News in Brief (24/05/2016)

With news on: Catherine Bearder MEP wins award; David Sanders joins Dearman; AQMesh advances; Home sensor; and low emission trailers for Sainsbury’s

Catherine Bearder MEP wins award for championing air quality

The UK’s only Lib Dem MEP, Catherine Bearder, has won the Green Ribbon Political Award recognising her “outstanding environmental achievements” including work on tackling air pollution.

Catherine Bearder MEP receives her green ribbon award

Catherine Bearder MEP receives her green ribbon award

Mrs Bearder was recognised in the “MEP of the Year” category earlier this month for her work in fighting for stronger European targets to tackle air pollution.

The judges commended Mrs Bearder for “generating public awareness of the issue and championing EU action to improve air quality, often in the face of opposition from the UK government”, according to a statement from the MEP.

Currently a lead negotiator on the EU’s 2030 air pollution limits, Mrs Bearder has helped ensure that the European Parliament prioritises improving air quality ahead of the vested interests of individual industries and countries.

Mrs Bearder commented: “I am delighted to have been given this award and would like to thank all the tireless air quality campaigners who have worked with me on this vital issue.

“With almost half of harmful pollutants in the UK originating from abroad, air pollution is a public health crisis that must be tackled at a European level. We must work together in Europe to deliver cleaner air for future generations.”

AQMesh monitor measures particles as well as gases

The AQMesh air quality monitor has been developed to measure fine particulates, as well as major pollutant gases, to offer a better understanding of air quality.

AQMesh 2016

The AQMesh monitor which can now detect fine particles

Announcing the additional capability of measuring fine particulates, UK distributor Air Monitors said that AQMesh is  “a lightweight, battery powered system for measuring outdoor air quality”. And, it noted that AQMesh monitoring pods can be quickly mounted in locations where air quality matters most.

Readings are taken at selectable intervals between 1 and 15 minutes, transmitting data to a dedicated website via the ‘cloud’.

Standard AQMesh pods measure nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3) in addition to temperature, atmospheric pressure and relative humidity. Carbon monoxide (CO) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) can also be chosen as optional sensors.

Prices start at £4,500 going up to £7,500 depending on parameters and power options. There are over 120 AQMesh systems in place in the UK, some having operated for more than three years.

“This is a major development,” said Stephen Hoskin from the Tewkesbury-based company. “AQMesh already monitors the most important gases, but fine particulates are one of the pollutants of greatest concern.”

Carbon Trust director of innovation joins Dearman

Engineering technology company Dearman has announced the appointment of David Sanders as commercial director.

David-Sanders Dearman brief 3

David Sanders has been appointed as commercial director of Dearman having joined from the Carbon Trust

Mr Sanders joined Dearman earlier this month from The Carbon Trust, where he was director of innovation working with customers across the UK, Europe and Japan on strategy and innovation in the energy and resource efficiency space.

Commenting, Mr Sanders said: “The issues of air quality and emissions could not be more pressing at the moment, so delivering a real-world alternative to diesel in the form of a British innovation is an exciting prospect.

“With a revolutionary and commercially sound zero-emission system ready for deployment, I look forward to being a part of driving clean cold forward.”

Dearman said it is developing technologies to harness the properties of liquid air to “deliver efficient, cost effective and crucially zero-emission cold and power”.

The company said that the first application of this technology, a zero-emission transport refrigeration system, underwent successful testing throughout 2015 and will begin a commercial field demonstration in the coming months.

Toby Peters, CEO of Dearman, said: “Dearman has long had a collaborative approach to business, working with industry leaders to ensure that our technology meets customer expectations. David’s experience is a valuable addition to our commercial team, and to the business as a whole as it continues to grow and develop.”

Atomically thin sensor detects harmful air pollution in the home

Scientists at the University of Southampton have developed a sensor and switch that can detect harmful air pollution in the home using a very low power consumption.

Graphene single molecular sensor

Graphene single molecular sensor detecting single CO2 molecule

The sensor detects harmful chemical gases found in building and interior materials, furniture and even household goods, which adversely affect our living in modern houses with good insulation.

These harmful chemicals are extremely difficult to detect with current environmental sensor technology.

In recent years, there has been an increase in health problems due to air pollution in personal living spaces, known as sick building syndrome (SBS), along with other conditions such as sick car and sick school syndromes.

Research group members also recently developed graphene-based switches using a uniquely thin film developed at the University of Southampton.

The researchers said that the switches require “remarkably low voltages” (below three volts) and can be used to power electronic components on demand, greatly improving the battery lifetime of personal electronic devices.

The research group is now aiming to bring the two technologies together to create ultra-low-power environmental sensor systems that can detect single molecules.

Caption: Graphene single molecular sensor detecting single CO2 molecule

Sainsbury’s takes delivery of world’s ‘first’ natural refrigerant trailer unit

Sainsbury’s has become the first customer in the world to acquire Carrier Transicold’s prototype natural refrigerant trailer unit — described as “a new generation of transport refrigeration for trailers”.


One of the three Transicold trailers being used by Sainsbury’s

With a global warming potential (GWP) of just one, the trailer operates exclusively with carbon dioxide (CO2) refrigerant, which is seen as a safe and non-ozone depleting gas, making it the baseline against which all other refrigerants are measured. The GWP of CO2 is lower than other natural refrigerants, such as propane and ammonia.

The delivery marks the first of three units to join the Sainsbury’s fleet this year as part of a three-year technology field trial, with the trailers being used for everyday store deliveries. It builds on the success of a 2013 pilot, which saw the supermarket operate a modified road version of Carrier Transicold’s refrigeration system for ocean containers.

David Appel, president at Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems, said: “Delivering the first dedicated natural refrigerant trailer prototype into service marks a huge milestone in the development of over-the-road refrigeration using CO2,”

“Our ultimate vision is to see temperature-controlled units running on natural refrigerant in mainstream production. Today, with the support of one of our largest European customers, we are one step closer.”


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