USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

STTR Phase I: Chemical Sensors for In situ Monitoring of Collector Chemicals…

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
United Science LLC
15911 Furuby Rd Center City, MN 55012-0000
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: STTR Phase I: Chemical Sensors for In situ Monitoring of Collector Chemicals in Complex Copper Mine Effluents
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0930087
Award Amount: $150,000.00


This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project addresses unmet analysis needs of froth flotation, a separations process widely used in the mining industry to separate worthless gangue from desired mineral particles. The goal of this Phase I is the preparation of sensors that permit the measurement of collector chemicals used in flotation suspensions. Our proposed sensors are expected to be ideally suited for these measurements since they are not affected by turbidity, have a collector selectivity that can be tuned with specific receptors, and require no off-stream sample handling. The project will take advantage of the highly selective and fouling-resistant fluorous perfluoropolymer membranes introduced by the academic partner Phil Buhlmann. The broader impacts of this research are significant as it will enable the mining industry to be more sustainable in its approach to mineral recovery. Specifically, our research aims to significantly reduce the amount of toxic chemical waste associated with froth flotation and its inevitable environmental impact. The method has the potential of making the US copper industry more competitive by saving over $200 M in wasted collector while simultaneously improving mining sustainability by eliminating an estimated 891,000 kg of unnecessary chemical discharges. In addition to these benefits, the multidisciplinary aspects of this project will train students in synthetic and analytical techniques, involving concepts from chemistry, materials science, and engineering. A graduate student will have the opportunity to mentor an undergraduate students involved in this project through directed research studies and through the NSF-REU programs at the UMN.

Principal Investigator:

Jon D. Thompson

Business Contact:

Jon D. Thompson
Small Business Information at Submission:

United Science LLC
15911 Furuby Rd Center City, MN 55012

EIN/Tax ID: 260477557
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Univ. of Minnesota-Twin Cities
200 Oak Street S.E
450 McNamara Alumni Center
Minneapolis, MN 55455 2070
Contact: Dasi Hagen
Contact Phone: (612) 624-1431
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university