The main actions of the LIFE MINOx-STREET project are summarized below:
- Characterization of the mechanical properties and decontaminating capacity of NOx for different commercial photocatalytic materials and how this is altered as a result of their ageing and wear.
- Study of the influence of determinant variables of the photocatalytic activity under controlled conditions and regeneration tests.
- Characterization of the decontaminating effect of the selected photocatalytic materials in the real and urban environment.
- Implementation of an atmospheric chemistry module in a CFD ("Computational Fluid Dynamics") model adapted to urban scale. Simulation of the photocatalytic NOx removal process through the introduction of the NO deposition rate parameter on photoactive surfaces. Evaluation of the decontaminating effect of photocatalytic materials in urban scenarios (at street and district level) and the analysis of their environmental effects.
- Elaboration of a reference guide for the use of photocatalytic materials in the framework of urban air quality control policies.
For the development of these actions, the project includes the following sets of actions.
A. Preparatory actions
These are 4 actions that consist mainly of:
- Standard tests to be developed in the laboratory and test track to allow the mechanical characteristics and the photocatalytic activity of different commercial materials to be known, as well as their durability and behaviour in the face of ageing.
The tests are performed on photocatalytic materials applicable to bituminous mixtures, substrates for pavements and façades. These tests will allow three commercial materials to be selected that present the best benefits to be implemented on surfaces in real urban scenarios.
- Development of an experimental system to measure the deposition rate of x on photocatalytic surfaces in the outdoor environment.
These tasks are now fully completed.
B. Implementation actions
This group includes 7 actions consisting basically of the following:
- Study that allows us to understand the influence of the determinant variables of photocatalytic activity under controlled conditions and regeneration tests.
- Characterization of the decontaminating effect of the photocatalytic materials in the real environment, for this the materials selected will be implemented (according to the results obtained in the preparatory actions) in the chosen scenarios of the municipality of Alcobendas.
- Modelling of the evolution of concentration levels and NOx gradients in the presence of photocatalytic materials implemented in urban and district scenarios. This requires the adaptation of the reactive chemistry and the introduction of the NOx deposition rate in a CFD model.
- Development of a guide for the use of photocatalytic materials, aimed at the Administrations competent in the management of urban air quality, as a way of reducing NOx air pollution in cities.
Currently, this actions have been completed.
In addition to the actions above, the project includes the transversal actions described below which, in general terms, have the same duration as the project itself:
C. Actions for monitoring the impact of the project
These consist of 3 actions aimed at understanding the socio-economic impact of the project, as well as on the environmental problem addressed and the materials tested.
For this, the following is proposed:
- Conduct surveys on the target public audience of the project: municipalities, local population of Alcobendas, manufacturers of photocatalytic materials and the scientific community.
- Monitor atmospheric pollutants, meteorological parameters, emissions of pollutants and by-products generated, as well as physicochemical changes and changes in photocatalytic materials. These controls will allow a diagnosis of the depurative efficiency of the atmosphere of each of the applied photocatalytic materials and of the possible generation of by-products, taking as a reference the controls made in the untreated scenarios.
- Monitoring of the carbon footprint of the project and of the green purchasing criteria established at the beginning of same.
- Monitoring the alteration of the characteristics of bituminous mixtures, concretes and paints with photocatalytic materials. In a first phase, the impact of the project on photocatalytic materials was monitored through different tests and trials carried out in the laboratory and on a real-scale test track. In a second phase, the impact of the project on the materials tested on the urban street was analysed.
D. Communication and dissemination of the project
This group includes 5 actions aimed at ensuring the dissemination of the actions and results of the project and consist of, in addition to creating and updating this website, the following:
- The distribution of information boards in the municipality of Alcobendas.
- The preparation of general Layman and scientific reports (tasks that are carried out at the end of the project).
- Other communication and dissemination tasks such as publications, press releases, information in digital media, participation in congresses, fairs and conferences, organization of events, etc.
E. Project management actions
These are 4 actions aimed at ensuring the proper development of the project and the establishment of systems for efficient communication between the partners and the European Commission.
In addition, these tasks include:
- The development of an After-LIFE Communication Plan aimed at maintaining several actions to disseminate the project for 3 years after its completion.
- The creation of networks with other LIFE projects related to photocatalysis and other bodies involved in the sector, with the aim of exchanging knowledge and experiences, creating synergies and opportunities, etc.
- The completion, at the end of the project, of an independent audit to ensure transparency in the economic management of the project.