Advanced Gas Sensor
Small Business Information
89 RUMFORD AVENUE, NEWTON, MA, 02466
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The underground use of diesel equipment introduces high concentrations of toxic gases such as CO, NO and NO2 into a confined atmosphere. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has determined th at diesel exhaust is a potential human carcinogen, based on a combination of chemical, genotoxicity, and carcinogenicity data. This is due to the particulate matter in the diesel exhaust. In addition, acute exposures to diesel exhaust have been linked to h ealth problems such as eye and nose irritation, headaches, nausea, and asthma. Many of these symptoms can be associated with the gaseous components of diesel exhaust. Currently, underground miners can be exposed to over 100 times the typical environmental concentration of diesel exhaust and over 10 times that measured in other workplaces. In addition, miner exposure to diesel emissions promises to become more widespread as diesel equipment becomes more prevalent within the mining industry. To measure the ga seous components of diesel exhaust underground, Giner, Inc. proposes to develop a lightweight, compact low cost instrument that can simultaneously monitor CO, NO and NO2. In addition, since diesel engines require O2 for the combustion process, the proposed instrument will also monitor O2 levels. Unlike other multi-gas sensors that require separate sensor cells for each gas, the novel feature of this instrument is the use of a single sensor cell to detect all 4 gases. This will result in a considerable cost savings, compared to commercially available instruments. The final instrument can either be a battery-powered, handheld, portable instrument, or can be designed to be mounted in a fixed location on a wall or suspended from the mine ceiling. The aims of the Phase I program are: 1: To fabricate advanced sensor cell assemblies; 2: To conduct parametric sensor cell testing; 3: To compare the response to a commercially available instrument, and 4: To conduct an economic analysis. To satisfy these aims, we propos e to demonstrate the feasibility of operating a thick film sensor cell that contains multiple sensing electrodes. An innovative membrane will be used to increase the sensor sensitivity and response time. In this Phase I program we will demonstrate multi-ga s sensor cell operation. The response of the advanced sensor will be compared to that of a commercially available, MSHA-approved instrument. Finally, an economic analysis will be conducted to predict the manufacturing price of both the multi-gas sensor cel l and the complete sensing instrument. All technical work will be conducted at Giner, Inc. with specialized fabrication being performed at select vendors. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Underground miners can be exposed to over 100 times the typical environmenta l concentration of gaseous diesel exhaust components and over 10 times that measured in other workplaces. The development of a compact, low-cost, lightweight instrument is proposed to monitor these levels; the instrument can be used both underground and ab ove ground to measure toxic gas concentrations in the workplace.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.