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SBIR Phase II: In situ PFC Monitoring Sensors

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
United Science, LLC
15911 Furuby Rd. Center City, MN 55012-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: SBIR Phase II: In situ PFC Monitoring Sensors
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1256626
Award Amount: $499,869.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project addresses the analysis needs for monitoring perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in water. PFOA and PFOS are ubiquitous environmental contaminants that have been found at low concentrations in waste water, drinking water, human blood, and in food. Because PFOA, PFOS and other perfluorochemicals are bio-accumulative, extremely persistent, and toxic, several states have established analytical methods and emission limits. Furthermore, there is a large effort surrounding remediation of PFOA and PFOS contaminated areas. Considering the impacts on both the environment and public health, there is a market need for rapid, selective, low cost, and field portable PFOA and PFOS sensing. This research aims at the development of a field deployable ion-selective electrode that permits selective and fast measurement of PFOA and PFOS with a low detection limit at low cost. The broader impact of this research is to improve public health by rapid identification and screening of polluted areas. Moreover, the research will enable an economical PFOS/PFOA detection method for environmental monitoring, continued research, compliance and remediation efforts. Currently, research efforts are hampered by costly and time consuming liquid extractions coupled with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. This research aims to produce a device that will significantly lower the barriers to testing. 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:

United Science LLC
15911 Furuby Rd Center City, MN 55012-0000

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