Instruments to measure greenhouse gases and pollutants in the atmosphere are complex, expensive and usually consume a lot of energy as every gas is measured using a different method. Two researchers from Empa’s Laboratory for Air Pollution/Environmental Technology, Morten Hundt and Oleg Aseev, have developed a method that simplifies this process: Using only one device, they are able to detect nine greenhouse gases and air pollutants simultaneously. These also include nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which until now usually could only be measured indirectly, potentially distorting the results. “Our goal is to make air quality and greenhouse gas measurements easier, more accurate and cheaper,” says Hundt.
Founded in February, the start-up MIRO Analytical Technologies is initially looking to position itself on the climate science and air quality monitoring market with its novel analyzer. But the range of potential applications is vast. For instance, its use in industry or in the security sector is also conceivable.
The two founders presented the final analyzer at the Innovation Village of SPIE Photonics Europe End of April together with 20 other innovations from all over Europe, which competed for the Innovation Village Award. The team from Switzerland came out on top and won EUR1500.
Picture: EMPA: Oleg Aseev (left) and Morten Hundt