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Remote Real Time Monitor for Elemental Speciation of Air Particulates

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: EP-D-05-045
Agency Tracking Number: EP-D-05-045
Amount: $69,922.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2005
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
15 Tech Valley Dr.
East Greeenbush, NY 12061
United States
DUNS: 780681938
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ning Gao
 Senior Research Scientist
 (518) 880-1510
Business Contact
 Walter Gibson
Title: Chief Technical Officer
Phone: (518) 880-1500
Research Institution

Air particulate has been identified as a souce of primary and secondary health risks. Even small, short-term increases in the amount of air particulte contamination in the atmosphere can produce significant increases in both mortality and morbidity from respiratory and cardiovasulare diseases. For example, recent studies show that just two hours of breathing fine particles in a city from sources such as vehicle exhaust and smokestacks can increase the risk of heart attach by 44%. An example of an indirect health rick comes from the highly toxic elementary mercury. It enters the environment principally from burning of coal; gets dispersed by air partifculates; contaminates soil, plants, and bodies of water; concentrates in the good chain and is finally ingested by humans. Because of the importance of air particulates more then 5000 air-particulate monitoring stations have been established in the United States (wilt perhaps four times as many internationally). Most measure the toatal amount (Mass) of air particulte per volume of air, and more recently, the size distribution of particuate matter. A smaller network of monitoring stations performing chemical and elemental compositon measurements, central to the particualte physical and biological effects. Most of these collect samples on filter that are then transporte to central laboratories fo analysis. The current proposal is designed to provide near real-time, remotely accessed monitoring of toxic metal and other elemental contamination of air particles. This will support monitoring for health advisories, research into medical and weather effects, and source attribution for the particulates. This approach is made possible by a novel and powerful new technology that uses proprietaroy doubly curved crystal x-ray optics developed by the team proposing the project. The general analytical techniques, x-ray fluorescence (XRF), is the laboraotry technique most widely used by EPA monitoring stations. Advanced x-ray optics for collecting, concentrating, and improving the spectrum of the bram will enable the technique to be used for continuous monitoring in the field. This imporved technique, microfoocus monochromatic-excitation energy dispersive XPF will improve the performance sufficiently that the field units may exceedd the sensitivity of the current laboratory units for detecting toxic metal contaminates. The resulting analyzers will be compact, rugged, reliable, and low-cost enough to be widely distributed both in the United States and internationally (perhaps even allowing retrofit of existing air particulate monitors).

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

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