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PFAS Analyzer- A fieldable device for the broad-spectrum analysis of PFAS in water, soil, and sediments

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: 68HERC20C0006
Agency Tracking Number: B18P2-3A04
Amount: $300,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 18-NCER-P2
Solicitation Number: 68HE0D19
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-11-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-10-31
Small Business Information
2151 Las Palmas Drive, Suite C
Carlsbad, CA 92011-1575
United States
DUNS: 128893463
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Randy Jackson
 Research Scientist
 (940) 781-3158
Business Contact
 Louis Haerle
Title: President
Phone: (760) 268-0083
Research Institution

Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are used in food packaging, as coatings for cloth (e.g. Scotchgard), firefighting foams, electronics, and industrial and automotive components. Being perfluorinated species, they are engineered to breakdown slowly (half-life >92 years in water), and thus persist for very long times. Their high water-solubility makes them especially dangerous, and much like perchloro- and trichloro-ethylene, i.e. PCE and TCE, they can enter and be transported by groundwater into the drinking water supply. According to the EPA, there are 156,000 public drinking water systems supplying most of the U.S. population’s water, 82% serve the country. Based on detection of PFAS in 94 public water systems, an estimated 65 million Americans may be at risk exposure. In fact, during 2018, the State of Ohio sued DuPont for releasing PFOA into the Ohio River.In Phase I Seacoast successfully demonstrated technical feasibility of a Novel PFAS analyzer, by developing an analysis method for PFAS in water utilizing the mineralization of PFAS to F-, active microdiffusion, and fluorometric detection of F-. The PFAS Analyzer uses recyclable chemistry cartridges with a spectroscopic analyzer that automates sample processing in an easy-to-use menu-driven fieldable system allowing onsite analysis of water, soil and sediment samples. This will allow near real-time analysis, onsite broad-spectrum detection of PFAS chemicals, assessment of the extent of environmental contamination, serve as a presumptive test to warrant further sample collection and confirmatory analysis, and ultimately shorten time between PFAS detection and site remediation.The U.S. invests about $30 billion annually in water supply sanitation. Therefore, the most important markets for the proposed PFA analysis system are (1) municipal water facilities and (2) environmental remediation, site surveyors, and others involved with detecting and identifying contaminants in soils and groundwater. A Commercialization Assessment Report prepared by Foresight, indicates that currently there are no fieldable technologies for the analysis of PFAS. Municipal water supply departments are slow adopters of new technology, and smaller cities/counties tend to use private labs. Additionally, large companies like 3M generally hire environmental engineering firms rather than buy technology and the U.S. military has substantial funding for investigation, remediation, research into new detection and clean-up technologies, and also hire environmental engineering firms. Due to these market characteristics, partnership with an environmental engineering firm or a potential startup that provides field analysis of environmental samples and laboratory testing when necessary are viable options for commercialization of the proposed PFAS Analyzer.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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