Creating and testing a method for controlling the air quality based on a new biotechnological tool. Use of a devitalized moss clone as passive contaminant sensor
Start Date: 1 April 2012 End date: 31 March 2015
Summary of Project:
The aim of the MOSSCLONE project was to develop and implement a method to control the air quality by using a devitalized moss clone as a passive contaminant sensor.
The MOSSclone partners from universities, as well as small and medium enterprises situated across Europe, collaborated to develop a novel, precise and inexpensive method to monitor air contamination, especially heavy metals. MOSSclone was the cultivation of a peat moss under controlled laboratory conditions, on a large scale to produce a highly pure homogenous material. These moss plants were inactivated and the surface structures transferred to air-permeable bags under fabrication conditions. These moss-bags were then deployed in monitoring stations at a variety of different European locations and were assessed with regard to their capability to accumulate pollutants from the air.
Living plants are already in use as biological indicators as they take up and accumulate pollutants. Mosses are especially well suited as bio-indicators for airborne pollution as they have no roots and a very high surface-to-mass ratio.
Our main tasks involved using the ICP-MS for monitoring heavy metals; the results obtained by the Mosspheres were compared with results obtained by particulate matter samplers, which have been the favoured approach to assessing ambient air quality.
With these results, the optimisation of deployment conditions was developed e.g. length of deployment, type of bag or container for deployment, deployment height.
This project illustrated that Mosspheres can identify pollutants: metals e.g. Aluminium, Arsenic, beryllium, Calcium, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Nickel, Lead, Selenium, Vanadium, Zinc as well as Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins and pesticides. The Mosspheres can also identify pollutant emission pollutant maps.
TelLab were also involved in the exploitation and dissemination activities of this project.
For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to: http://www.mossclone.eu/