SBIR Phase I: Optical Ethylene Monitor for Food Crop Quality Assurance

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0738329
Agency Tracking Number: 0738329
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
DUNS: 134161533
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jeffrey Pilgrim
 (505) 466-3953
Business Contact
 Jeffrey Pilgrim
Title: PhD
Phone: (505) 466-3953
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I research project will determine the performance and operating specifications for a high-sensitivity laser spectrometer suitable for selective detection of trace ethylene during crop processing applications. Crops react to environmental stressors by releasing ethylene at low levels. If these levels can be detected, stressors may be mitigated before crop viability is compromised, significantly reducing waste. For post-harvest crop processing, real-time detection of rot or senescence can prevent contamination from spreading to entire batches during storage or transport. Present monitors are inadequate due to sensitivity, selectivity, time response or cost. New faster monitors will be enabling components for controlled plant growth, early detection of stress, precise application of ripening inhibitors and other chemical agents, and successful long-term storage and delivery. This tightly monitored life cycle from seed to seed will provide today's agricultural industry the tools to continually increase production yields. This compact, rugged, real-time, parts-per-billion gaseous ethylene analyzer will be suitable for widespread application in the agricultural industry. It will reduce the loss of crops due to undiscovered environmental, processing, storage and transport stress. The basic technology can extend to other trace gas detection applications including biomedical breath diagnosis. Additional applications abound in detection of trace environmental species important to health, occupational safety, and global warming.

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

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