The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded iCRAG Funded Investigator, Professor Niall English, a prestigious 2023 Advanced Grant.
The ERC Advanced Grant funding is amongst the most prestigious and competitive EU funding schemes, providing researchers with the opportunity to pursue ambitious, curiosity-driven projects that could lead to major scientific breakthroughs. They are awarded to established, leading researchers with a proven track-record of significant research achievements over the past decade.
Through the NIMBLE project, Professor English, UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, will investigate how electric-field-generated nanobubbles and nanodroplets can be optimised in their characteristics for use in water treatment, agriculture, aquaculture and carbon capture.
Nanobubbles are tiny gas bubbles on the nanometre (nm) scale. ‘Nanobubble technology’ can remove impurities and pathogens from wet environments, improving production and processes across many applications in a broad range of sectors. The NIMBLE project will build on the low-energy, highly-efficient platform technology of nanobubble generation developed by Professor English’s research group in UCD.
Commenting on NIMBLE, Professor English said, "This ERC project will enhance our understanding of how electric-field engineering can predict the effectiveness of molecular engineering of nanobubbles, through optimal deployments in a range of settings. The use of nanobubbles as delivery agents for smart aquaculture and agriculture is a seminal development, and more efficient carbonation strategies by way of low-energy gasification, reactive species and flotation characteristics, could revolutionise water treatment and carbon capture.&rdquo
“The development of NIMBLE owes a deal to the persistent work of our group's young and ambitious researchers, as well as international collaborators in academia and industry - whom I now salute today. I must also thank the European Commission, Bord Gáis, Enterprise Ireland, and Science Foundation Ireland (e.g. I-Form and iCRAG) for supporting the nano-phase R&D journey."