and decisions about monitoring in the future. The project is proposed by a consortium comprising air quality monitoring experts, measurement technique developers and health effect researchers from renowned research institutions and public bodies. Strong links to both urban and regional monitoring networks and European standardization institutions are ensured via direct links to AQUILA, EMEP and CEN. AirMonTech will gather information on instrument performance, test results, equivalence demonstrations and SOPs, and process them into specifically designed databases. Particular emphasis will be placed on methods for real-time monitoring of particles and particle-related proxy variables as well as indices particularly relevant for human health. A roadmap for research on and improvement of future urban air quality monitoring including recommendations on existing and new monitoring technologies will be developed and discussed with stakeholders. Opportunities and limitations for the improvement and harmonization of monitoring activities in EU member states will be evaluated in an interactive dissemination process involving all relevant stakeholder groups.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2011.1.4-1 | Award Amount: 10.41M | Year: 2012

The BUONAPART-E project aims to demonstrate that a physical nanoparticle synthesis process can be economically scaled-up to yield 100 kg/day production rate, which is the target rate mentioned in the Call Topic. The process is simple, versatile, and reliable. It avoids chemical precursors and solvents, while fully recycling the necessary inert carrier gas, resulting in a minimal impact on the environment. The process does not necessitate external heating of the inert gas, thereby keeping energy consumption low. The main goal of the BUONAPART-E is to increase the production rate of a single basic unit in which the evaporation of the raw material is done by electric means by a factor of 10 to 100 and to implement necessary monitoring and collecting tools to ensure high quality product delivery. Experimental results as well as literature data indicate that an energy efficiency of 100 kWh/kg has been reached for a single unit. The challenge addressed in BUONAPART-E, which can only be met with new knowledge of the hitherto unknown fundamental mechanisms taking place, is to obtain an increase in the production rate, while retaining energy efficiency. The process allows for the synthesis of different materials using the same production platform. The basic evaporation unit (called hereafter the Optimal Single Unit or OSU) is a set of electrodes. A large number of these units can be placed in a single housing, contributing to the cost-effectiveness of the process. The use of many single production units in parallel, which can be thoroughly optimized and tested on a lab scale for a given material, ensures that a highly-effective scale-up of the synthesis process in terms of cost and energy consumption is possible. Further equipment, such as pumps, power supply to the OSUs and the particle collection unit, can be scaled-up as single units leading to additional cost benefits.

Due to their unique properties, engineered nanoparticles (ENP) are now used for a myriad of novel applications with great economic and technological importance. However, some of these properties, especially their surface reactivity, have raised health concerns, which have prompted scientists, regulators, and industry to seek consensus protocols for the safe production and use of the different forms of ENP. There is currently a shortage of field-worthy, cost-effective ways - especially in real time - for reliable assessment of exposure levels to ENP in workplace air. In addition to the problems with the size distribution, a major uncertainty in the safety assessment of airborne ENP arises from the lack of knowledge of their physical and chemical properties, and the levels of exposure. A special challenge of ENP monitoring is to separate ubiquitous background nanoparticles from different sources from the ENP. Here the main project goal is to develop innovative concepts and reliable methods for characterizing ENP in workplace air with novel, portable and easy-to-use devices suitable for workplaces. Additional research objectives are (1) identification of relevant physico-chemical properties and metrics of airborne ENP; establishment of reference materials; (2) exploring the association between physico-chemical and toxicological properties of ENP; (3) analyzing industrial processes as a source of ENP in workplace air; (4) developing methods for calibration and testing of the novel devices in real and simulated exposure situations; and (5) dissemination of the research results to promote the safe use of ENP through guidance, standards and education, implementing of safety objectives in ENP production and handling, and promotion of safety related collaborations through an international nanosafety platform.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.3-3 | Award Amount: 8.92M | Year: 2014

Rapidly developing markets such as green construction, energy harvesting and storage, advanced materials for aerospace, electronics, medical implants and environmental remediation are potential key application targets for nanomaterials. There, nanotechnology has the potential to make qualitative improvements or indeed even to enable the technology. Impacts range from increased efficiency of energy harvesting or storage batteries, to radical improvements in mechanical properties for construction materials. In addition, concerns of these markets such as scarcity of materials, cost, security of supply, and negative environmental impact of older products could also be addressed by new nano-enabled materials (e.g. lighter aircraft use less fuel). FutureNanoNeeds will develop a novel framework to enable naming, classification, hazard and environmental impact assessment of the next generation nanomaterials prior to their widespread industrial use. It will uniquely achieve this by integrating concepts and approaches from several well established contiguous domains, such as phylontology and crystallography to develop a robust, versatile and adaptable naming approach, coupled with a full assessment of all known biological protective responses as the basis for a decision tree for screening potential impacts of nanomaterials at all stages of their lifecycle. Together, these tools will form the basis of a value chain regulatory process which allows a each nanomaterial to be assessed for different applications on the basis of available data and the specific exposure and life cycle concerns for that application. Exemplar materials from emerging nano-industry sectors, such as energy, construction and agriculture will be evaluated via this process as demonstrators. The FutureNanoNeeds consortium is uniquely placed to achieve this, on the basis of expertise, positioning, open mindedness and a belief that new approaches are required.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008. | Award Amount: 7.87M | Year: 2009

The main objective of the EnerGEO project is to develop a strategy for a global assessment of the current and future impact of the exploitation of energy resources on the environment and ecosystems and to demonstrate this strategy for a variety of energy resources worldwide. The global observation strategy will be developed to appropriately assess the impacts of current and future transitions in energy-use on the environment by a combination of: models already available for the different sources of energ: TASES, REMIX and MESSAGE existing global datasets from which environmental indicators will be derived to quantify changes to freshwater systems, biosphere, ecosystems, atmosphere and oceans. existing and currently developed models capable of assessing and forecasting environmental impacts and costs of energy exploitation. By developing a distributed system based on the recommendations of the GEO-Architecture and Data Committee global collection and dissemination of data relating to the effect of energy use on the environment will be supported. By including members of the Energy-Community of Practice of GEO, sustained contribution of the GEO-tasks EN-07-02 and EN-07-3 will be realised. The project takes the testing and demonstration of the observing system and developed scenarios through the execution of dedicated pilots at heart. The pilots are focused on the most important issues relating to atmospheric composition and land degradation through the use of fossil fuels, future impacts of the use and production of biomass on land ecosystems and food security, sustainable integration of solar energy in current grids as well as its visual impact and relating to the impact of wind energy on marine ecosystems. Attention will be given to pollutants that are continuously cycling between the atmosphere and aquatic ecosystems. The results of the pilots feed into an integrated platform that will be run for known scenarios in order to assess energy strategies.

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