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SBIR Phase II: A New Method for Quantitative Calibration-Free Chemical Analysis

Award Information

Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
88291
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
0740542
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
Energy Research Company
1250 South Ave. Plainfield, NJ 07062-1920
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: SBIR Phase II: A New Method for Quantitative Calibration-Free Chemical Analysis
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0924394
Award Amount: $499,998.00
 

Abstract:

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project seeks to develop an analysis method based on plasma physics with unique advantages for in situ process control in coal-fired power plants and in metal and glass production. Software developed from this program will result in development of process control sensors capable of rapidly measuring the elemental composition of a material solely from the material's analytical laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) spectrum. Analyses without calibration curves or standard reference materials (SRM's) would be revolutionary because conditions change and material compositions vary outside their expected range in industrial plants, rendering calibration curves inaccurate. Analytical LIBS could not be developed in the past because of these large uncertainties. This project will verify the algorithms developed are effective when applied to actual industrial materials: coal, aluminum, and glass. Coupling Analytical LIBS with a LIBS sensor for coal and patented LIBS probe for molten metals and glass will result in real time monitoring and control, a new and potentially paradigm shifting capability for these industries. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be to the coal-fired power plants and manufacturing plants that produce glass, metal alloys, and other products by allowing the plant personnel to monitor the composition of their material continuously, which is currently impossible. Alloying and other mixing operations will be monitored in real time, eliminating errors in these operations. Increased plant output, reduced waste, and reduced energy expenditures per pound of product will result from problems in the production process being caught much more quickly. New manufacturing paradigms, such as continuous alloying of aluminum, are also made possible by development of this technology. Developing Analytical LIBS for the measurement of coal properties at electric utility power plants will increase their efficiency and optimize boiler performance. There will also be benefits in other fields such as atomic emission spectroscopy, plasma physics, and astronomy. Analytical LIBS can also be extended for accurate LIBS analyses of the environment (e.g. minerals, oceans, atmospheric aerosols), planetary science (e.g. Mars, moon, and comets), agriculture, and security (e.g. WMD detection). The development of Analytical LIBS for these fields is crucial because no standard reference materials (SRM's) exist for many of these materials, and hence accurate calibration curves are difficult to construct and will have limited utility.

Principal Investigator:

Arel Weisberg
PhD
7186080935
aweisberg@er-co.com

Business Contact:

Arel Weisberg
PhD
7186080935
aweisberg@er-co.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

Energy Research Company
2571-A Arthur Kill Road Staten Island, NY 10309

EIN/Tax ID: 223329891
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No