Research and Development
ARCHE Consulting wants to bring added-value to his customers through linking research activities to daily risk assessment practices under various EU legislations. By participating in scientific research projects we stay up to date and involved in the newest innovative developments. Our challenge is to contribute in the translation of these new developments into practical trendsetting methods, which might be applied to the benefit of customer specific requirements.
An overview of current and some of our past R&D projects are presented here below:
4 FUN PROJECT
ARCHE is involved in the 4FUN project, which is funded under the EU 7th Framework Programme. The Cooperation Programme aims to stimulate cooperation and improve links between industry and research within a transnational framework. 4FUN was funded in the theme environment. The aim of 4FUN is to shift from a ‘prototype’ (the 2-FUN tool, developed under the 6th Framework Programme) to a ‘standardised’ software. In particular, 4FUN aims to:
- Innovate and exploit the 2-FUN prototype software
- Standardise the 2-FUN prototype software
- Transfer the improved tool to stakeholders
- Guarantee long-term technical and economic viability of the improved tool, called the MERLIN-Expo tool.
The MERLIN-Expo tool contains a library of models, coupling environmental multimedia and pharmacokinetic models and is able to simulate transport of contaminants from the environment to the human body. More information is available in the 4FUN flyer which can be downloaded HERE
The EFSA Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR) started a revision of the existing Guidance Document on Persistence in Soil and proposed a tiered assessment scheme for the assessment of the two environmentally relevant concentrations (ERCs), i.e. the concentration in total soil and the concentration in pore water. ARCHE together with the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy) and the Food and Environmental Research Agency (FERA, UK), is responsible for the scenario selection and scenario parameterization of permanent crops and row crops on ridges in support of predicting environmental concentrations of plant protection products and their transformation products in soil.
ARCHE cooperates as a subcontractor of Thomas More Kempen in the ASOPUS (Automated System fOr the Prediction & Use of (Q)SARs) project supported by IWT (Agentschap voor Innovatie door Wetenschap en Technologie). The goal of this project is to develop a user friendly, practical and freely available webtool to help the user to select the most applicable (Q)SARs for product development, product registration and product follow-up. The developed decision tree will give the user an idea of the reliability of the (Q)SARs of the substance and, if applicable, the tool will also provide extra information to increase the reliability. This tool will become the guidance for the correct use of (Q)SARs for toxicity production of chemical substances. More information can be found on the dedicated ASOPUS page.
GEochemical Mapping of Agricultural Soil (GEMAS) is a cooperation project between the Geochemistry Expert Group of EuroGeoSurveys (EGS) and Eurometaux. The GEMAS project started in 2008 with the objective to produce harmonised soil geochemical data at the European continental scale, consistent with the EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) Regulation. Since the start of the project ARCHE was involved in GEMAS for using the data in risk assessments for metals in soil at the European scale. The GEMAS project resulted in a harmonised monitoring dataset for both soil metal concentrations and some general soil properties in the topsoil of grassland (0-10 cm) and arable land (0-20 cm) across Europe. Such data provide a strong basis for taking into account the spatial variability of both exposure (metal concentrations) and effect concentrations (considering bioavailability through variation in soil properties) in a risk assessment for metals in soil, avoiding the need for (worst-case) assumptions in both respects and, thereby, increasing the transparency and reliability of the regional risk characterisation. More information can be found at the GEMAS website. All data were published in two volumes of Chemistry of Europe’s Agricultural soils.
The INRAM project (supported by the Belgian Science Policy BELSPO) aimed to assess in an integrated approach the risks of micropollutants to Belgian coastal zone ecosystems and man (2006-2010). ARCHE was responsible for the risk assessment part of the project.
The overall aims of the present project were to:
- study the transfer and environmental concentrations of established priority compounds (cf. OSPAR, WFD and the UNECE lists) and emerging pollutants (e.g. pharmaceuticals) transfer via the three Belgian coastal harbours and the Scheldt, to coastal waters
- apply an unique combination of novel field and laboratory ecotoxicological and chemical techniques to establish both effects and food chain transfer of these chemicals
- for the first time, establish the relationship between local occurrence of hazardous compounds, ecosystem health and potential human health effects, through the use of consumer organisms as test/monitoring species (e.g. commercial fish, crustacean and mollusc species), and
- develop and evaluate a framework and toolbox for monitoring the chemical anthropogenic pressures on coastal ecosystems and commercial marine products.
More information can be found at INRAM
ARCHE Consulting in involved in METGROW+, a project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program (Grant Agreement n° 690088).
METGROW+ will address and solve bottlenecks in the European raw materials supply by developing innovative metallurgical technologies for unlocking the use of potential domestic raw materials. Within this project, both primary and secondary materials are studied as potential metal resources. Economically important nickel-cobalt deposits, low grade polymetallic wastes and iron containing sludges (goethite, jarosite, etc.) which are currently not yet being exploited due to technical bottlenecks are in focus. Concurrently, METGROW+ targets innovative processes to extract important metals including Ni, Cu, Zn, Co, In, Ga, Ge in a cost-effective way. As project main output, a toolbox for metallurgical systems development is created in the project using new methods and combinations.
ARCHE Consulting is responsible in this project for the assessment of environmental impacts in an LCA approach and for health and safety risk assessment of the technologies and products studied.
More information can be found on the METGROW+ website.
The CHROMIC project is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program (Grant Agreement n° 730471). Securing a steady supply of chromium, vanadium, molybdenum and niobium is of strategic importance for the European industry.
These metals are fundamental for the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector and the innovation potential of high-tech sectors. Yet Europe remains highly dependent on import for these metals, leading to an inflexible and insecure supply. At the same time, a wealth of such metals is entrapped in industrial wastes or used in applications where their intrinsic value is not fully utilized.
The CHROMIC project aims to unlock the potential of these resources. By smart combinations of existing methods and new technological innovations, CHROMIC will develop new processes to recover chromium, vanadium, molybdenum and niobium from industrial waste. A range of chemical and physical methods will be developed, tested and validated to extract valuable and critical metals from the initial slags in the most sustainable way: economically, environmentally and socially. ARCHE Consulting is leading the work package on the circular economy context and assessment of health, environmental and economic aspects and legal compliance.
More information can be found on the Chromic project website.