Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

CyanoKit Report Summary

Project ID: 791672

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CyanoKit (CyanoKit®, the fastest and easiest test for reliable on-site cyanide detection.)

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2018-02-28

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Cyanide is a fast acting poison that affects our ability to use the oxygen we breathe. Severe breathing difficulties develop very rapidly when cyanide is swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. A few hundred milligrams of this compound in solution, or parts per million (ppm) in air, are enough to cause severe to lethal damage in adults if ingested or inhaled. Most people are unable to detect its odour and therefore have no warning of its presence. Moreover, it is particularly harmful for aquatic life and habitats. but the truth is that without it our daily lives would not be the same. It is an essential chemical compound for a large number of industrial processes and products. It is frequently used in developed industries, such as electroplating, metallurgy, chemical manufacturing and mining and to produce vitamins (B12), jewellery, adhesives, computer electronics, cosmetics, paints, pharmaceuticals and table salt, among others. It is also present naturally in over 2,500 plants like cassava and almonds which can poison those who eat it if insufficiently processed.

Nowadays, detection of cyanide relies on lengthy and cumbersome procedures carried out far from the source, i.e. in specialised laboratories that often require expensive equipment and highly trained personnel. Moreover, given the high reactivity of cyanide and its related compounds, sample analysis is difficult and often results in data subject to significant errors. There is therefore an urgent need to find new solutions to manage it properly so that it doesn’t present major issues for the environment and society.

CyanoKit is an innovative platform technology for the detection of cyanide that can be used in nearly any field of application. It detects cyanide 98% faster than available methods, is reliable (>90% accuracy) and easy-to-use, making the test suitable for a wide range of users, from highly specialised chemists to farmers. CyanoKit has arrived to effectively address cyanide management and protect environment and human’s safety.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

By completing the project, we have expanded our knowledge about the Environmental Sensing and Monitoring Technologies, the potential of CyanoKit and the benefits the technology can deliver. Although measurement systems for cyanide detection already exists, this is the first application of technology to produce such rapid results and also be accessible to any person since no special knowledge/training is required to use it. This will drive improved outcomes since test results, and subsequently effective management, can be delivered faster and cheaper. CyanoKit is just a launch pad for a huge number of potential uses as the technology platform can be also developed and applied to many other contaminants in the future.

This study was also instrumental in deriving important product and commercialization developments needed for the market launch of CyanoKit. The findings have confirmed the next key feature developments of the test based on the customers’ needs investigation. Also during the Phase 1 feasibility assessment, we have secured all the strategic partnerships required for scaling-up. The project is fully aligned with our strategy to validate and maximize CyanoKit´s potential for commercially favourable uses.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

So far, cyanide can be detected using a variety of analytical methods. Pure lab methods are widely used to test cyanide but these are not ideal for rapid on-site detection as they depend on large and expensive instrumentation, specialized users, and the need for complicated sample preparation protocols. There are also a handful of companies offering tests to “rapidly” detect toxins such as cyanide. These are faster test kits than lab methods that do not require a lab setting, yet they involve mixing various hazardous chemicals. While these tests are considerably cheaper compared to lab tests, they show severe disadvantages when compared to our technology. All existing tests use the same methods and technologies which have remained unchanged for nearly half a century and cannot provide the near/instant results of CyanoKit and work only in pure water, thereby presenting severe limitations for cyanide detection in biological samples as we provide.

CyanoKit impacts positively both the environment and society´s safety. It contributes to the provision of information necessary to ensure food and water security, to cope with the scarcity of natural resources and to make communities more resilient to natural hazards. The large scale adoption of CyanoKit limits human´s intoxication threats while ensuring the protection and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems. It enables better monitoring activities directly on-site, where fast and accurate tools are much needed. Moreover, companies are provided with the fastest and most reliable cyanide detection tool available, making the measurement process easier, thus dramatically saving costs and time.

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