Project: Inspection and COtenance fine Particle Sensor

The goal of this project focuses on the development of a particulate matter (PM) emission sensor for diesel-powered vehicles coupled with a universal computer interface, which will enable it to check and monitor real-time emission levels and compare them to current legislation limits according to vehicle class and technology. _x000D_The fine particles emitted by diesel motors nowadays are considered a major source of air pollution especially in the countries of Western Europe. Countermeasures have been devised and have succeeded in reducing the particle mass concentration over the years. However, it appears that particle-related disease occurrence has followed the opposite trend; lower respiratory tract diseases e.g. asthma, allergies show a significant increase. This issue has received a lot of attention in the medical community recently and there seems to be a correlation with those small-size particles which can penetrate the respiratory system more effectively and can even end up in the circulatory and the lymphatic system. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that fine particle monitoring systems be adequately developed. _x000D_Legislation agrees on this approach, as pointed out by upcoming Euro 5 and 6 PM emission amendments, which will impose a particle number limit as well. Current diesel-powered automotive fleet constitutes a large percentage of the total number of vehicles in Europe and this number is expected to rise in the following years due to the rapid penetration of diesel technology in Eastern Europe. Moreover, regulations concerning PM emissions are going to include gasoline-powered vehicles as well, despite their low contribution compared to diesel vehicles. Thus, accurate real-time emission measurements of fine particles will become necessary. Current opacity measurements are deemed inappropriate when it comes to measuring particle number concentrations under 300 nm. _x000D_This is precisely the motivation for this project; the output will focus on a a low-weight, compact, portable device, capable of performing measurements of mass and number concentration of fine and ultra-fine particles, ranging in size from a few nanometers to several hundred nanometers, while demonstrating high sensitivity, in a wide range of pressure, temperature and flow rate of the sample. The device will involve a direct non-collective measurement with a fast time response delivered at a low-cost, low-COtenance combination. With data acquisition, storage and processing capabilities being important aspects, the project will have to include a universal wired/wireless data interface such as USB/RS232/Ethernet or Bluetooth. A software application counterpart will have to be developed to perform the aforementioned tasks. Moreover, it will incorporate current regulation procedure guidelines and limit ranges, so that a pass/fail decision can be made._x000D_This initiative will target inspection and COtenance facilities in Europe as a potential market; in view of the legislation changes, the demand for a relatively low-cost smoke and PM measuring tool is expected to increase rapidly. This sensor will have to work in conjunction with current technology PM emission detectors such as opacity meters, the latter ones generally being able to measure PM masses of at least 100nm. As a result, proper calibration will be required, as well as fast data recording and processing algorithms in order to present both mass/number concentration and opacity-equivalent measurements._x000D_The participants comprising the project consortium all demonstrate a high degree of expertise in their respective fields. Two European companies, active in the field of innovation, have joined their experience and potential towards the successful outcome of this project. Pegasor Oy has a strong scientific background and market experience engaged in the development and commercialization of fine particle measurement sensors. Pegasor has applied eight patents for its technology. Emisia SA is a spin-off company specializing in emission inventorying, modeling and impact assessment studies along with the development of reliable software tools based on long research experience. The subcontracting entities, namely Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh), Greece and Icraft Oy also have a related background; AUTh and, specifically, the Laboratory of Applied Thermodynamics (LAT) in the Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering has had a 30-year-old experience in emission studies, while Icraft Oy specializes in challenging analog electronics, measurement devices, embedded sensor and control systems and has already participated in the development of particle sensor applications._x000D_This initiative is considered to have a considerable impact by providing environmental and health issue solutions according to evolving legal directives, introducing a commercial measurement tool and thus expanding in a very promising and sizable market.

Acronym IMPS (Reference Number: 6606)
Duration 01/01/2012 - 30/04/2014
Project Topic The consortium aims at developing a fine particle sensor suitable for use as a test probe for diesel-powered vehicles in inspection and COtenance facilities. It will incorporate a data interface with a software application to acquire,store and process collected information and output a result.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The project aimed at the development of a particulate matter (PM) emission sensor for diesel-powered vehicles in vehicle inspection stations. The target was for the Pegasor Particle Sensor Technology (PPS) to evolve for inspection station use. Modification includes user interface that can easily be used in combination with region and country specific test requirements and emission limits. The integrated particle sensor development and the data logging software application have been completed and an additional software application based on a wireless interface with the same functionality has also been developed in parallel._x000D_During the project, the European Commission backed down on almost all new inspection requirements; this development made sensor introduction into the market quite difficult.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 6

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 Pegasor Oy (Ltd) Coordinator Finland
2 EMISIA S.A. Partner Greece