Quick tests for wastewater

09.05.2018
Quick tests for wastewater
The beginning of April saw the official launch of the FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency) project, AquaNOSE, which took place on the kdg campus in Elbigenalp.
The four project and research partners — kdg, the University of Vienna Institute for Physical Chemistry, Profactor (a research company specialising in additive micro and nano manufacturing), and the Finnish biotechnology company BioMensio  met in early April for the AquaNOSE kick-off at the kdg campus in Elbigenalp.

This is the largest R&D project in kdg’s entire history to date, and its goals are more than a little lofty: the aim of the four project and research partners — kdg, the University of Vienna Institute for Physical Chemistry, Profactor (a research company specialising in additive micro and nano manufacturing and industrial assistance systems), and the Finnish biotechnology company BioMensio — is nothing less that to revolutionise the conventional processes for wastewater analysis through the so-called “AquaNOSE” project. The plan is for industrially producible quick wastewater tests to be available in three years’ time. Although these quick-test sets have yet to be developed, the background research has already been done. The technology will employ micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) — a combination of microfluidics, sensors and electronic components — together with molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) technology.

The challenge now, of course, is to develop these components into prototypes that can be manufactured in small batches. AquaNOSE is truly a dream project as far as kdg opticomp’s R&D project manager Dr. Manuel Walch is concerned, bringing together as it does all the state-of-the-art technologies in this field. The project partners met together at the beginning of April on the kdg campus in Elbigenalp, in a two-day event to kick-start the project. “These official project launches are always special occasions for us researchers” says Walch. “Everything up to this point was just words on paper, and we had to exercise endless patience in the weeks leading up to it until all the agreements and contracts were in place and signed.” But the chocks were finally pulled away, and the project got off to a flying start. The atmosphere was understandably euphoric. “As always, our guests were impressed and inspired by our beautiful location on the river Lech, right in the middle of a nature park. Every time you look out of a window here, you get a shot of motivation” says Walch. Well, if a scientist says so...

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