Liderkit is developing ECOTRANS, an innovating project to build photocatalytic bodies which decontaminate the city and reduce environmental impact caused by road transport

4 May 2017 | Press, News

The press release in pdf format can be downloaded here:

  • The great challenge accepted by Liderkit is to create the first vehicle in the world, with a body made of panels, aimed at freight transport and able to decontaminate without needing extra energy while running.
  • Through chemical process, these bodies react catalysing nitrogen oxide (NOx) to turn it into water or oxygen. The NOx particles are so harmful that in some places like Madrid they are responsible for the strict measures taken to restrict traffic.
  • If ECOTRANS comes to a reality, one square metre of Liderkit’s bodies would be equivalent to removing one car from road. Liderkit intends to have “a truck acting as a tree, and a fleet working as a wood”.

Guarromán (Jaén), 4 of may, 2017. The Andalusian company, which manufactures box bodies in kit, Liderkit, is starting to develop an innovative R+D Project in the sector. It is called ECOTRANS and is aimed at reducing the environmental impact of road transport of goods. This project is funded by the ERDF through CDTI (Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology), and is going to be implemented over 4 years.

With ECOTRANS, Liderkit faces the challenge of creating the first vehicle in the world, with a body made of panels, aimed at freight transport and able to decontaminate without needing extra energy while running. These panels are formed by nano-particles which, in presence of light and humidity, react catalysing nitrogen oxide (NOx) and all the volatile organic compounds except methane (VOCs) in the air. This new system proposes taking a step ahead in this field, as it turns vehicles into cleaning agents which fight harmful emissions deriving from road transport.

This ambitious project will be carried out with 3 lines of research and action, where the replacement of materials and the photocatalysis play a significant role. Moreover, this proposal tries to act against green-house gases emissions (CO2), opting for replacing metallic materials by polymeric ones in manufacture of the bodies.

However, with the development of ECOTRANS, Liderkit tries to offer a unique and innovative solution, not only reducing harmful pollutants in the atmosphere, but also decontaminating by including materials with advanced photocatalytic features in manufacture, to act against nitrogen oxide and all the volatile organic compounds. In addition, ECOTRANS will also create materials with bactericidal properties inside the bodies to favour conservation and avoid contamination of transported goods.

Photocatalysis: a decontaminating process

The development of the first panel, not only recycling but also decontaminating, arises from Liderkit’s effort to become a leader in quality and environmental liability in the world.

In this sense, in the same way the photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide into oxygen thanks to light of the sun and chlorophyll, the photocatalysis is a chemical process in which surfaces treated with agents like the titanium dioxide, once exposed to the solar light, neutralize the toxic particles like nitrogen oxide (NOx) and all volatile organic compounds except methane (VOCs). Therefore, polluting particles are transformed into smaller and environmentally friendly ones through this chemical reaction, namely water, oxygen, and nitrates, commonly used by plants.

The photocatalysis is a process also used in the health sector, in hospitals and operating rooms, as it acts against living organic matter such as viruses, bacteria and fungus

Problems with traffic in big urban areas such as Madrid

The latest news that we can know about traffic restrictions in big European cities like Madrid, Paris or London are related to polluting gases dissolved in the air, like nitrogen oxide. In addition to toxicity and the health problems that they may bring to human beings, the nitrogen oxide emissions react with hydrocarbons and produce ozone, which is the main causal agent of photochemical smog and acid rain.

These gases contribute to climate change and global warming of the planet, and they are more harmful than carbon dioxide itself. More than 40% of these emissions in Spain come from road transport, as they are particles produced by combustion process of mobile sources like cars and trucks, or also from fixed sources like power stations or industrial furnaces.

Currently, 30 million tons of NOx are emitted to the atmosphere and, according to a recent study made by ESADE and the Engineers Savings Bank, carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) in Spain have increased by 14% since 1990.

A truck acting as a tree, a fleet working as a wood

Liderkit is going to develop this project thanks to its Research & Development Department, taking as a premise the concept of ‘Eco-innovation’, which tries to generate the maximum value with the minimum environmental impact.

For this purpose, new and updated processes, techniques, systems and products will be used in this project. According to this idea, Liderkit box bodies will be like moving trees which will achieve to decontaminate throughout large distances. Estimating a urban centre like Madrid, whose atmosphere is five times more polluted than the maximum levels, and assuming the same level of insolation (7,35 hours/day in Spain), if there were 6.000 Liderkit box bodies driving around the city, they could counteract the emissions of 54,5 tons of NOx annually, what means 16.895 tons of CO2 per year. In other words: 6.000 Liderkit box bodies working in an urban area could be compared to 2,82 million trees, more than 10 times the total amount of trees found in Madrid. One square metre of Liderkit body could be equivalent to removing one car from our roads.