NEL is the leader of five and a partner in four Proposed Research Topics (PRTs) that have recently been submitted to the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR).
“The development of these exciting pieces of research underline our commitment to partnership working across Europe,” says Operations Director, Mark Roscoe. “They also highlight the fact that we are homing in on the big challenges now facing industry, such as the arrival of the hydrogen grid.”
The PRTs include projects on issues relating to hydrogen vehicles, the decarbonisation of the gas grid, the metrology of both hydrogen flow and carbon capture and storage (CCS), metrology standards for microfluidic devices and the reduction of oil pollution through the advancement of water treatment and measurement technologies.
“We are aiming to further develop our research in these priority areas, which have all been highlighted as important by multiple industrial sectors,” says Group Manager Lynn Hunter.
“One of the other key objectives of the EMPIR submissions is to drive forward collaborative working across Europe,” Lynn adds. “For this reason, we are linking up with a number of other leading research centres and companies, including the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Britain and CETIAT in France to develop and implement these proposals.”
The topics that are addressed in the research proposals are central to many aspects of economic development in Europe. For example, experts agree that, in the future, energy supplies will feature a ‘hydrogen economy’ to a greater or lesser extent. However, there is a clear need for new research around the flow metrology of this clean fuel.
“Microfluidics involves fluid-handling in the nano-to-millilitre scale and has major applications in chemical and biomedical analysis,” says Lynn, explaining the importance of research in this area. “The challenge is that, at the moment, there are no standards internationally available to cover this subject.”
Alongside hydrogen, CCS is another key focus for the decarbonisation of future energy supplies. However, there is currently no sound metrology framework covering the full CCS chain, and this represents one of the major barriers to its commercialisation and public acceptance.
EMPIR coordinates research projects to address key challenges, while supporting and developing the SI system of measurement units. The EMPIR programme enables European metrology institutes, industrial and medical organisations, and academia to collaborate on a wide variety of joint research projects within specified fields.
For more details, contact Lynn Hunter.
Find out about other EMPIR projects