Environment

Everything-in-a-box pollution ‘analyser’

13/01/2021
Miro

Miro Analytical Technologies, a Swiss-based company, has pioneered a solution that simultaneously monitors ten of the most common greenhouse gasses and pollutants. It’s good news for industries looking to keep their emissions in check using affordable and adaptable technology. It’s even better news for the EU in achieving its ambitious zero-waste and zero-emissions targets.

With everything contained in a compact all-in-one box, the new ‘analyser’ is much lighter and easier to instal and move around than the complex setups currently used by industry, according to Miro’s team, which received EU backing – under the Lazaero project – to further develop and market the technology.

“We are proud that our analyser enables companies, authorities and researchers to get the insights they need to understand and mitigate air pollution and global warming,” notes Morten Hundt, co-founder and CEO of Miro, in an article on the CORDIS news site.

Hundt points out that today’s air-quality monitoring market is dominated by complex, expensive and inefficient technologies that are limited to measuring each and every air pollutant and greenhouse gas independently. The analyser is a small piece of technology, but with potentially large implications for industry and for the EU in its quest to achieve ambitious goals, from its Green Deal and Circular Economy initiatives to the latest Zero Pollution Action Plan launched in October 2020.

The stakes are high to get this right. As Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries remarked: “Pollution affects everybody – through the air we breathe, the water we drink or the land we grow our food on.” He called for ‘zero pollution’ goals to permeate all EU policies. “Achieving zero pollution is good for our health, good for the environment, but also for the economy as it has the potential to create ample green business opportunities and accelerate the transition to a circular economy.”

The very essence of innovation

The essence of innovation is finding new ways to do something better. In this case, the ‘new way’ not only performs the task of sensing more gases and pollutants, it does it faster, cheaper and more accurately than older technology.

The Miro ‘box’ marks a big leap forward in market-smart eco-innovations. It requires no special technical expertise to instal, no server, and no complex calibrations. This and the fact that it is a modular unit translates into savings for business; 40% lower set-up costs and up to 75% savings on operating costs compared to existing devices.

It can even be mounted on a vehicle in search of more targeted – and precise – readings. Accuracy matters a lot, as many polluting industries have learned the hard way. Fines for companies exceeding the strict EU limits on emissions can run into the millions. The cost to society is much greater still, with around 412,000 premature deaths in 41 European countries attributed to air pollutants such as fine particulate matter (PM2.5) according to the European Environment Agency’s 2016 data.

The Miro technology applies the latest in direct laser absorption spectroscopy, with three novel dual-colour quantum cascade lasers (CQL), custom-designed electronics and software to create a plug- and-play device that saves space and reduces costs, according to the project team.

Lazaero project coordinator, MIRO Analytical Technologies. Check out the key features of the Miro ‘analyser’.