Microdischarge -Based Multi-Metal Emission Monitoring System

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: EPD04015
Agency Tracking Number: BC3C2-0014
Amount: $69,896.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C3-NCER-C2
Solicitation Number: PR-NC-03-10272
Solicitation Year: 2004
Award Year: 2004
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2004-03-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2004-08-31
Small Business Information
60 Hazelwood, Suite 244, Champaign, IL, 61802
DUNS: 110991085
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Cy Herring
 President, CTO
 (217) 265-6070
Business Contact
 David Kellner
Title: COO
Phone: (217) 337-6445
Email: dkellner@caviton.com
Research Institution
Caviton, Inc., has developed an ideal microsensor for the continuous monitoring of multiple metals. These detection systems rely on microdischarge technology (patent pending), utilizing the power of emission spectroscopy for parts per billion-level sensitivity and laboratory instrument-level selectivity. Microdischarge sensors provide real-time continuous monitoring of metals (and other chemical species) simultaneously using a single detector. The instrument consists of a detector tip, where the discharge is located and sensing takes place; an optical fiber that couples the light from the discharge to a small commercial spectrometer that analyzes the light; and a computer for data processing. The stable plasma discharge operates in air, and the color of the light from the discharge is altered by any chemicals in the surrounding environment. The spectrometer separates the light into wavelengths, indicating the specific identification of any chemicals present, and is particularly powerful for the detection of metals, including mercury, nickel, lead, cadmium, selenium, and many others. All components of the surrounding environment are broken down by the high-energy discharge to their atomic (and diatomic) constituents, such that metal organics, oxides, and salts are stripped, providing data on the total content of a specific metal. This detection system is compact, rugged, and can be made easy to use, requiring minimal training of technicians and engineers. Nickel and nickel compounds have been preliminarily characterized in the discharge, as have mercury, silver, copper, aluminum, and chrome, providing estimates of detection limits in the tens of parts per billion. These sensors are capable of operating in harsh environments because of the materials used in construction, and have been operated at more than 1,000°C in previous experiments, with no observable breakdown of detector components. The detector contains no moving parts, adding to the robust nature of these systems.

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

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