DTI awards a share of £12 million to research into zero emission power plants

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has awarded £12 million to seven research projects in the UK, one of which is a study into how to produce zero emission power plants, and another into reliable and less expensive oxygen and hydrogen sensors which could be used in fuel cells.

Alstom Power UK Ltd, based in Leicester, will receive £1.7 million, to research how carbon dioxide can be removed from power plant emissions. Along with the other six projects, Alstom is receiving the funding from the DTI in order to help put the UK at the forefront of developing technology.

Stakesolve Ltd, in Denbighshire, will also receive £300,000 to research the use of nanofabrication to produce gas sensors. In particular, the sensors will be used to detect oxygen and hydrogen, and will be less expensive and more reliable than larger conventional sensors. “You can put multiple numbers of detectors on one chip,” Professor E W Williams of Stakesolve told edie. This results in more accurate readings, says Williams. As well as having a possible use in fuel cells, the oxygen sensors could also be used for industrial gas monitoring, for example, to allow operators to examine burning efficiency. There is also a need for oxygen sensors in hospitals and on aeroplanes.

“These projects are about turning the best of ideas in the UK into
jobs and prosperity,” said Science Minister, Lord Sainsbury. “The schemes bring industry and science together and put the UK at
the forefront of new developments. Investing in new technologies
brings value-added products and new jobs.”

The other projects include the use of new technology to grow human tissue, such as knee cartilage to treat people with sports injuries, and research into the production and processing of nano-sized particles for use in a range of personal healthcare.

“The technology behind these schemes also has the potential to bring
advances in quality of life – through improvements in medical
techniques, advances in communications, and reduced pollution
levels,” added Sainsbury.

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