About MACPoll 

MACPoll stands for Metrology of Chemical Pollutants in Air.

This three year project was launched on the 1st of June 2011. MACPoll runs under the European Metrology Research Program and it receives European funding.

The overall goal is to improve the traceability and comparability of measurement results in current air monitoring techniques and to set-up the metrological bases for sensor technology used in air quality applications.

The first work package WP_1 will tackle the standing metrological issues related to the lack of stable gaseous Certified Reference Materials in cylinders, used for the calibration of gas analyzers for reactive air quality directive pollutants, namely nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, at and beyond their limit value. Alternatives, dynamic and static dilution methods, in preparation of calibration gases at part per billion levels will be properly tested. The expected outcome will provide the degree of comparability and of uncertainty of these techniques and their suitability for implementation at monitoring networks.

The second work package WP_2 will develop a new approach for the single and simultaneous assessment of impurities in zero gas by classic and traceable novel optical techniques. Nitrogen and pure air, used for zeroing gas analyzers and for dilution purposes, should be free of contaminants that may interfere with the measurements. Special focus will be dedicated to nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide. These impurities have to be minimized to (sub)-ppb level and their presence quantified by traceable measurements. Optical systems, such as Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy (CRDS), are suitable for this purposes and, if validated, may be used as absolute methods and solve the “zero” point calibration problem. Once this measurement approach is fully traceable, it will be used to test cleaning devices, filters and scrubbers for the supply of zero gas standards. The ultimate goal is to set up a certification protocol for zero gas standards by application of the validated analytical techniques.

The third work package WP_3 will improve reference methods and develop reference materials with special attention to the semi-volatiles organic compounds (SVOC), harmful compounds originating from emission of building materials, for which not much information on sampling and measurement systems is available. A key objective is the feasibility study for the preparation of a constant emitting reference material for the quality control of emission test chamber measurements.

The last technical workpackage WP_4 will deal with micro-sensors and their applicability in air quality monitoring. Micro-sensors are identified as emerging measuring devices for “indicative measurements” specified in the air quality directive. The validation of existing systems and in particular the metrological aspects (traceability and uncertainty of the results) are investigated. A key deliverable of this part of the JRP consists of developing a new highly sensitive and selective NO2 sensor using a promising technology: the graphene sensors.

In the work activities dedicated to "creating impact", all project partners will support the knowledge transfer and dissemination by means of presentations at international conferences, publications, workshops for stakeholders and end-users. Training modules on the use of the measurement methods and materials and sensor validation protocols developed in this project will be prepared and disseminated.