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A real-time answer to environmental heavy metal contamination

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FREEDD (A real-time answer to environmental heavy metal contamination)

Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2018-05-31

With European legislation dictating that waste water streams require regular testing however, there is a market need for the fast and accurate identification of heavy metal leaching or a spillage into waterways to minimise the environmental effects and facilitate subsequent containment and remediation efforts, ultimately also minimising financial costs. Our portable heavy metal detection device, FREEDD, can measure heavy metal contamination in water and wet soil, accurately and in real time.
The overall objectives of the FREEDD project are to streamline the machine’s hardware by optimising the size, weight and efficacy of production of each component. To validate FREEDD, large-scale testing will be performed in collaboration with target customer and end users. Further objectives include IP protection and commercialisation and dissemination activities.
Technical: a work plan has been developed outlining the necessary steps towards streamlining FREEDD software and hardware to reduce its size and weight. Possible risks were analysed and mitigation strategies and corrective measures proposed.
Commercial: a study of the water analysis instrumentation market was conducted, including competitor’s assessment. The status of heavy metal pollution in Europe was analysed with key target industries identified, allowing us to put in place a realistic staggered commercialisation strategy.
Legal: the IPR analysis showed that the FREEDD project would not infringe any intellectual property and we are thus free to operate internationally. Steps toward seeking CE marking for FREEDD have been identified.
Financial: our business plan was summarised with financial forecasts and funding requirements assessed to present viable financial scenarios for FREEDD following a 2021 market launch.
Heavy metal pollution in Europe is released by a number of industries, most consistently waste and waste-water management facilities and power plants. FREEDD uniquely offers real-time testing of polluted water and soil and therefore fast and cost-effective introduction of mitigating measures to minimise environmental damage. By supplying FREEDD to environmental remediation companies, we will also contribute significantly to the development of new efficient environmental remediation strategies, thus easing the road to regulatory compliance and heavy metal containment.