Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - AMERAC (Advanced methods for environment research and control)

The increasing pollution of air and water resources implies the immediate activities towards stopping further degradation of environment. The water resources in many parts of Europe are not sufficient to meet the needs of the population. In many cases, natural fresh water resources are being threatened by pollution and increasing salinity, therefore the demand for clean potable water is increasingly growing, particularly in areas of high population density. Reduction of greenhouse gases emission, as well as acid rains in industrial parts of the world becomes a great problem nowadays. Many technologies for environment control and remediation, as well as specific, advanced methods for pollution monitoring are continuously under development. Poland is a country with severe pollution of environment. In spite of significant reduction of pollutants emission to the atmosphere in the last years, Poland remains one of the main emitters of fly ash, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. The high emission of the main pollutants is determined by specifics of country economy based on carbon (lignite) combustion.

The AMERAC project addressed multi-disciplinary aspects of environment protection. Scientific and technological approach of the project concerned very important domains of air and water resources research and control, as well as environmental monitoring by use of modern methods based on isotopic ratio measurements by mass spectrometry and applying the equipment based on application of ionising radiation. Some of these methods developed in scope of the project are in early-stage of development, but they are very promising because of numerous advantages, like high accuracy, safety and neutrality to the environment. They will be step-by-step introduced to the arsenal of the routine methods of environment monitoring, research and control. The method based on the measurements of stable isotopes ratio proved as a sensitive tool for identification of pollutants of anthropogenic origin, as well as the method of food staff origin and authenticity study.

The analytical and measurement equipment based on ionising radiation was implemented in different branches of industry for monitoring of air pollutants and industrial processes. Modern methods of water pollution control as membrane and hybrid processes were developed and could be applied in different branches of industry for processing of different waste streams. Polymer enhanced ultrafiltration showed the potential for removal of metallic contaminants and radionuclides from liquid waste. New methods of air pollution reduction, like application of Electron beam (EB) generated in accelerator were studied in laboratory and in pilot scale.

It was proved that the process apart of SO2 and NOx removal enables decomposition of volatile organic compounds from flue gas from electro power stations burning the fossil fuels. The exchange of information between leading centres in Europe carried out in scope of the project, transfer of knowledge via personal contacts, workshops and seminars, as well as common research using complementary apparatus and measuring equipment in different participating laboratories provided host institution (INCT) with new investigation possibilities, created new areas of competence and broad the field of research which may result in new industrial and environmental applications. Advanced knowledge transfer and integration of activities between the project partners strengthened their scientific potential and research abilities.

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