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Preconcentration Technoloogy for Infrared Analysis of Organophosphates in Water

Award Information

Environmental Protection Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Orono Spectral Solutions Inc.
689 Odlin Road Bangor, ME -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Preconcentration Technoloogy for Infrared Analysis of Organophosphates in Water
Agency: EPA
Contract: EP-D-12-011
Award Amount: $80,000.00


Organophosphates cannot currently be analyzed in the field using existing technologies, due to insufficient sensitivity of currently fielded instruments. This inability reduces the number of analyses that a government agency can perform on a water supply to ensure its safety to humans and the environment. The objective of this Phase I effort is to design a novel strategy that preconcentrates organophosphates into a film using reactive materials, which can then be analyzed using Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR) Infrared (IR spectroscopy. Portable and handheld ATR-IR detection systems are currently used in the field by hazmat teams, first responders and military units for analyzing bulk material quantities. However, these instruments cannot be used to detect relevant concentrations of organophosphates in solution because ATR IR spectroscopy does not have sufficient sensitivity to measure trace chemicals without a preconcentration step. This Phase I proposes to address this bundle by developing a novel preconcentration technology that will enable currently fielded ATR IR spectrometers to make trace measurement in water. Preliminary experiments using simple organophosphates and sulfhydry1 hydrolysis product stimulants demonstrated the principle that these chemical can be concentrated into a film using reactive materials and analyzed directly using IR spectroscopy. The Phase I effort will build upon this concept and focus on IR amenable reactive material development that can be used to preconcentrate trace amounts of organophosphates from an aqueous medium and be analyzed using currently fielded ATR IR instruments. In particular, the proposed preconcentration technology will enable ppm-ppb detection levels for a broad range of chemical including pesticides, toxic Industrial chemicals, and chemical warfare agents. A material and technology downselect will occur near the end of Phase I, and the best performing materials and detection strategies will be the basis for an initial prototype design which will undergo extensive testing (e.g., identification of a wide range of organophosphates, determining figures of merit, potential live agent testing, matrix interference testing) in Phase II. If successful, it is anticipated that market penetration and adoption of this technology will be high since the technology is being developed as an enabling sampling method to be used with validated instruments. Furthermore, OSS has established strategic working relationships with the companies that build portable IR spectrometers for hazmat teams, first responders and the military. Therefore, OSS will be well positioned to leverage these industry relationships to establish licensing and/or joint product development agreement during Phase II/Phase III commercialization efforts.

Principal Investigator:

Erick Roy
(866) 269-8007

Business Contact:

Luke Doucette
(866) 269-8007
Small Business Information at Submission:

Orono Spectral solutions, Inc.
689 Odlin Rd. Bangor, ME 04401-

EIN/Tax ID: 201477938
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No