Technology developer Demcon has announced its next investment. This time, it’s boosting Alia Instruments, one of the startups in its Enschede incubator. Alia is the developer of a radiation-free densimeter used to measure slurries in the dredging, tunnel construction, mining and metal recycling industries. With this contribution of cash, the startup will look to further develop and ready its sensor for production and marketing the device for the international market.
Traditionally, radioactive radiation provides the basis for densimeters used to measure the density of the abrasive slurries, consisting of sand, pebbles, gravel or ore, as well as water for transport. However, nuclear density measurement entails safety risks, can be difficult to use and is often unreliable. Working together with Demcon engineers to develop the new electromechanic measuring principle, Alia’s solution offers a robust non-nuclear alternative that’s more reliable and safer for users and the environment. In addition to being radiation free, the system uses software to process the measuring signals, allowing each unique customer to fine-tune the meter for their specific applications.
Alia is the brainchild of Jan Peters, a dredging sector expert who has served as the director of Enschede-based Imotec for nearly two decades. According to him, being radiation free is just one of the benefits of Alia. “We can immediately calculate the density and our measurement is more reliable, even for densities exceeding 3 kilograms per liter. The meter can easily be inserted into a pipeline and connected to the customer’s process control system.”
“We form part of the transition from nuclear to non-nuclear,” continues Peters. “We help customers make their production more efficient with the help of better measurements and contribute to achieving the UN objectives for sustainable development. What comes to mind here is improving safety and reducing nuclear waste and water and fuel consumption.”