IMPRESS 2: Standardised pollutant measurements to meet the requirements of current and future air quality regulations

One of the main concerns of the companies and factories which industrial processes involve gas emissions to the atmosphere is the need to establish a metrologically robust framework of standardised measurement methods to control their environment pollutant contributions. This matter is linked to the increasingly stringent Emission Limit Values (ELVs) for key air pollutants set by European Directives looking to reduce premature deaths and money waste attributable to this troublesome effect. IMPRESS 2 project address this challenge by proposing innovating measurement methods for new measurands (like ammonia, formaldehyde, particulate matter, hydrogen fluoride and other greenhouse gases) developing future techniques for hereinafter stringent legislation.

This project is funded by EURAMET’s European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) and apart from some of the most prestigious metrology institutes from Europe among its partners, renowned environment research institutes take part in the project. The scope of the emissions that it is pretended to encompass cover from large scale processes, such as power stations, all the way down to domestic boilers burning fuels such as wood pellet Concerning the main industrial processes remarked previously there are some significant issues with the capabilities of techniques for fulfil their legal responsibilities to enforce ELV by Standard Reference Methods (SRM). Moreover, in small-scale biomass there is no SRMs for many pollutant compounds and in small ducts installations there is a lack of any work identifying and quantifying sources of gas leakages.

the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET) is a metrology-focused European initiative of coordinated R&D that facilitates closer integration of national research initiatives. It is integrated into the framework of the EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. EMPIR seeks to unite the efforts of European metrology institutes to universities, companies and research centres. In this case, the LIR-UC3M participates in this consortium together with the Spanish Metrology Center (CEM).

In this project LIR-UC3M keeps a significant role described in the Work Package (WP) 2: “Biomass Combustion Emissions Measurement”. The aim of this WP is to evaluate and validate measurement methods for the characterisation of emissions from wood and non-wood biomass combustion for a wide range of pollutants. Namely, LIR-UC3M will investigate the use of hyperspectral techniques for standoff detection and quantification of chosen pollutant emissions using the FTIR hyperspectral imaging system available at our laboratory with the strengthened processing stages.

Within the dissemination activities of the project results, and as a prelude to the laboratory measurements with the pollutant gas mixtures prepared by the project collaborator CEM (Centro Español de Metrología), in May 2019 a poster (which can be downloaded at this link) was presented at the conference on industrial methane measurements (Industrial Measurement Methane Conference 2019 – presenting the mid-infrared hyperspectral measurement method proposed by the LIR-UC3M for the simultaneous and remote identification and quantification of gases, applied in this case to methane.
One of the members of the scientific committee of the event is Rod Robinson (NPL) coordinator of the project and who served as moderator in the various talks presented between May 22-23, 2019 in Rotterdam (The Netherlands).

Figure 1. Poster presentation on simultaneous identification and quantification of methane.
At the conference on industrial methane measures – may 2019

At the beginning of December 2019 the LIR-UC3M organized at its facilities a couple of presentations related to the status of the EMPIR projects: IMPRESS 2 and EMPRESS 2. The objective of these meetings was to show the progress made so far in both projects by LIR-UC3M to the other Spanish collaborator in both consortia, CEM (Centro Español de Metrología) and to plan the next activities in each case.

The presentations were supervised by Professor Juan Meléndez and among the attendees were the director of LIR-UC3M Fernando López, the head of the thermodynamics and environment area of CEM Dolores del Campo and the head of the chemistry and health area of CEM Teresa Fernández.

On the official IMPRESS 2 project website you can read a news item related to the event, as well as download the presentation made, at the following link:

Figure 2. EMPIR project status update presentations:
IMPRESS 2 (left) and EMPRESS 2 (right) at UC3M facilities

As a general conclusion to the project, and with a view to presenting the results obtained to a broad community of people interested in the subject of air pollutant emissions, a webinar for project stakeholders was held in January 2021. This seminar was coordinated by the NPL as the main collaborator of the project and the LIR-UC3M participated with a presentation entitled “Hyperspectral techniques for air pollutant detection and quantification” where the results of the work carried out throughout the project were presented.

Complete information on the seminar can be found on the official website of the project, at the following link: presentation made by the LIR-UC3M can also be downloaded from this website: