SBIR Phase I: Towards Precision Ultra-Portable 13C/12C CO2 Atmospheric Isotopic Ratio Monitors Using Quantum Cascade Laser Spectroscopy
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
Laser Sensing Co.
10 Schalks Crossing Rd. 501-104, Plainsboro, NJ, 08536-1612
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project focuses on the development of a proof-of-concept ultra-portable CO2 isotope ratio monitor. Carbon isotope ratio monitoring is essential for discerning natural versus anthropogenic emissions sources of CO2. Widespread measurement of differentiated carbon isotopes will provide major steps towards building more accurate models of climate change. However, isotopic ratio monitoring is notoriously difficult, even for the gold standard gas sensors based on mass spectroscopy, which can take up an entire room and require skilled technicians to operate. Phase I will explore the development of sensor components suitable for battery powered, easy-to-use, laser spectroscopic CO2 isotope ratio monitors using novel high-efficiency infrared quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). The broader/commercial impact of this work targets improved atmospheric monitoring, climate change analysis, and carbon capture/sequestration/verification. Carbon sequestration sites will require fine grained leak detection when captured into underground geological features, and isotopic ratio monitoring will allow such detection to be greatly improved. Additionally, data generated by such carbon isotope ratio sensors will answer many critical questions related to the human impact of burning fossil fuels.
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