Water Security Sensor for Automatic Masurement of Micrograms of Heavy Metals in Dinking and Waste Water
Small Business Information
ITN Energy Systems, Inc.
8130 Shaffer Pkwy., Littleton, CO, 80127
AbstractThere is growing concern regarding the susceptibility of the US water system to terrorist attack. This concern stems both from recent attacks against targent in the US, and from the inherent characteristics of the US water supply systems, which are spatially diverse, subjet to intrusion and contain many components. An important aspect of risk mitigation is implementation of smart early-warning systems. The best of these systems provide constant automated monitoring, and use advanced identification techniques in combination with computer-based software to help utility operators identify contaminants immediately. Such systems are particularly beneficial when thy promote safe water even in non-threat situations. ITN will adapt its advanced x-ray fluoresence (XRF) technology to create and automated smart sensor for trace amounts of toxic heavy metal in water. ITN's technology is proven in solar cell manufacture, where the sensor continuosly monitor very small amounts of metal in product and automatically provides feedback to process control. The technique is inexpensive, very sensitive, nearly maintenance-free, and generates a continuous signal for automatic monitoring. The sensor detects multiple metals simultaneously, incliding mercury, arsenic, and lead. For two reasons, ITN's XRF technologoy succeeds in applicaton wherf XRF has previously been inappropriate. First, unique geometry allows the sensor to view a large portion of the sample and therefore get larger signal and higher sensitivith, Second, ITN's novel sensor encapsulation allows component operation in close proximity to liquids. The ultimate project goal is to adapt ITN's XRF technology ot provide a smart automatic, early-warning, sensor for trace levelds of toxicfmetals in water on ug/L scale. In Phase I, the feasibility of this approach will be proven by showing the sensor can detect 20 um/L hg in water without interferencfe from other metals, chemica. state of the metals, or organic material. In Phase II, sensor capabilities will be expanded. These improvements may include higher sensitivty, ca;lobratopm fpr pre e;e,emts, potabilitu, remote commumications of data, participaton in Environmental Technology Verification, or cost reductionl In Phase III, the sensor will be sold as a smart, automatic, early-warning sensor for tract metals in water on ug/L scale. This will be useful both in water security, plant discharge monitoring, possibly for drinkig water.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.