Irish University Receives Grant to Build Environmental Tools for Business

Irish University Receives Grant to Build Environmental Tools for Business

Belfast’s Queen’s University is launching the three-year research initiative to help companies tackle environmental problems, with £4.1 million in funding, half of which comes from the EU Program for Peace and Reconciliation.

The university’s QUESTOR Center plans to deliver “a new generation of cost-effective and practical environmental monitoring tools” to help companies meet government plans for sustainable industrial development. Sensor, analytical and process tools will help firms monitor water and wastewater treatment and the remediation of contaminated land, while computer-based tools will help businesses make effective decisions and communicate them properly.

The center’s expertise lies in exploring and developing methods of wastewater treatment, such as biological phosphate removal, the recovery of phosphates from sludge, heavy metal removal by seaweed or activated dolomite, and the bacterial control of foam and scum formation during treatment.

QUESTOR’s contamination group is developing modeling methods for contaminated land and groundwater, while its modeling group is working on noise, dust, odor, indoor air and occupational exposure and the use of portable electronic noses to identify fugitive odors.

Dr Wilson McGarel, director of the center, said that QUESTOR would set up technology transfer demonstrations throughout Northern Ireland to show industry the environmental and economic benefits of using the tools.