Development of new materials for application in en.. (MATCROSS)
Development of new materials for application in environmentally friendly technologies for the cost-effective remediation of contaminated sites threatening cross-border regions
Start date: Oct 31, 2011,
End date: Oct 30, 2013
Through the MATCROSS project, the University of Novi Sad Faculty of Sciences and the University of Szeged Dept. of Applied and Environmental Chemistry will create a cross-border research cooperation in environmental research, to develop cost-effective and environmentally friendly monitoring and remediation technologies, thus addressing serious issues relating to contaminated sites in the border zone. After upgrading research equipment at both universities to increase our R&D capacities, an overview study of water/sediment/soil quality in the border zone will be carried out, followed by investigations into the current condition of waters and sediments at the most critical locations identified. Research will then focus on using novel materials as electrochemical sensors for environmental monitoring and as materials used in a variety of sediment remediation technologies. These new technologies will be tested in the field, with delivery of a working prototype for environmental monitoring and the creation of a pilot plant for sediment remediation predicted during the projects latter stages. Results from this research will be summarized in a White Paper detailing the best practices for providing sediment remediation solutions to the region. TV and radio appearances, articles published online/in local newspapers, and a project web site will inform the public about project specific and scientific progress relating to environmental research, with a workshop aimed at local authorities and the environmental protection industries, and a seminar for the local academic community, to be held to disseminate research results. Through increasing cross-border dialogue between scientific institutions, authorities and decision makers, the MATCROSS project aims to have a lasting impact on regional environmental policy, and with the eventual benefits to the local environment, will stimulate not just the remediation sector, but also the agriculture and tourism industries in the region. Achievements: The project partners created cross-border cooperation in environmental research, to develop cost-effective and environmental friendly monitoring and remediation technologies, thus addressing serious issues relating to contaminated sites in the border zone. After upgrading research equipment at both universities to increase their R&D capacities, they carried out an overview study of water/sediment/soil quality in the border zone followed by investigations into the current condition of waters and sediments in the most critical locations identified. The research focused on the use of novel materials as electrochemical sensors for environmental monitoring and as materials used in a variety of sediment remediation technologies. The region has significant water resources in the form of surface waters. Namely, the Danube, Sava and Tisza rivers and the well-developed Danube-Tisza-Danube (DTD) canal system, the water quality of which is lowering due to pollution. For some of the most affected sites the MATCROSS project developed and proposed technical solutions for remedying the polluted sediments. The innovative character of the project is in its use of nanomaterials as absorbents in technologies for cleaning the waters and remedying the sediment as well as materials as electrochemical sensors for environmental monitoring.The cross-border project team encouraged dialogue and partnership between scientific institutions and interested stakeholders in environmental protection through workshops and dissemination of results. Their first workshop in Szeged had more than 200 participants from the region and all over the world. Through this and similar activities, the project achieved a lasting influence on regional environmental policies. This in turn is bound to enhance regional economic and social development by creating a region that is more attractive for investment, especially in agriculture and ecological tourism. Combining expertise in the development and characterisation of new materials for adoption in environmental technologies at the University of Szeged and expertise in the development of remediation technologies at the University of Novi Sad, the project partnership succeeded in solving common problems in the field of environmental protection. The researchers were given the opportunity to exchange their knowledge and experiences in problem solving from different perspectives, and all this has contributed to unlocking regional research capacity in the field of environmental protection.
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