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SBIR Phase I: In situ PFC Monitoring Sensors

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Unified Science
15911 Furuby Rd Center City, MN 55012-0000
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: SBIR Phase I: In situ PFC Monitoring Sensors
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1113251
Award Amount: $149,899.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project addresses the analysis needs for monitoring perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in waste water. Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are bio-accumulative, extremely persistent and toxic; and there is a huge effort surrounding remediation of PFOA and PFOS contaminated areas. Considering the impacts on environment and public health, it is important to monitor PFOA and PFOS. Although there are established LC/MS/MS methods to measure them at low levels, this equipment is expensive and not generally field portable. This research aims at the development of a field and lab deployable ion-selective electrode that permits selective and fast measurement of PFOA and PFOS with a low detection limit at low cost. The project will take advantage of the highly selective and fouling-resistant fluorous membranes recently licensed from the University of Minnesota. The broader impacts of this research are significant as the proposed sensor will provide a fast, easy, sample pretreatment free, selective and economical detection method for environmental monitoring, compliance and remediation efforts, which are currently hampered by costly and time consuming liquid extractions coupled with LC/MS. Additional broader impacts include expanded application of the sensor to measure the contaminant in blood, soil and food. Most importantly, these efforts are important and instructive to direct and monitor remediation and enable in-field research. We view this effort as an integral part of a wider effort to understand and reduce sources and pathways by which the persistent substance has become widespread in the environment.

Principal Investigator:

Chunze Lai

Business Contact:

Chunze Lai
Small Business Information at Submission:

Unified Science
15911 Furuby Rd Center City, MN 55012-0000

EIN/Tax ID: 260477557
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No