Monitoring air quality is essential to both ensuring that the air we breathe is safe and fighting climate change. With air pollution on the rise and mitigating global warming becoming increasingly urgent, the air quality monitoring industry continues to grow. Furthermore, at an estimated worth of nearly EUR 4.2 billion, the industry isn’t just big business – it’s a lucrative one. “Today’s air quality monitoring market is dominated by complex, expensive and inefficient technologies that are limited to measuring each and every air pollutant and greenhouse gas independently,” says Morten Hundt, co-founder and CEO of MIRO Analytical Technologies (MIRO), a Swiss-based tech start-up. “What the market desperately needs is an innovative system capable of measuring all these pollutants and gases simultaneously.” Thanks to the support of the EU-funded Lazaero project, MIRO has developed the all-in-one system that the market needs. “Our innovative analyser will radically disrupt the air quality monitoring market as we know it,” adds Hundt.
Better understanding air pollution and global warming
During the Lazaero project, MIRO’s R&D team set out to increase the number of gases measured from 8 (in the prototype instrument) to 10. The team also identified the activities that needed to be carried out to improve the robustness and operability of the analyser and to reduce its manufacturing costs. The result of this work is a direct laser absorption spectroscopy-based gas analyser capable of measuring six different pollutants (CO, O3, SO2, NO, NO2 and NH3) and four greenhouse gases (H2O, CO2, CH4 and N2O) continuously, simultaneously and precisely. The new analyser is also extremely light, reducing instrumentation weight from up to 200 kg to just 25 kg. “This stands in sharp contrast to the solutions currently on the market that, despite requiring large amounts of space and energy, still only offer limited performance,” explains Hundt. As an all-in-one system, end-users only need to transport one single machine, meaning they can easily move it to different locations to get more targeted – and precise – measurements. It is even possible to take a measurement on a vehicle while driving, a feature that opens the door to completely new applications. “We are proud that our analyser enables companies, authorities and researchers to get the insights they need to understand and mitigate air pollution and global warming,” adds Hundt.
MIRO has already delivered the first 10-gas analysers to scientific customers, who will soon publish the first research using data derived during the Lazaero project. MIRO’s systems are gathering positive feedback: one of the company’s clients describes the device as a milestone in in the field of laser-based gas analysers. To prepare the analyser for the global market, the MIRO team has prepared a complete execution plan for the development of the new technology, including planning, organisation, risk analysis and budget. They also analysed target markets, including the competition, to prepare a robust marketing strategy. To ensure freedom-to-operate, a full patent search has been conducted. Most recently, MIRO has applied for EIC Accelerator funding that, if granted, will be used to further develop the analyser technology.
Lazaero, air quality, air pollution, greenhouse gases, climate change, global warming, MIRO Analytical Technologies