LIMPID team develops viable materials for depollution while demonstrating the need for global scientific collaboration

In December 2015, the LIMPID project, an international collaboration on the development of nanocomposite materials, wrapped up its work. LIMPID was funded through the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme Theme 4, with the goal of developing substances to break-up environmental pollutants. To this end, the LIMPID team developed materials and technologies based on the synergic combination of different types of nanoparticles. The resulting polymer hosts created innovative nanocomposites with properties that work to degrade pollutants.

Project Leader Dr. M. Lucia Curri, a material scientist with the Institute for Physical and Chemical Processes at the Italian National Research Council and Dr. Viviane Yargeau, an environmental engineer at McGill University, had met in Bari, Italy and envisioned a collaboration between their two research groups toward a shared goal: controlling contaminants in the environment.

“I was not expecting to hear back from Lucia so quickly, but a few months after meeting her in Bari, it was a pleasure to accept her invitation to join this important consortium of researchers in Europe and Asia, which has allowed us to apply our expertise on transformation and toxicity of contaminants in the early development of new materials and treatment technologies,” said Dr. Yargeau. “This is an efficient strategy to promote sustainable engineering through the development of safe materials and processes. It was very motivating to be involved from the beginning of the development phase and having a chance to influence decisions by providing input that redefines slightly the usual notion of treatment efficiency in order account for toxicity.”

The LIMPID Consortium combines the complementary expertise and visions of leading scientists in Europe, Asia and North America. The Consortium intends to highlight the international dimension of the environmental challenge.

“While the participation of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) partners in the project was already envisioned in the call for proposal, with the involvement of McGill University we intended to enforce links with research activities in other non-EU Countries, in a truly global vision,” said Dr. Curri. “LIMPID benefits from the unique experience and the solid environmental engineering background of Dr. Yargeau at McGill. McGill’s participation as a LIMPID partner revealed a perfect match not just in terms of expertise, but also of perspective and sensibility with respect to the crucial issues of environmental depollution.”

The LIMPID consortium demonstrated the potential of collaboration between leading industrial partners with research entities in Europe, ASEAN countries and Canada. Some nanocomposite materials developed by the LIMPID partners were identified as promising catalysts for the degradation of contaminants in aqueous matrices as well as airborne contaminants for outdoor applications.

Viable solutions to specific air and water pollution issues have emerged from this collaboration. There is potential for further development of LIMPID’s progress within the European Commission’s HORIZON 2020 program, as well as through other international initiatives.

LIMPID highlighted the increasingly essential need for international cooperation among environmental policy researchers in the fields of nanomaterials and nanotechnology for depollution.

To learn more about LIMPID visit the project website!