|Almost all of the companies in the world had made a commitment to prevent pollution and one company made a gadget to serve the purpose / Photo by: Mirza Khalid via Wikimedia Commons|
Preventing pollution in all forms is one of the main priorities of many companies all over the world. Recently, researchers from Trinity’s School of Engineering and AMBER, as well as the SFI Research Center for materials science headquartered at Trinity College Dublin, came second in the Horizon 2020 Prize on Materials for Clean Air for their product that could prevent particle pollution from entering ventilation systems.
This device was conceptualized by Dr. John Gallagher, assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering in Trinity, as well as his partners from AMBER and collaborators from the United Kingdom and Portugal. Although they didn’t win first prize, they did present a novel concept that was perceived as possessing the potential to clear out pollutants in small areas and buildings. This was the key focus for the team as they found that the cost of maintenance and regular replacement of filters could add up over time. Dr.Gallagher stated, “In short, the solution is a novel inlet that can be retrofitted to a mechanical ventilation system. It reduces the mass of particle pollution entering the system by a third, as well as saving energy and extending the life of fabric filters.” They even found that the energy demands as well as the replacement and maintenance for mechanical ventilation is worth around $20 billion. This invention could essentially cut down on those costs by making ventilation replacement and maintenance happen far less often than before. The team is already planning to show demonstrations of this device all around Europe and Asia, to commercialize the product within the next few years in the global market.
Gallagher continued. “I believe there is much more we can do to create passive solutions in cities, and as an engineer, my role is to go beyond conceptualization. It is to innovate and make new technologies a reality.”