The project research should offer an insight into the production and use of alternative filter materials as well as a significant understanding of what has happened during the treatments on a molecular level. It is not within the scope of this project to thoroughly analyze the cold plasma itself; focus will lie on changes at the textile fibre surface and their effect on filtration characteristics and further processing.
The project research aims at helping Bulgarian (Sofia, partner 4) and Romanian (Iasi, partner 3) researchers to improve filter characteristics of nonwoven materials, starting from filter materials currently produced by subcontractors on their available production lines. Nonwoven textiles and their intermediates made of synthetic fibres will be treated with available chemical and/or cold plasma techniques. No attempts will be made to develop plasma equipment for use on a continuous nonwoven filter production line. The basis of the project investigations is (a) local research experience from the last decade where filter technology has been applied to tackle environmental problems caused by gaseous and aqueous effluents, and (b) experience of the EC-partners in high-level polymer surface (Aachen, partner 2) and textile (Gent, partner I ) analysis.
On the basis of local situation, analysis schemes and possibilities, and on realistic time tables, a choice is made from a list of Bulgarian and Romanian filter production parameters and effluent types. Partners 1. 3 and 4 will do the treatments of nonwovens and their intermediates, and the mechanical/chemical tests to evaluate improvements and (dis)advantages. Synthetic effluents will be made and used to assess the old and the newly developed technology filter materials. Partner 2 will perform surface analysis of (un)treated samples in order to obtain information on chemical interactions and durability of treatments.
Romania will focus on filters for gaseous effluents since they have industry contacts, testing equipment and experience in this field. Bulgaria will concentrate on ion-exchange filters for the purification of wastewaters, obtained after chemical/magnetically enhanced plasma treatment. For the Bulgarian partner textile waste water treatment is most urgent. Research experience and equipment are already available. Financial support for both CCE-partners will be used for extra staff costs, upgrading present research facilities and participation in coordinative meetings.
Apart from its coordinating role, partner 1 will take part in the plasma experiment programme as well as performing chemical and physical textile tests.
Partner 2 will conduct analyses using XPS and FT-IR-ATR of surface chemistry and dynamics before and after chemical/plasma treatment, offering an insight of what occurs at a molecular level.
Plasma treatment and sample analyses will be performed by the EC-partners in a reproducible and well monitored way under the conditions stipulated by the CCE-partners 3 and 4.
After optimizing the filter materials on a laboratory scale, they will be tested by subcontractors in industry. This will provide feedback for further refinement of the new technology.
Coordination will be centralized at partner 1. A meeting is foreseen with all partners about every six months. Intermediate meetings between partners 3 and 4 and their respective subcontractors, and between partners I and 2 will be organized at appropriate times.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts