An Innovative Laser-Based Sensor for Monitoring Mercury in Gasifier Syngas

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-04ER83888
Agency Tracking Number: 75867S04-I
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: 42
Solicitation Number: DOE/SC-0075
Small Business Information
4711 Hope Valley Road, PMB 101, Durham, NC, 27707
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Josef Blair Simeonsson
 (919) 806-8250
Business Contact
 Robin Ballard Simeonsson
Title: Ms.
Phone: (919) 806-8250
Research Institution
75867 Mercury (Hg) emissions are an important environmental problem because Hg is a volatile heavy metal that is toxic and bioaccumulates to a high degree in animals and humans. The major sources of Hg emissions include fossil fuel combustion, waste incineration, and chloralkali production. With the increased development of coal gasification technologies, the monitoring of Hg in gasifier synthesis gas is needed to protect both the environment and the equipment used to generate hydrogen and other refined chemical products from the processed synthesis gas. This project will develop an innovative laser-based sensor for measuring Hg in gasifier synthesis gas. The sensor will use fiber-optic-coupled, laser-induced-fluorescence detection for real-time measurements directly in the synthesis gas. Phase I will demonstrate the feasibility of the laser-based monitoring system at the laboratory scale and evaluate the sensor¿s key measurement capabilities (sensitivity, limits of detection, response time, and selectivity) in simulated syngas mixtures. A prototype system will be developed in Phase II. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: Commercial applications for the Hg sensor should include coal gasifiers, fossil fuel-based power utilities, metal smelters, cement kilns, and waste incinerators. It is conservatively estimated that the market for these systems is on the order of 3500-5000 sites in the U.S. and at least that many sites outside the U.S. In addition, the sensor could be modified to monitor other trace metal pollutants such as arsenic, selenium, cadmium, and nickel.

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

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