01/09/2017 - 28/02/2021
ALCOREF is a European-wide joint research project that will build up long term capacity for the production and certification of ethanol/water reference materials suitable for the calibration and approval of evidential breath alcohol analysers as defined by the International Organization of Legal Metrology.
Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)
ALCOREF will develop certified reference materials for a better law enforcement of drink/driving regulations in the participating countries. Certification includes characterisation of the materials, assessment of homogeneity, stability, and uncertainty. Ethanol concentrations will meet regional legal limits for alcohol in traffic.
Candidate ethanol/water reference materials will be prepared gravimetrically. Chromatographic methods such as gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) or flame ionization detection (GC-FID) and density measurements will be used for the verification of the gravimetric value, for homogeneity and stability assessment. Purity assessment of ethanol is essential to establish traceability. GC-MS, GC-FID, Karl-Fischer titration and density measurements will be applied for this purpose.
The overall objective of the project is to develop new research and metrological capacity for certified reference materials for breath alcohol control in the participating countries.
Consortium: 10 Metrological Institutes from 10 European countries and the University of Warsaw
Coordination: Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), Division Environmental Analysis
Funding: The projects receives funding from the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) which is an integrated part of Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
- Development of production capabilities for ethanol/water reference materials at the participating National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and Designated Institutes (DIs)
- Test certification at NMIs/DIs
- Interlaboratory comparison of both the materials produced and the measurement capabilities for quantification of ethanol in water
- Strategy for long-term exploitation at NMIs/DIs.
The law enforcement of national drink-driving regulations and thus road safety will benefit from traceably calibrated breath alcohol analysers.
Technical work packages
The ALCOREF project consists of three technical work packages, one impact work package and one work package for management and coordination.
Development of production capabilities for certified ethanol in water reference materials
WP1: The aim of this work package is to establish procedures for the reproducible gravimetric preparation of ethanol in water solutions at each partner institute. The solutions should be suitable to be certified for their ethanol mass concentration. Batches of candidate reference materials will be prepared. Target certified values and volumes will address end-users’ needs regarding legal limits of regional drink-driving legislation and the instrumentation for breath analysers calibration available in the different countries. Purity assessment of ethanol is also part of WP1 since traceability to the SI requires accurate knowledge and monitoring of ethanol purity. The production procedures developed will be documented at each institute as standard operating procedures and incorporated into the quality system to ensure a consistent performance in the long term.
Coordination: CEM Centro Español de Metrología, Spain
Feasibility study for the certification of ethanol in water reference materials
WP2: The aim of this work package is to develop and establish reliable analytical techniques at each institute for the quantification of ethanol in water. These methods will be used for the assessment of homogeneity and stability of the candidate reference materials prepared in work package 1.
Coordination: DMDM Directorate of Measures and Precious Metals, Serbia
WP3: By participating in work package 1 and work package 2, partners will be enabled to implement methods to produce and to certify ethanol in water reference materials. They will be able to validate their production and measurement capacities.
The aim of this work passage is to offer partners an exercise in which to demonstrate and to claim their newly developed capabilities and competences (CMC claims). This exercise proposes to directly test services (production and certification of forensic alcohol materials) that could be delivered to future customers.
Coordination: LNE Laboratoire National de métrologie et d'Essais, France
Main achievements of the ALCOREF project, September 2017 – September 2020
- Methods for the gravimetric preparation of ethanol in water certified reference materials developed in all partner institutes
- Methods for purity assessment and for the quantification of ethanol in water established
- Batches of candidate certified reference materials prepared
- Homogeneity and stability assessment completed
- Laboratory intercomparison for purity assessment of ethanol confirmed equivalence of methods within the project consortium
- Intercomparison of analytical methods for quantification of ethanol in progress
- Intercomparison of certified candidate reference materials in progress
- 1 peer reviewed scientific publication
- 1 article published in trade/professional press
- 18 conference presentations/posters
- 9 training courses conducted within the consortium
- 4 new/extended Calibration and Measurement Capability claims that demonstrate the newly developed competences submitted to the database of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM)
- Input provided to the revision of recommendation R126 Breath alcohol analyzers of the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML)
BAM Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und prüfung, Germany (Project coordinator)
BRML Biroul Roman de Metrologie Legala, Romania
CEM Centro Español de Metrología, Spain
DMDM Directorate of Measures and Precious Metals, Serbia
FTMC Valstybinis mokslinių tyrimų institutas Fizinių ir technologijos mokslų centras, Lithuania
GUM Glówny Urzad Miar, Poland
IAPR Independent Authority for Public Revenue, Greece
IMBiH Institut za mjeriteljstvo Bosne i Hercegovine, Bosnia and Herzegovina
LNE Laboratoire National de métrologie et d'Essais, France
TUBITAK Turkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Arastirma Kurumu, Turkey
Uniwersytet Warszawski, Poland
The project receives funding from the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) which is an integrated part of Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.