“Autonomous and integrated system for in-situ and continuous contaminant gases monitoring in industrial environments- ALEPOU”

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ALEPOU (FOX in English)


Merope Sanopoulou






General Secretariat for Research & Technology– 9SMEs2010

The continuously - growing level of the worldwide awareness of the risks posed on the environment and οn human health by emissions of gaseous pollutants, imposes an imperative need to develop new effective methods of measurement and continuous monitoring of these emissions from human activities. In order the systems under development to be implemented in daily practice, they should meet a bunch of heterogeneous features including low cost, small size, ease of installation, minimal maintenance cost, accuracy, 24/7 operation.

      The project involved two research groups from INN, NCSR 'Demokritos' (“Transport of Matter Phenomena in Polymers” and “Polymer-based Sensors and Systems” in collaboration with Greek high-tech industrial partners (Prisma Electronics SA, Atlantis Engineering SA, Alpha Beta Roto SA, ThetaMetrisis SA) for the  development and evaluation of a prototype system (ALEPOY, FOX in English) for the detection of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in real time and wirelessly send to the central station for storage and further processing decisions.

The system is based on an array of appropriately functionalized chemocapacitors and low-power miniaturized read-out & control electronics build around low power consumption Wireless Sensor Network. The operation of the low cost, low energy consumption capacitive- type sensors, is based on changes in the dielectric properties of the polymer layer due to sorption of the vapour analyte. For a particular geometrical design of a capacitive sensor, sorption properties determine not only the sensitivity of the sensor to a particular VOC but also its selectivity for the target VOC in real complex environments. The unique characteristics of ALEPOY system i.e. small size, low power consumption, long life and low cost, make the system suitable for application to pre-existing industrial sites (e.g. pantries , paint industries , printing industries) without the need for new power lines and data transfer. The system then has been carefully designed so that, with minimal modifications to the chemocapacitors and software, can be applied in a wide range of applications and in a short time. The system was first evaluated and calibrated in laboratory environment at INN in relation to sensor response at different concentrations of various VOCs , as well as at binary mixtures of VOCs and humidity, and finally tested in a real industrial environment, i.e an  industrial installation of a printing  flexing packaging industry (ALHA BETA ROTO, situated in Komotini  Northern Greece),  for real –time monitoring of the concentration of the specific Volatile Organic Compounds  present in the said workspace.

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