AQUARIUS proposes disruptive improvements in laser based water sensing employing MIR quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). It is motivated by i) the EC Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) where hydrocarbons are identified as priority hazardous substances, ii) the industrial and regulatory need for fast and continuous detection of contaminants and iii) the current state-of-the-art of measuring these substances using QCLs as defined by project partner QuantaRed Technologies and described in ASTM D7678. AQUARIUS will improve this offline method by developing pervasive online and inline sensing strategies based on advanced photonic structures. For improved specificity a broadly (200 cm-1) tunable MOEMS based µEC-QCL source will be developed into a core spectrometer. High power, mode-hop free operation and unprecedentedly fast data acquisition (1000 spectra/s) will assure high S/N-ratios and thus high sensitivity. The system for online sensing (LOD: 1ppm) is based on automated liquid-liquid extraction and will be validated by project partner OMV for process and waste water monitoring. It will also be tested for identifying different sources of contaminations by project partner KWR in their water treatment and purification facilities. The system for inline sensing will be based on integrated optical circuits (IOC) including waveguides for evanescent wave sensing. Switching between individual waveguides of the IOC will enable quasi-simultaneous sample and background measurement and thus assure excellent long-term stability. By enrichment of analytes in polymer layers LODs as required for drinking (0.5ppb) and groundwater (50ppb) will be reached. AQUARIUS covers the supply chain from research institutes to system integrator and end users. It will push the online system from TRL 3 to 7 and the inline system from TRL 2 to 4 and thus reinforce the industrial leadership of the project partners regarding QCL based liquid sensing and photonic components (source, detector and IOCs).
HYDROPTICS will develop a set of integrated sensors, making use of advanced photonics subsystems, aimed at optimising the processes of the oil industry. The device will be validated in real industrial settings, for oil extraction and oil refining processes. The HYDROPTICS platform will perform: 1) oil in water measurements, 2) corrosion inhibitor concentration measurements, 3) oil droplets and suspended solids in water measurements, 4) industrial process optimisation, based on simulation of processes through digital twins, as well as data assimilation from the readings coming from the sensors. HYDROPTICS makes use of cutting edge photonics in order to perform the above tasks: a) Quantum Cascade Laser Frequency Combs spectroscopy, for ultra fast and sensing of oil in water concentration. b) Quantum Cascade Laser ATR spectroscopy, using MCM surface ATR crystals, for ultra-sensitive sensing of corrosion inhibitors in water. c) High resolution spectral and spatial resolution hyperspectral imaging, for particle classification in aqueous suspensions. The final HYDROPTICS platform will be tested in both upstream (oil extraction) and downstream (oil processing) industrial processes, in order to validate the sensors, and fine-tune the algorithms that regard process optimisation of said industrial processes.
There is a continuously increasing need for miniaturised sensors providing simultaneous access to multiple chemical and biochemical parameters sensing. Optical spectroscopy is the golden standard for the identification and quantitative measurement of several chemicals simultaneously, using a single device: a spectrometer. Challenge #1: Conventional FTIR spectrometers are bulky benchtop instruments. Regarding PTS for gas sensing, the proof-of-concept has only recently been validated at macroscopy scale. Considering field deployment of such spectrometers, the main challenges are related to the production cost, ruggedness & size of the instrument. Challenge #2: A key advantage of FTIR absorption spectroscopy is its broad spectral range in the MIR range, where fundamental molecular vibrational tones have large absorption cross section. However, while conventional benchtop FTIR spectrometers can operate up to 25000 nm or more, it is still a big challenge when considering miniature spectrometers to reach a wide spectral range coupled with high sensitivity. SIWARE recently developed an ultra-compact, MEMS-based, FTIR spectrometer. The commercial product, NeoSpectra, is operating in the Near-Infrared range up to 2500 nm. BROMEDIR will address the aforementioned challenges and make an important step towards meeting the related need, using Neospectra as a Spectroscopy Development Platform, targeting though the development of a radically new spectrometer with multiple extensions of its capabilities beyond the SotA. In parallel, a novel, miniaturised PTS spectrometer will be developed, taking advantage of the same silicon-MEMS technology platform that has been used for the development of the PIC used in Neospectra’s FTIR chip. In BROMEDIR, this new generation of miniature spectrometers will be used to develop sensing platforms, to be demonstrated in 3 application domains: a) sustainable farming, b) hydrogen supply chain quality monitoring and c) fuel quality control
NUTRISHIELD aims at creating a personalised platform for the young. The platform will consist of novel methods & techniques, which analyse a wide range of biomarkers related to nutrition and health disorders. Based on findings, the platform then uses ICT, by expanding existing nutrition assistive mobile apps, in order to provide feedback and steering people towards a better nutrition. This takes into account the way each person responds to different nutrients and food types, by also analysing phenotype, genome expression, microbiome composition, health condition, mental & psychological condition, as well as financial capabilities for procuring food.