The European commission launches a new project entitled IAQSense to address the ever

The European commission launches a new project entitled IAQSense to address the ever
growing concern of indoor air quality (IAQ) in closed environments such as buildings and
vehicles. A consortium of 10 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very
ambitious objectives during a 3-year research program.

It is well known that bad air quality can cause discomfort such as fatigue, headaches, weakness, eye irritation, and even much more severe reactions in some individuals. The problem is that poor air quality can be caused by an extremely large variety of so-called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in extremely low concentration, down to parts per billion (ppb).

Today, only heavy duty, high cost analytical equipment can provide reliable, real time measurements of the air quality. However, new approaches have recently been reported using nanotechnology that are very promising for mass production of low cost sensing systems, capable of detecting multiple gases at high speed and with high sensitivity.

The objective of the consortium’s partners – SMEs, industries and research organisations – is to
transfer these scientific results to a reliable sensing system ready for mass production. The system will consist of nanotechnology-based sensors: spectrometer on chip, polar ionization detector, and molecule traces detector using piezo-cantilever based balance and integrated electronics for fast pattern recognition of a large variety of VOCs and hazardous compounds, clearly identified from each other.

IAQSense will develop the set of sensors, its integrated electronics, and wireless communication, validated with a set of the most common molecules present indoors. This will be followed by research in new algorithms for building automation to explore the contribution of this smart sensor technology for the optimisation of health, comfort and energy savings. Applications in vehicles and smartphone connected devices will also be explored.

The project was launched in September 2013 under the leadership of EFFICIENCE Marketing (FR) with a term of 36 months. Other partners include ID MOS SAS (FR), CEA (FR), EELEO (FR), FSRM (CH), Nano Analytik GmbH (DE), ACCIONA Infraestructuras (ES), FACET (BG), Microsystems Ltd (BG) and ISL (FR).

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