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One device to measure the most important air pollutants and greenhouse gases at once

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Envirolas (One device to measure the most important air pollutants and greenhouse gases at once)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2022-09-30

Air pollution is a major cause of disease and premature death, and it is the largest environmental health risk in Europe, causing around 400 000 premature deaths per year. The effects of air pollution also entail considerable costs, including reduced labor productivity, increased health expenditure, and crop and forest yield losses.
Health costs specifically related to air pollution have been estimated to reach €52 billion across Europe in the decade to come. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), projects that these costs will increase to reach about 2% of European gross domestic product (GDP) by 2060, leading to a reduction in capital accumulation and a slowdown in economic growth.
The emissions linked to air pollution are also the main cause of climate change and countries around the globe have joined to combat dangerous greenhouse gas emissions by signing the Paris Agreement.
The aim of EnviroLAS was the further development, certification and market entry of MIRO Analytical’s multicompound gas analyzer for air pollutants and greenhouse gases. The analyzer’s all-in-one solution will reduce cost of ownership, power consumption and space requirements of environmental monitoring stations while improving their performance and usability. Currently, such stations need a wide range of different instruments to measure air pollution and greenhouse gases because each type of gas is measured with a different technology.
EnviroLAS is the very first gas measurement solution to replace all the instruments by one compact device. Our technology uses multiple quantum cascade lasers (QCL), custom designed electronics and software to measure and analyze up to 6 different air pollutants (CO, O3, SO2, NO, NO2, NH3) and 4 greenhouse gases (H2O, CO2, CH4 and N2O) continuously, simultaneously and precisely. Our all-in-one technology does away with the need for several single gas measurement instruments to save space, gain mobility and reduce costs
Starting with an existing prototype, key components for the gas analyzer were developed. New components for the laser absorption spectroscopy system were designed, prototyped, assembled and tested. The new developments increase the instrument’s sensitivity and stability and reduces the production cost (WP 1.1).
Additionally, the instrument’s electronic system was redesigned to reduce internal cabling and simplify production. The newly designed electronics were tested at a certified EMC laboratory to obtain the CE marking (WP 1.2 WP 3). Prototype instruments including the newly developed components were being built and used for further certification-tests and for pilot and testing campaigns with potential customers and key opinion leaders in our target markets.
The instrument’s software was reorganized in a new development framework to improve its stability and error-handling. Furthermore, it was upgraded to automate gas measurements by controlling external devices for simplified calibrations, sampling and quality control.
The dissemination activities of the project were jeopardized by the Corona pandemic with conferences and trade shows being cancelled. Instead of physical events, we attended several online events. Nonetheless we could create promising sales leads, sold analyzers and built important relationships with key opinion leaders. Also, one of our analyzers was used in research campaigns where measurements of pollutants and greenhouse gases were made from a Zeppelin in flight. The results were published in scientific publications. Finally, in 2022 we could participate in in-person conferences and trade shows to demonstrate our developments to a broader public.
The production of MIRO’s analyzers was moved to a new laboratory where the necessary serial production and testing capacities were set up.
With the ability to measure 10 air pollutants and greenhouse gases simultaneously and with high precision EnviroLAS goes way beyond the state of the art, where in most cases a single analyzer is needed for each gas compound that is measured.
With this all-in-one ability EnviroLAS not only reduces cost of ownership, power consumption and space requirements of environmental monitoring stations while improving their performance and usability. But it also allows for completely new applications in environmental sciences where the analyzer is carried on airplanes, ships or cars for mobile measurements.
The project has a large impact on the development of MIRO Analytical as a company because it gives us the opportunity to quickly improve our developments and reduce their time-to-market. The project allows for rapid growth of our young company and therefore to create innovative products, intellectual property and high-quality jobs in Europe.
The overall socio-economic impact lies in simplifying and improving measurements of greenhouse gases and air-pollutants and therefore directly helping to improve air quality and mitigate climate change. The measurements are key to understanding and managing these enormous problems.
EnviroLAS prototype view 1
EnviroLAS prototype view 2