Procura de Tecnologia

Italian company seeks industry partner for validation of Chemical Oxygen Demand sensors in waste waters and sewers

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An Italian company has developed an innovative online device for the estimation of the Chemical Oxygen Demand in waste waters from production plants and sewers. The prototype sensor requires field validation before commercial exploitation; the company is then looking for partners for testing the technology in their production plants to allow validation. Technical or research cooperation agreement is envisaged as well as service agreement or manufacturing agreement.


An Italian company is expert in the field of chemical sensing and process control. Its expertise comes from ten years of research in the academic context joined with relations with industrial partners. The company currently develops and sells custom measuring devices for process control and sensing of chemical parameters in liquid or semisolid samples especially in production plants, laboratories and field use. It has recently developed an innovative online device for the estimation of Chemifcal Oxygen Demand (COD) in waste waters from production plants and sewers.

Determining chemical oxygen demand in waste water is essential for the workflow in the chemical, food and, in general, production plants; it is also mandatory in order to meet environmental regulations.
Conventional analytical methods are often based on time-consuming laboratory procedures and require toxic chemicals. Moreover, traditional laboratory's automation techniques often leads to complex and expensive instruments. Instruments are also strict and difficult to adapt to other production scenarios, while rapid changes in manufacturing require highly customisable systems. Few automated devices for the estimation of these parameters are available on the market, the majority of which is based on optical techniques; this provokes disadvantages due to waste water's turbidity (the dark colour interferes).
In conclusion, available products do not overall satisfy sensor market's needs both in terms of cost and performances.

The Italian company studied new approaches to continuous process control and has developed a new customised measuring device which estimates Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) in waste waters from production plants and sewers (liquid waste).
--How it works:
New measuring devices are based on amperometry and are formed by an ensemble of electrodes located in a measurement cell and controlled by a proper electronic unit; a small pump transfers a part of waste water into the measurement cell, directly from the tank or pipe in which it is collected. After the amperometric measurement, the sample can be discarded in the tank, since its composition is not significantly affected by the measure, nor toxic reagents are added.
The solutions proposed have several advantages if compared to potential competitors: in particular, the technology:
- has a low cost;
- is flexible and modular. These new measuring devices can be easily adapted to different, new operating conditions or new problems; devices can easily integrate sensors into industrial plants and control systems;
- is customised to different applications. Customisation is a key aspect but only few companies have the proper know-how and explicit mission to satisfy customers needs. The company's development workflow, on the contrary, proceeds step-by-step from customers requests to the final working solution.

*Applications of the solution:
End-user fields are mainly:
- chemical industries;
- food processing industries;
- plant manufacturers;
- (municipal) waste water management;
- paper industries.

The prototype sensors require a proper field validation before commercial exploitation. The company is looking for industry partners interested in testing this new effective approach in their production plants. Technical or research cooperation agreement is envisaged as well as service agreement or manufacturing agreement.

Collaboration Type

Manufacturing agreement
Services agreement

Type of partner sought

The ideal partner is an industry in the food processing, paper or waste water management sector; it can also be a system integrator in the same industrial fields.

The partner should give access to waste water treatment plants in order to validate the system.

Electrodes are located in a measurement cell in which some waste water is poured via a small pump; then, after the measurement, the sample is discarded in the tank or pipe. Hence, the sought partner should provide access to the tank/pipe and 220 V power supply.

Specific area of activity of the partner

- Type of partner sought: industry

- Specific area of activity of the partner: food processing industry, paper industry, waste water management; system integrators working in the same fields. The collaboration may involve both end users and system integrators in the field.

- Task to be performed by the partner sought: give access to waste water treatment plants, tank/pipe included; allow tests in their plants; cooperato to the validation of the system. The commercial exploitation of the measuring device will follow the validation step and a proper agreement regarding this phase will be discussed with the partner in due time.

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