Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Numerical detection of nanoparticles in the air

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.15.01  Engineering sciences and technologies  Metrology  Sensors and data acquisition 

Code Science Field
P180  Natural sciences and mathematics  Metrology, physical instrumentation 
nanoparticles, nanoparticle detection, ultra fine particles, emission od nanomarticles, pollution
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (5)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  26169  Damjan Golob  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2007 - 2009  28 
2.  29295  PhD Ivan Iskra  Materials science and technology  Technical associate  2009  67 
3.  04747  PhD Mark Pleško  Physics  Researcher  2007 - 2009  208 
4.  27878  Aljaž Podboršek  Economics  Researcher  2007 - 2009 
5.  07560  PhD Maja Remškar  Physics  Head  2007 - 2009  830 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  90,600 
2.  2548  COSYLAB JSC, CONTROL SYSTEM LABORATORY  Ljubljana  2161621  1,299 
Emission of nanoparticles into work atmosphere and environment represents a serious risk for human health with important influence on quality of life, life time and work conditions. The lack of consistent information on research results of different types of nanoparticles together with many basic physical and chemical unknowns connected with size effects, cause uncertainties regarding the safe production and use of nanomaterials. Necessary instrumentation for detection and measuring of size distribution of nanoparticles is needed at different stages of production, in use and in recycling process of materials containing nanoparticles. Although some detectors are already on the market, they are less appropriate for the common use due to large cost, large weight and difficulties with the continuous operation modes. In Slovenia we do not have any one for the moment, although some products containing nanoparticles are already in use, the others in short time production plan. In the frame of the proposed project we will further develop and upgrade the novel detection technique based on electric measurements, which can be used for the numerical detection of nanoparticles sensing the unexpected emission of nanoparticles into work and common atmosphere. In the later phase of the project, we will upgrade it with the differential mobility analyzer with the goal to prototype the size distribution detector of nanoparticles. The project will run in close connection with the EU project Nanosafe2, within which the first working prototype has been already built. The project merges two scientific groups from two institutions: one research institute and one company, with experiences in the construction of the existent prototype and with the plan to go into production and commercialization of the detector.
Significance for science
Two open questions in aerosol science exist at the moment: 1. How do detect nanoparticles in air? 2. Release of nanoparticles or to enhance their agglomeration and remove them from air or at least to diminish their toxicity due to size effect? Our project answers mostly the first question, although it offers some hints also for solving the second one. Results of the project and a specific geometry of the sensor are already started to solve some scientific and technological unknowns, like: How to simulate electrical field inside a flat condenser, which has got one of the electrodes perforated. Or, how water condensates on nanoparticles inside confined geometry and at certain humidity. Detection of nanoparticles combines knowledge of physics, chemistry, and involves also medicine, economy, ecology, and indirectly sociology, psychology and geography. A large audience at lectures about nanoparticles in air evidences that people are aware of negative impact of nanoparticles on health and that they wish to protect themselves. Detection of nanoparticles and establishment of the relevant regulation with a help of part of our project team are important also in technological processes in electronic industry, in hospitals for finding ways of rtransfer of infections (viruses are of nano size) and for filtrations of fume in thermoelectric energy plants or automotive exhausts. Public dialogue, where we open debate about positive and negative sides of nanotechnology and co-organization of international scientific conference Hot Nano Topics 2008, especially the symposium Nanosafety, and internation conference on Nanosafety, held in 2009 in Ljubljana, evidence that nanotoxicology of nanoparticles and detection of nanoparticles belong to up-to-date fields of science. Work was done in collaboration with the European project Nanosafe2 (»Safe production and use of nanomaterials«. This is an integrated project, which run under coordination of CEA, France in years: 2005-2009 and combines 25 partners from Europe; some of them are: Dekati, Finland, BASF,Germany; Procter&Gamble, Belgium; DG Tec, France. Contract number: NMP2-CT-2005-515843 In the period 2007-2009 we cooperated with Ministry for Health, Chemical Office. The work developed in the project is a content of PhD thesis, which is in a preparation stage at Faculty for Electrical Engineering, UL. Partially it is invluded into program work of the Centre of Excellence NAMASTE.
Significance for the country
A company Cosylab Ltd. , which is a “spin-off” of JSI, is a partner in the project. It is active in different research directions and have worldwide known results. It’s role in the project is to collaborate in development of the detector of nanoparticles and its commercialization. Commercial promises are high, but lack of time, small project team in financial limitations put the commercialization of our detection method under the question mark. It is a completely innovative product, its commercialization should be relatively easy, especially because the relevant regulations on air quality at work place and in environment, which will define also limited values of nanoparticle concentrations, is in a preparation stage already. Besides commercial potentials, our work on detector of nanoparticles, represents also a basement for breakthrough of such a technological direction to Slovenian companies, either in a sense of development of specialized detectors, their commercialization or as service activities, like measuring of concentrations of nanoparticles at more polluted places in Slovenia. Knowledge (using measured data) on nanoparticle concentrations in air in combination with data about their toxicity, changes our standards about healthy work place or environment, choosing products on a market, which contain nanoparticles and enable their release (cosmetics, food additives, nano-textil, protective layers, diesel engines) as well as our decisions on energy production using biomass combustion or selection of living place. Findings of the project will be used and upgraded in a frame of PhD work one member of our tema at Faculty for Electrical Engineering, University in Ljubljana. Partners n the project team work also in public and professional dialogue related to risks of nanopartiicles in air. A large audience at public talks on nanosafety and frequently search for information on nanotoxicity evidence that the field of toxicity of nanoparticles became very popular, especially considering that products containing nanoparticles are already on our market or they are produces in laboratory scale, but people do not know how to protect themselves against their toxicological impact. Information are available at: http://www.kemijskovaren.si/files/nano_knjiga.pdf
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Views history