Life Ecosens Aquamonitrix – Enhanced Portable Sensor for Water Quality Monitoring,moving to genuinely integrated
Water Resource Management
Start Date: 2 July 2018 End Date: 31 March 2021
This project consolidates research outputs from previous R&D projects carried out by T.E. Laboratories Ltd. to demonstrate & bring to market a novel water quality monitoring integrated solution to meet the requirements for frequent water quality monitoring under the Water Framework Directive.
The consortium, led by T.E. Laboratories Ltd. is made up of the Finnish company, Kemira, the Spanish companies, LKS Ingeneria and ISEA, the Spanish university Unversidad Catolica San Antonio de Murcia as well as the Universidade Nova de Lisboa from Portugal. Various water companies/authorities are also participating from Spain and Finland as project collaborators, e.g. the Bilbao Water Consortium which will make their facilities available for carrying out tests on the water quality sensor.
For more details, please go the Life Ecosens Aquamonitrix project website
Holifab – Holistic digital-to-physical prototyping and production pilot for microfluidic MEMS
Start Date: 1 Nov 2017 End Date: 31 Oct 2020
This project is funded H2020-EU.2.1.2. – INDUSTRIAL LEADERSHIP – Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies – Nanotechnologies. It aims at a holistic new design strategy, coordinated pilot lines and business model for the prototyping, fabrication and commercialization of polymer-based microfluidic systems. It stems from the recognition that a microfluidic chip is a key part of a microfluidic MEMS, but only a part. Many limitations to fast prototyping, industrialization and ultimate performances lie not in the chip itself, but in the world-to-chip connections and integration of multiple external components. We shall address in a single strategy the streamlined construction of whole microfluidic systems, starting from existing pilot lines in injection moulding, 3D printing and instrument construction.
First, the resolution of 3D printing will be increased by a factor at least 10, down to 1~3μm, with a throughput 10 to 100x higher than that of current high resolution 3D printing machines, to support the flexible production of chips with complex 3D architectures. New soft, bio, environment-friendly and/or active materials will be integrated in the production chain using a technology patented by the partners. Large-scale markets requiring mass production at the lowest cost will be addressed by a fully integrated pilot line, streamlining injection moulding of raw chips, reagents and components integration, sealing and quality control. Intercompatibility between 3D printing and injection moulding, regarding architectures and materials, will be developed to accelerate the prototype to product value chain. After development and upscaling, the technology will be demonstrated and qualified in operational environment by end-users with lab-on-chip applications in health (cancer diagnosis, organ-on chip) and environment (water control).
Tellab will demonstrate environmental applications of the prototype devices with deployments in the field, and will perform validation through evaluation against comparative techniques in the TelLab ISO 17025 accredited laboratory.
For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/212839_en.html
Optimising and Enhancing the Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System
Start Date: 1 April 2015 ; End Date: 31 July 2019
Summary of Project:
The vision of AtlantOS is to improve and innovate Atlantic observing by using the Framework of Ocean Observing to obtain an international, more sustainable, more efficient, more integrated, and fit-for-purpose system contributing to the Trans-Atlantic Research Alliance, the GEO (Group on Earth Observations) global initiative Blue Planet, and GOOS (Global Ocean Observing Systems). Hence, the AtlantOS initiative will have a long-lasting and sustainable contribution to the societal, economic and scientific benefit arising from this integrated approach. This will be achieved by improving the value for money, extent, completeness, quality and ease of access to Atlantic Ocean data required by industries, product supplying agencies, scientist and citizens.
The R & D Department are partners in Work Package 6 Cross-cutting issues and emerging networks. TelLab is working closely with the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Southampton who is the leader of this Work Package.
This Work Package will enhance Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System IAOOS capabilities to sample water and particles for biological and (meta)genomic analysis, through sensor and development and TelLab’s main contribution is in the development of a marine sampler. Additionally, as an SME, TelLab will help to develop the role of European industry in ocean sensors and instrumentation markets.
For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to https://www.atlantos-h2020.eu/
Managing soil and groundwater impacts from agriculture for sustainable intensification
Start Date: 1 April 2016 ; End Date: 20 March 2020
Summary of Project:
Inspiration is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) funded Innovative Training Network (ITN). Agriculture is vital to Europe’s prosperity. However, while agricultural production in Europe has significantly increased food security it has also damaged soil and water resources and ecosystem biodiversity and contributed to climate change.
