Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Ground gas gizmo boosts brownfield building

An invention from a University spin-out company that monitors dangerous methane gas lingering underground could lead to greater development of brownfield sites.

The Gasclam is being developed by Salamander Ltd, which was founded by lecturer Dr Stephen Boult and spun-out of The University of Manchester in 1996.

Now the product has scooped the Innovation Technology prize in the Northwest Business Environment Awards 2007.

Measuring only 600mm long and 45mm wide, the Gasclam is designed to sit inside small boreholes on potential development sites and provide constant monitoring of harmful gases, such as methane, which can cause explosions.

The Gasclam improves upon existing assessment technology by allowing continuous collection of information about the movement and build-up of underground methane.

The system has the ability to transmit measurements using GPRS technology, allowing those doing the monitoring to collect an array of data without making repeated visits to the site.

Up until now, the available equipment has only allowed periodic measurements to be taken – and Dr Boult says this approach could be restricting the development of brownfield sites.

For example, one-off periodic measurements may show a constant concentration of methane in a certain area, which may stop construction taking place

But through continuous monitoring the Gasclam may reveal the methane production is actually low and the gas protection measures needed are minimal – meaning the site can be considered for development.

Salamander and The University of Manchester recently won £233,000 worth of funding from the DTI’s Technology Programme, which is allowing them to develop the Gasclam to meet practical, customer and legislative requirements.

Project co-ordinator Dr Peter Morris is also working to develop a sound methodology for the Gasclam’s use, which will reduce uncertainty in the prediction of gas migration and lead to further optimisation of remediation strategies for brownfield sites.

The research project is being carried out in conjunction with the Greater Manchester Geological Unit (GMGU).

Dr Boult, who lectures on hydrochemistry within The School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Studies (SEAES) has helped to develop two other products; Hydraclam and Chloroclam.

The Hydraclam is designed to allow levels of discolouration in the water supply to be measured accurately throughout the distribution network. Discolouration is a big issue for water companies and has traditionally proved difficult to monitor, due to water being inaccessible in buried pipes.

In response, Salamander has developed a product that attaches to a fire hydrant point and fits in the hydrant chamber. Once it is attached, it can be left to monitor water quality and data can be collected in real time by GPRS link or periodically by attaching a PDA device.

Chloroclam can similarly be fitted to hydrants and used to accurately monitor the level of chlorine in the water supply at specific points in the distribution network.

All major water utilities in the UK are currently using Hydraclam - and Chloroclam will be on the market in the autumn.

Jon Keighren | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>