With the global population predicted to grow to 9.1B by 2050, it is estimated that current food production must increase by 60% to meet this demand. Demand for water is also expected to grow by the same amount by 2025, much of it required to support irrigated agriculture. Further intensification of production to support population growth must be sustainable to minimise future environmental impacts and negative externalities.
Sustainability is critically underdeveloped in European farming practices. However, it can reduce the environmental impacts of commercial-scale farming in Europe and increase the productivity of poor quality land in urban and industrialised areas, which may be contaminated. This offers huge opportunities to restore degraded land to re-use, return this asset to communities, ensure local food supply and increase the agricultural capacity of urban land, otherwise unsuitable for commercial-scale farming. It contributes to food security, by reducing the need for new land elsewhere. This is possible in many European cities, outlying areas and peripheral rural environments.
Addressing this challenge and improving Europe’s soil and water resources for future agricultural use requires innovative sustainable management concepts, which must consider environmental, technical, social and economic factors. Decision-making frameworks and predictive tools must also be developed to implement sustainable agricultural practices and devise measures to mitigate impacts. These approaches must be developed from the farm- to catchment-scale within European agricultural landscapes. This requires an integrated analysis represented in the INSPIRATION (managing soil and groundwater impacts from agriculture for sustainable intensification) project.
TelLab will host and supervise an Early Stage Researcher as part of Work Package 4, Mitigation of soil and groundwater impacts from agriculture using mixed waste media. The ESR will identify various suitable locally-sourced raw/waste materials (nutrient rich) in partner countries which are safe to recycle back onto land.
For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to http://www.inspirationitn.eu/
Developing a portable Ion Chromatography system for nutrient analysis in water
Colorimetric detection of heavy metals in water
Start Date: 1 September 2015 ; End Date: 31 August 2019
PhD Student: Eoin Murray
Eoin has a BSc (Hons) in Chemical and Environmental Science from the University of Limerick and a first-class MSc degree in Analytical Chemistry from University College Cork. Eoin has worked with Teagasc, the Food and Agriculture Authority of Ireland analysing both the chemical and physical characteristics of a large range of soil types throughout the country. He has also contributed to the development of the Irish soil type map of Ireland.
Prior to his PhD, as a Research Scientist within T.E. Laboratories, he was responsible for the development of chemistries for integration onto microfluidic platforms and performed research associated with the multiple European and International projects which TelLab are involved in.
Summary of Project:
This is an Irish Research Council funded industrial based PhD.
Eoin’s PhD involves the development a portable Ion Chromatography system for the analysis of inorganic anions in fresh water matrices. The aim of the PhD is to have a product ready for commercialisation by the end of his project.
Ion Chromatography (IC) allows for the separation and analysis of ionic analytes on the basis of different charge properties. For anionic analysis, positively charged groups on the stationary phase attract solute anions; these anions momentarily bind to the stationary phase and are subsequently eluted by the mobile phase and are detected by the detector. IC is the gold stand for analysis of anions in water. The aim of this project is to develop a portable and affordable IC system that can detect anions in the water, while providing reliable analytical results with high temporal resolution.
Optimised self-calibrating microfluidic systems for in-situ environmental monitoring
Start Date: 05 December 2016; End Date: 31 May 2020
PhD Student: Nile Quane
Nile has a first class BSc (Hons) in Physics with Biomedical Sciences from Dublin City University. In DCU, Nile’s final year project was based on design optimisation of microfluidic platforms using CFD simulations, supervised by the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute.
Summary of Project:
The research is a joint venture between T.E. Laboratories and Lancaster University. Water analysis testing is typically completed using manually obtained samples sent for laboratory analysis. This is both infrequent and laborious. In-situ sensors are becoming increasingly common in environmental monitoring due to their ease of deployment, more frequent testing and regulatory pressure such as the EU Water Framework Directive. Some issues in long-term sensor deployment include cost, sensor lifetime and data quality over the deployment period. Frequent servicing is infeasible for numerous deployed sensors, particularly where these are in hard-to-reach or otherwise inaccessible locations. Nile’s PhD looks at adaptation of the company’s Aquamonitrix device to improve sensor quality and deployment time.